9. If you can't choose against God, you can't choose for Him either.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. {Galatians 6:7-8}

In order for there to be real freedom, it must run both ways. Freedom means not only the power to opt in, but also the power to opt out. If your boyfriend proposed marriage to you and ended his proposal by saying, “But if you ever leave me, I’ll find you and kill you,” you would be wise to file for a restraining order, not a marriage license! Love is not truly love if there is no freedom to opt out. And if you’re coerced into opting in, then you really don’t have the freedom to opt out.

But we can also take this one step further and realize that if we don’t have the freedom to opt out, then we really don’t have the freedom to opt in either. Without the freedom to choose against God, there is no real freedom to choose for God. If we can’t say “no” to Him, then any “yes” we say has absolutely no value for building a meaningful relationship. If there is no freedom to walk away, then there is also no freedom to stay. And if the staying is compulsory, then there is no love.

That’s why the freedom God gives is real. It is the uncoerced power to choose without fear of retaliation or reprisal. Because true freedom is the only foundation on which love can exist, and love is the only thing God wants.

If you want to dig deeper—
Deuteronomy 30:19
Joshua 24:15
Matthew 7:13-14
Galatians 6:7-8