In brief, I will describe how there are two elements to free will.
1. The creative power of the primordial Divine Self
We are all Beings who have existed from eternity. And as Beings we have the capability to originate thought. Therefore, we are not merely passive and reactive - but can generate thought from our-selves.
2. The directive power of the Conscious Self
For there to be free will - more is required; and that extra was provided by God when he 'created' us; that is, when he made us into Children of God ('Sons of God').
What God provided was the Conscious Self, which has the ability to direct the attention of the Divine Self.
It is the Divine Self that enables us to originate thought (independent of external causes). The Divine Self is what make's each Being (and each Man) and uncaused case.
But in our primordial situation, before God created us, this originative thought was passively responsive to whatever external situation we were in.
We would have been able to think, to originate uncaused thoughts; but we had no control over what it was that we thought.
There could therefore be no free will primordially, because there was no control over the originative properties of the Divine Self. Free will was made possible by God's creation of Men.
When the Conscious Self is added to the Divine Self, free will becomes possible; because the Conscious Self can 'point' the Divine Self at one thing or another.
The Conscious Self could also be termed our 'will' - in other words, we can consciously will our Divine Self to attend to what we are observing, making, reading, doing - or whatever it may be. When this happens, we are able to choose where to deploy our divine creativity.
The Conscious Self cannot 'control' what comes-out-of our Divine self. Because nothing can control the Divine Self - the Divine Self is the basis and reality of our ultimate freedom, autonomy; our capacity to create-from-ourselves.
But we can consciously control the subject matter attended to by our Divine self - we can therefore choose what the Divine Self deploys-itself-upon.
So, conscious will can direct our Divine Self; and that is why we need to be conscious in order to be free.
If the Conscious Self was not present, or not actually conscious; then the Divine Self only responds to whatever external circumstances present to it. But with consciousness, potentially we can voluntarily influence what we think about.
And that is how free will works, what free will does; and why it is important for Man to become more conscious...
Because consciousness is what enables freedom; and freedom is what enables us to choose to accept Jesus Christ's gift of eternal resurrected life.