Written by :   Zac Poonen Categories :   Seeker Devotion to Christ
WFTW Body: 

When God sent Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden, although He gave them ample freedom, He did make one restriction. He forbade them from eating of one tree. There was a reason for that. Without choice, no-one can be a son of God. No-one can be holy without personal choice. So when God sent Adam into that garden, if He had not given Adam the opportunity to choose, Adam could never have become the son that God had wanted him to become. We don't realize how important the choices we make are - for our life on earth and even more for eternity.

One of the greatest gifts God has given us is the power to choose. And He will never take that power away from anyone. You can choose to be a son of God or you can choose to live for yourself. But whatever you choose, at the end of your life, you will reap the consequences of your choice.

The Bible says, "What a man sows, that will he also reap." The Bible also says that "it is appointed unto men once to die and after this the judgment". But God will not judge men arbitrarily on that final day. His judgments will be based on the choices that each man has made.

This principle applies in marriage too. You can choose whether you want to have a happy marriage or a miserable one. That choice is yours, not God's. Adam could choose whether to yield his life to the devil or to God.

There were two trees in the Garden of Eden - and they represented two ways of life. The tree of life symbolized a life centred in God - where God would be the centre of every decision made by man. The tree of knowledge of good and evil, on the other hand, symbolized a life where Self would be the centre, and where man would live without consulting God and would determine himself what was good and what was evil. God sent Adam and Eve into that garden and told them, as it were, "You can choose now which of these two ways you want to live by." And we all know what Adam chose. He chose to live a life centred in himself. All the misery, sorrow and murders and every other wretched thing that we see in the world around us, is due to man having decided to choose for himself what is good and what is evil. He doesn't want God to tell him. And that is the reason for every unhappy marriage as well - even among Christians. Multitudes of Christians live with Self as the centre of their life - and they reap what they sow.

When God made Adam, He wanted him to rule over the earth. Adam was created to be a king, not a slave. And God wanted Eve to be a queen beside Adam. But what do we see today? Men and women are slaves everywhere - slaves to their passions and to the corruptible things of earth.

When God created this earth, He made everything beautiful. The forbidden tree was also beautiful. When Adam and Eve stood in front of that tree, they had to make a choice: Would they choose the beautiful things God had created or would they choose God Himself?

That is the choice all of us have to make every day. If our life is centred in ourselves, we will pursue after God's gifts(the things He has created) and not after God Himself. Most of the quarrels that take place in homes are over earthly things. Such quarrels arise because the husband and wife choose created things instead of God Himself - and they reap the consequences of their choice. They sow to the flesh and so they reap corruption. Man becomes a slave when he chooses created things over his Creator.

Jesus came to deliver us from this slavery. Man is a slave today to the power of money, to illegitimate sexual pleasure, to the opinions of others, and to many other things. He is not free. God created him to be like the eagle that flies high in the sky. But everywhere we find man in chains, unable to conquer his temper, unable to control his tongue, unable to control his lustful eyes. Jesus came, not just to die for our sins, but also to deliver us from this slavery.

The Bible says that God is Light and God is Love. God's Love is His Light. In a dark room, the power of light drives away the darkness. God's power is like that. Life without God's power, without His love, will only be darkness.

Our whole life on earth is a period of testing and probation, to prepare us for a kingdom in eternity, where everything will be ruled by the law of love. Every situation and circumstance that God takes us through now is therefore designed by Him to test us in one area - whether we will live by the law of love. And that is why God allows so many trials and difficulties in our lives. God is Almighty, and He could have made life on earth such that we never had any trials at all. But God in His great wisdom has ordained trials as a means by which we learn to love. If we overcome our selfishness and determine that love alone will guide our life, God will be able to prepare us to be rulers in His coming kingdom. We have to think about that now, or else we will find in eternity that we missed the opportunities that God gave us on earth - and never learnt what we were supposed to learn.