God created people with the ability to choose. In Genesis we discover that God gave Adam and Eve a choice, but He did not dictate their actions. Even with so much at stake God allowed Adam and Eve to make the choice on whether or not they would obey Him.
When we examine our lives we recognize that God has given us the liberty to pursue whatever we think will make us happy. Our choices will, at times, limit our freedom. Addictions and bad relationships, which are the result of our choices, can hold us in chains which are difficult to toss aside.
God's desire is that we will surrender our lives to Him and follow Jesus. This is the best way to live and it is the way to usher God's Kingdom into this world. Even though God is the sovereign Lord of the universe He is not a tyrant. Instead God allows us the freedom to choice our own path, even when that path is destructive to the world He created. God has given us the freedom to love Him or reject Him.
Charles McCoy, one of my professors at Nebraska Christian College, wrote in his book that we used for Basic Bible Doctrine; "The Bible, from beginning to end, teaches the necessity of human choice." We see this necessity in God's desire to create people who will love Him. For love to be love it has to be freely given, and God wants our love to flow from our choice. It is through our choice to love and worship God that we discover life. Deuteronomy 30:19, 20 reads:
"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live! Choose to love the LORD your God and to obey him and commit yourself to him, for he is your life" ( NLT).
Only by giving us free will and the ability to make choices could God give us the ability to love Him. Yes, by giving us a choice God was risking that we would do wrong, become evil, and hurt Him and those around us. Our free will gives us a great capacity to love, but it also gives us a great capacity for evil. God risked evil so that we may experience love.
Our lives provide us with the opportunity to learn to love God. Life is not so much about learning to live the right way as it is about learning to love the right way. When we know how to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourself then right living will naturally follow.
"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad and its gate is wide for the many who choose the way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it" (Matthew 7:13-14; NLT).
God has put before us two options. The way of the world or Jesus (who is the Way). Options always provide us with choices. Just as God did not zap Adam and Eve and prevent them from eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God is not going to force us to love Him. This is a choice that only we can make. We are to choose which way to go. It is up to us to choose wisely.