Posts Tagged choices

Choices

John 14: 30

I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, even so I do.

Who killed Jesus? Some people say the Jews, other argue the Romans while the best answer may be you and me. However, the right answer is no one. Jesus gave up his spirit. He gave his life on the cross. The Jews tried many times to take him but he would disappear and they were never able to lay their hands on him. Jesus tells us in this verse that because he loves the Father and because the Father commanded him, he, Jesus chose the cross. He gave up his life out of his love for the Father, his devotion to God’s commands, but also so that all the world would see and know this love which changes the world. He sowed his life into this world so that all would see and would have the means to turn to God and be saved. What a choice.

I want you to see one other thing in today’s verse. Jesus was clear on his position with the Father. He also knew, without any doubt, that Yahweh is the benevolent Father. Jesus’ belief in the Father’s love and in His power never faltered. However, he was also cognizant of another authority, the ruler of the world. He was talking about Satan and though Satan had legal authority Jesus says, plainly, “he has nothing in Me.” You’ve got to love that.

This goes along well with yesterday’s Word of the Day. We get to choose whose back yard we play in. Jesus knew Satan had nothing in him because all the days of his life he served his father and his father alone. Jesus had to deal with hardships, he battled temptation but he knew that, although Satan had authority, position and even some power, he could not exercise any of it over Jesus because Jesus was founded in God. Yahweh was (and is) Jesus’ fortress. He is Jesus’ strength and the authority that Jesus has in the Father trumps anything Satan ever threw at Jesus. Sure, Jesus had to fight temptation. He resisted to the point of sweating blood but his Father empowered him for just such a stand of faith. Jesus exercised his partnership with the Father and he was always victorious. And, that is another way we know that Jesus gave his life rather than anyone taking it from him. No one could take his life because he was in the Father and the Father in him and they are an unbeatable pair.

Now the story gets even better. We have the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. If we work with them and connect with their life within us, we can have the same power partnership that saw Jesus through the toughest of times. Really, we have an even more powerful union because we have Jesus in addition to the Father. All of the power of the trinity resides within us right now. There is nothing we need that we do not already have. The trick is for us to learn to work with the Trinity the way Jesus did with the Father.

Are you rejoicing yet? The power of the Father, the glory of the Son and the creative energy of the Spirit are intertwined with your spirit right now. I want you to practice feeling your spirit. You know how to check your body. You know how to check your emotions. We need to be experts at connecting with our spirits. What is going on in your gut right now, non-biologically? What sensation is right behind your belly button? Do you feel peace, anxiety, rushed? When you have that sense of inner calm, how does that feel? Can you sense your spirit? Get accustomed to checking your spirit routinely and then branch out into the interwoven presence of the Holy Trinity within you. This is your power source. This is the boardroom of the partnership. You will feel the Lord within you and you will hear his voice. The more you hear his voice within you, the easier it will be to navigate all of life’s adventures.

Choices

James 4:4

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

James had such a gentle and tender way of getting the point across, didn’t he? Well, sometimes we need someone to care enough to speak to us plainly. This is Jesus’ brother writing to us today. I said yesterday that we are called to be different from the world. James makes it much more plain. He said that “being in bed” with the enemy makes us adulteresses. Ouch! If that doesn’t sting just a bit you better take your pulse.

Of course, we all want to fit in and of course, the things of the world are attractive. God isn’t trying to deny us luxuries or pleasures, He just wants you to purchase them through the Kingdom instead of through the world. Why? Because the Kingdom is life and the world is death. God is trying to get life to us but we, being the great intellectual giants that we are, keep choosing death. I have always loved this passage from Deuteronomy, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants” (Deuteronomy 30: 19). Father gives us the choice, like a multiple choice question on a test but before we can even choose, He gives us the answer. None the less, how many of us continue to choose death over life, the curse rather than the blessing?

To choose to live in the world and to be of the world is to choose death and curse. Jesus said that we are not of this world any more than he was. We live here but we are not “of” this world. Our choices are to be made on Kingdom principles, expecting Kingdom results. Brother James says it rather plainly – to be friends of the world, in other words living as the world lives, makes us enemies of God. Now here is the question. Do you think James wrote these words to believers or the unsaved? This is an important question because if you believe, like I do, that he wrote to believers then you understand that we, God’s own chosen and beloved, can become enemies of God by being lovers of the world. That is a huge statement. James saw a dynamic taking place in his own time and sought to address it. His passion poured out for his people. Let us, therefore, seriously contemplate our own place, whether in the world or in the Kingdom. What choices are we making on a daily basis that shift us from living in Christ to living in the world. Choose to be unique, peculiar. Choose life. Choose Christ.