God created us with a free will. Our will is not constrained by God; it is ours to exercise, freely. This is really the only power that humanity wields, but what a power it is! I have had scant understanding of the power unleashed by my choice, so I certainly haven’t respected it either. My life reflects this – and more transparently than I’d like. Why? Because I choose what to believe, or rather, WHO. To believe in God is to open the door to His power. Unfortunately, there is a flip-side to this coin. My unbelief opens the door to Satan.
Free Will, Unbelief, and a Big Old NO
Martha’s booklet, The Powers of the Universe, illustrates the power our belief unlocks.
“Have you ever heard about the radio broadcast in 1938 by Orson Welles? He told a fictional story about Martians landing so convincingly that the people listening believed it and panicked.
They felt invaded, though they were not. They felt threatened, though they were not. They felt overtaken, though they were not. It was all a lie. But they responded as though it were true and the fear was as real as if it had been true. Their reactions and actions were as valid to them as if it had been true. And that is very much what happens to Christians today.
So it is with Satan… If you believe the lie that he has power, you react in all kinds of ways that give him power. Oh Christians, may I say to you, we give Satan power. He has none. We give him power by believing in his power and by fearing him. That’s how we do it.
By unbelief in God, we believe in Satan.”
My unbelief is a big, fat NO to God. And my belief is directed by my will, so it isn’t accidental or unintended. I choose who to believe – to trust, to rely on, to cling to. This is the hard cheese here. A reckoning that sears my pride unmercifully. The dead and stagnant places in my life are more than just evidence of unbelief. They are the demonic rot that inevitably follows a rebellious NO to God.
Free Will Unleashes Heaven…or Hell
Now, the flip-side of the coin is amazing, and I intend to spend some time on that tomorrow. But first comes the reckoning.
The foolishness of man undermines his way [ruining whatever he undertakes]; Then his heart is resentful and rages against the Lord [for, being a fool, he blames the Lord instead of himself].
Proverbs 19:3 AMP
Even the simplest translations of this Proverb are as a dagger to the heart of honest men, so I went ahead and used the Amplified Bible’s version. Is there any part of refusing to believe God – GOD! – that isn’t utter foolishness? Objectively, no.
My unbelief shuts the door to God’s power, screams “No!” right in His face, and then I get mad at Him for not doing what He promised. I exercise my God-given free will, choosing what to believe, and that belief unleashes heaven or hell in my life. I choose!
It is a WORK to believe in Jesus Christ. And part of that work involves shutting down the incessant accusations and seductions of the enemy, standing firmly on God’s word and LOVE. But because God gave us a free will, the work to believe is the work that only we can do. We choose who to trust, to cling to, to rely on—to believe. And as I’m seeing so clearly this week, when I cling to hell, it is the height of foolishness for me to blame God for the resulting death.