USE YOUR THINKERS!
The concept of "free will" is so diverse and has been debated for ages.
There is no conclusive understanding of it. From the Compatibilists' theory of it to Physicalism to....genetics/evolution... that one's "free will" is actually in the human's brains, genes, and heredity history or that it's nonexistent altogether, we naively think we have conscious control.
There is the acknowledgment of the internal conflict we struggle with as humans, in which our free will and ability to make choices are tested.
Both the Spirit (of God) and the flesh (of mankind) guides behavior.
19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition dissensions, factions
21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Most people would probably agree that love, joy, peace, kindness and
goodness are desirable qualities, while hate, rage, discord, selfish
ambition are unappealing traits. However, many of us find ourselves
wrestling in our character building.
14 We know that the law is SPIRITual; but I am unspiritual (flesh),
sold as a slave to sin.
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do,
but what I hate I do. (Guided by the flesh/sin)
16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good (SPIRIT).
17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living
in me. (Submitted to the flesh/sin)
18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my
sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I
cannot carry it out.
19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to
do—this I keep on doing (Your free will).
20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it,
but it is sin living in me that does it (recognizing yourself as sinner).
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right
there with me .
22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;
23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of
my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me (Freedom of Choice).
24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body (flesh)
that is subject to death?
When you build up your spirit by the Spirit of God, your will to chose
God's will becomes strong.
The perception of "Free Will" denotes power over being controlled. Jesus responds to Pilate in The Gospel of John chapter 19 give us an example of such:
John chapter 19:
10 So Pilate said to Him, "You do not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to release You, and I have authority to crucify You?"
11 Yeshua said to him, “You have no power at all over me unless it has been given to you from above;
There is no such thing as "forced upon us" with "free will" (and thus "freedom to choose")
regardless of how powerful another may be. YOU have to submit your own will, they do not have the power to take it (free will) away from you. With "Freedom to Choose", comes consequences.
Jesus willingly submitted His WILL through His freedom to choose:
42 saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet
NOT My will, but Yours be done."
With exercising His right and freedom of choice, He submitted His will to that of the Father's.
We are created with "free will" and "freedom to choose"..
A stronger force can easily influence religious and secular submission.
Take for example..the average man to the average woman...can he overpower her will in rape?.. more than likely (but she would need to submit her will and often women subconsciously do because she has been "conditioned" into believing she is NOT physically stronger than a man). Now provide a woman with an equalizer such as a gun or trained self defense (which has provided her with faith) and the same woman has increase her chances of NOT allowing a man's will to overpower her will. Then there are the cases of mothers uplifting cars off their child or boxing kangaroos to defend their offspring (which tells us she is actually her own equalizer, but doesn't know it and thus has no faith within herself, which weakens her choice to follow her will).
Please do not read only into the physical aspect of the examples and not the fact that the behavior or reaction depended on what takes place in the mental and/or spirit of a person.
And every parent knows, children also have a will of their own. The job of parenting is to guide them (Proverbs 22:6). If children didn't have free will and freedom to choose, then we would need to question parents for discipline them (people who have no will or mental capacity of their own to obey or disobey).
Free will does not depend on obeying, disobeying, or even our level of maturity, it simply means we were created "free spirits" with a will of our own. Nobody has the power to control that inner power. People can only influence us to submit to their desires....and we do it all the time (for obvious reason). Children are no different. The more vulnerable the position, the more likely we will submit our will to another for survival. This is why children typically make the choices to submit...but rest assure..they have their own will..and it is displayed all the time.
They constantly find ways to "rebel" (even if is that "switching of the light on and off" simply because dad/mom said not too ).
Throwing tantrums is typically an expression of rebellion against submission of the will. Toddlers are human beings with their own will and hate the fact they have to submit (which is taught by adults)... It's not in any of us to be dominated over. Children are confident in their OWN beliefs...they only submit to parents to survive (Choice), hence why when they reach their individual "survival age", that submission tends to go out the door.
Those who ENJOY their free will the most may not be those who are the most confident questionably....it could be said, it's those who have the "control" over being able to express their free will (without the threat of being dominated by another's free will). Let's take the Nazis as an example, there were plenty of Jews who were probably very confident in their beliefs and still submitted their will to the Nazi's....one may debate the Nazi's were more confident, but I disagree..it was easier for a Nazi,but it took extreme confidence for a Jew to be a Jew in those days.
We all choose to be confident in whatever we believe, whether it's in worldly beliefs or religious (or else we wouldn't believe it).
As soon as we operate in our "Freedom to Choose", regardless of the route it takes us, we become confident in it....it can be a circular process.
We are NOT confident in our beliefs because of enlightenment. There is too much available exposure to challenge any position. It is personal choices that people put trust in..