Regardless our human age when we surrender to Christ, we are but babes in the spirit. Free Will allows us the latitude to choose to remain children or determine to grow up. No doubt babies make bad choices and do dumb things but they are still loved by their parents. Good parents hold them accountable, though, so that they will learn from their mistakes.
However, a spirit that prefers to remain an infant, never really learns the lessons of unwise choices. The preference to stay beholden to our childish human nature stunts us and prevents us from becoming fuller, deeper, more useful to God’s purpose. Are we still saved if we choose to remain as children? I guess that depends on how fiercely we cling to love of self which might reveal a more profound truth that the original surrender was not real but just a stop gap, a cave in to get some relief from a crisis.
What eventually shows up after conversion - the proof in the pudding, as my mom used to say - will expose whether we have truly passed through the open door into becoming a new being or just faking it to make it. Fakers exist in all walks - that is a fact. Satan finds imitators the most useful tools and are well-known as wolves in sheep clothing. These often know the lyrics (letter of the Word), the authoritative ‘God Words’ very well. They can preach, pray, and spout Scripture verbatim, orate inspirational, good sounding sentiment, and yet still be somehow deaf to the music (spirit of the Word).
Ultimately, what we really are is revealed in how we perform under pressure to make wise choices so we must be tested now and again. Not that God doesn’t know the truth of us, our hearts and true intentions. The test isn’t for God to see us, it’s for us to see ourselves as we truly are, unmasked. It’s just another chance to open our eyes and step up to practice using Free Will wisely.
God is so patient. So long as we continue to breathe and our heart beats, we are offered opportunities to rise upward and do tough but selfless things that strengthen our mettle and spiritual character. Grow us up. Sometimes these represent the most difficult decisions of our lives.
The point of having Free Will is about our being challenged now and again with the opportunity to stand up and choose what God would approve of, even if it means setting aside what self wants.
Unfortunately, the time does come when even God decides to close the door and when He does, opportunities disappear. When Christ still walked on earth, this was demonstrated as those who refused to see being blinded lest they see. God knows from the beginning to the end. He has not only seen the video, He produced it. Free Will is just another way to expose who/what we love more - Christ and His will or ourselves and self-will. I have even pondered if it’s just another way to separate the sheep from the goats.
And what if one is a sheep, albeit a lamb who has not grown up spiritually, but still believes and loves Jesus, it is likely one will still be asked to make a tough but selfless choice now and again. If one chooses poorly he/she will experience the inevitable regret for things done as well as things not done, when the opportunity is missed, and then finds it is the toughest lesson to live with.