The point being, our circumstances are shaped to direct our will. Many of us have had a "salvation experience" but for most of us, it was a set of circumstances that brought us to Christ and we probably would not have responded under any other set of circumstances. So, IMO free will is an illusion.
I guess that depends on how you define "free will". I prefer to speak of man's will in relationship to God's will- as James shared with me recently. I do not like "hot button" terms that categorize and generalize without thoughtful discussion and meditation.
If by "free will" you mean "utterly free to do whatever" I agree with you entirely. If, by illusion, you mean, "no will at all sin relationship to God for which we are accountable", I would disagree with you. Of course, what I am presenting would be a matter of degree, some very subjective perceptions.
So let me ask a question, when Joshua says, "Choose you this day whom you shall serve"(Joshua 24:15), or when Peter answers the question, "Men and brethren, what must we do?" with the exhortation to repent and be baptized, does it have any meaning in relationship to the exercize of man's will, and if so What? How do we communicate this meaning?
When the writer of Hebrews quotes the Psalmist(95:7),
Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, "TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS. "THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, 'THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS'; AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, 'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'" Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
How do we express the exercise of our will in response to the exhortations of God?
Or in these verses, where Paul is speaking to pagans, he says God is now declaring to all men that they should repent (a declaration that will be in effect, by the way, until the last man does so
"Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. "Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
The doctrinal explanation concerning the over-all sovereign will of God seem at times to take a back seat to "in time" or "timely" exhortations to re-orient our wills towards God, as if we have some choice in the matter.