Scripture Reading: Daniel 1:8-21
St. Justine Martyr starts today’s reflection this way: “If a man does not have the full faculty to shun evil and to choose good, then whatever his action may be, he is not responsible to them ”. God in his infinite wisdom gave man free will. It is a gift from God. God did this because, he never intended to control man like robots; but he desired man to be free to make his own decisions based on the moral principles He had laid down for him. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit not because they were forced by the devil, but because they were enticed by the beauty of that fruit as presented by the Devil. So, the decision to eat was theirs. The ability to say ‘No’ was also present in the freewill given to them by God. But unfortunately they decided to say ‘Yes’ to the devil and to his lies. St. Francis de Sales says, “God possesses us but does not oppress our liberty”
Moses spoke to the people of Israel in the presence of the Lord, in Deuteronomy 30:19-20, he said, “I am giving you the choice between life and death, between God’s blessing and God’s curse, and I call heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Choose life. Love the Lord your God, obey him and be faithful to him, and then you and your descendants will live long in the land that he promised to give your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”(GNB)Moses gave them this fatherly advice to choose life, because in the end it is their will that matter; it is the choice they make that determines where their hearts would lie. Whether to follow their own will or the will of God depends on the choice they make. Daniel made a choice not to allow himself to be defiled. The scripture says, “Daniel made up his mind not to let himself become ritually unclean by eating the food and drinking the wine of the royal court, so he asked Ashpenaz to help him, and God made Ashpenaz sympathetic to Daniel.” (Dan 1:8 – 9 GNB) Daniel later became great in the Kingdom of Babylonia because he never allowed his will to run counter with the will of God for him.
Hear Kathryn Kuhlman, “But you were also born with a will, a will separate and apart from the will of anyone else. You are free to exercise that will of yours. You are a free moral agent. You can do with your life what you please. There are many people walking the streets of failure, living in defeat, locked by the problems of life, who would have been spiritual giants, leaders, persons who would have lived in victory, had they surrendered their wills to the perfect will of God. ” Beloved, your will matters: Do not take it for granted. Model it in line with the perfect will of God. Epictetus says, “No one can rob us of our will ”. However, ensure that you subject your will to the supreme will of God. To know the supreme will of God on any matter, refer to his word in the scriptures and the teachings of the church. St. Augustine of Hippo says, “The freedom of the will is then true freedom, when it does not serve vices and sins”.
- Appreciate God today for making you a free moral agent.
- Surrender your will to God. Jesus did, and he said, “Father not my will but your will be done.”
- Ask God to set you free from all worldly attachments that always draw you away from the perfect will of God.
- Then humbly pray seven times: Father, not my will, your will be done.
- Take the Prayer of Self Surrender to God.
- Pray for men who make very wrong choices of picking second wives, only to boast their ego
Exercise: Keep reminding yourself throughout today, that the decisions you make matters, either to succeed or fail.
Memory Verse: Luke 22:42