We humans love to write poems about our self determination, “I’m no slave, I’m my own boss.” William Henley writes”
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Ha! that’s a laugh. You can hear him admit that, without God, life is but a place of wrath and tears and that he faces the Horror of the shade, still he refuses to bow to Jesus and find peace, declaring himself his own master.
Even secular science agrees that the last thing we are is our own masters. Driven by hormones and para-genetic programming from our parents and responding to all stimuli with pre-programmed patterns arrived at when we were brilliant, ignorant children thinking logically to the wrong conclusions. People report that they have seen, thought through and chosen their responses. However, when we hook their brains up to activity monitors; the habit brain has been preciting what might happen and has already chosen from past programming the response and starts to move my body member in ways driven by the past. The last thing to respond is my logical brain which is thinking Romans 7:15 “there I go again doing what I don’t want to and know to be wrong and not doing what I want to and know to be right”. There is reasonable scientific debate as to whether there is even such a thing as free will.
God says, “without me you can do nothing!” I can’t see, feel, think, or act in any meaningful way without his help. Free will is limited to getting out of God’s way and throwing myself on Him to find mercy and power.
It’s even worse than that. Not only am I not in control of my choices, I am doomed to be an addict. My only choice is which master I will be enslaved to. Romans 6:16 (my paraphrase) “Hey Bell, don’t you realize that if you give your body members to see,feel, think, and act the way the devil wants you–you will become his slave and this leads to physical moral and spiritual DEATH; and if your give your body parts to see feel, think and act according to what God wants–you will become his slave which leads to righteousness and LIFE? Matthew 6:24 and Luke 16:13 No one, not even you, can serve two masters! Either you will love the one and hate the other or you will hate the one and love the other. As to the delusion that you can pick and choose and ultimately by your own master–simply that–a delusion. James 1:6 Hey Bell! If you waver careening between obeying God and then the devil as you see fit; then you are like a wave of the sea driven by every fickle wind of life and tossed about going nowhere. Do not imagine that you will receive good from God for the times you do his ways and then “fun” from serving the devil. You will receive nothing from the Lord and will be unstable in ALL your ways,
Lord help me to be addicted to you: have you in ALL my thoughts, talk of you constantly to others; spend all my time seeking your will in the moment; pant for more of you,like a thirsty running deer pants for water; sing praises to you at the end of the day and as soon as I wake up; jealously fight against ALL other things that attempt to come between me and you; hide you words in my heart so they are always there for me. Let others observing me think, “boy, that guy is a Jesus freak!” AMEN!