Man has the choice to follow God or not to

Gods Will vs Mans Will
the will of God vs will of man
Does man have free will? Yes, even though it doesn't say it directly in those words in the bible, it does talk about our will to choose what we do. Will God enforce his will onto us? No, there are many scriptures about people that do not follow God's will or his commandments. 

The bible is full of people that rebelled against what God said. They had the free will to choose their way or His way. This has been the subject of conversation between some of our friends lately. The question that was posed was... Will God's plan/will for a particular event supersede our will? I will pose two examples below that the answer to that question is No. 

The first example is Judas. Some say that Judas had to betray Jesus, and therefore he had no free will and was destined to make the choices that he made. Therefore in this instance, God's will would supersede Judas will. This, however, is not so, and let me explain why. 1) Judas was with Jesus as long as the other disciples and had the same chances to change his life and live for Jesus. He chose not to, he chose to live the life of a thief. (John 12:6 " He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; like a keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.) Jesus chooses Judas knowing that he was a thief and that he would not change his ways. God never did anything to prevent him from changing if he had desired to.  2) When Judas betrayed Jesus, some would say that he had no choice and that he had to betray him for Jesus to be arrested. This again is not quite right. Yes, Jesus had to be betrayed, but it did not have to be Judas. He could have changed heart and accepted the Lord God, but choose to remain selfish. If Judas had not betrayed Jesus, God would have found someone else to do it. Judas kept his heart hardened towards God and thus opened his life to Satan.  (Luke 22:3 "Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the twelve. And Judas went to the chief priest, and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them, how he might betray Jesus") 3) Now God will not go against the will of man. We have the free will to follow God or not to follow Him. We are free to rebel against him and what he has commanded us to do or not to do. (Romans 13:2 "Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves") Satan, however, doesn't care about man's free will and will possess you at every opportunity to further his will. It says that Satan entered Judas and at this point, it would be Satan's will that would be carried out by Judas. 

Another figure in the bible that some may say didn't have a free will is the pharaoh. This theory just like the one before is not quite correct either,. It is a bit twisted by others to excuse their actions so that they do not have to take responsibility for them. Pharaoh was a proud man. He was over a nation that thought of the pharaohs as gods. He was filled with pride and arrogance. (Exodus 9:12 " But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the Lord had said to Moses.") Some argue that since it says in the bible that God hardened the heart of Pharaoh, he had no free will. This is just not the truth. God knew Pharaoh's heart and knew that he was full of selfish pride, and arrogance. God knew he would not submit to the will of God, but did give him several chances to do so. He hardened the heart of Pharaoh not by physically hardening his heart, but by sending the warnings and plagues.  Every time that God would send a warning, it would cause pride to swell up in the pharaoh's heart. He would say in his heart that he himself was a god and who are these men threatening him. He had a chance after chance to humble himself and do as God asked but he refused. 

There are so many different places in the bible that warn us not to rebel against the Lord God. God has had to deal with rebels in heaven in the past and it didn't work out so well for them and it will be no different for those of us who do the same. We have the will to choose. Just like us, God does not want robots, he does not want people that are forced to love him and follow his ways. We do not want someone that is forced to love us, we want someone to love us of their own free will. A few examples of the verses that show us that we do indeed have the freedom to choose are Ezekiel 18:30-32, Deuteronomy 30:19-20, Genesis 2:16-17. I know that there are people out there that say we are just puppets on a string and that God is pulling the strings. This is just not true if you read the bible you see instances where this is just not fact. God would not cause his beloved people to sin against him as the Israelite's did. They were allowed to choose the path for their lives and so do we today.