Posts Tagged choose

It’s Your Choice

Deuteronomy 30: 19           NOG

I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life or death, blessings or curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants will live.

Are you familiar with this verse? I want you to be. It is so very powerful and can change your life. In fact, this is a great one for you to meditate on. The piece of it I wish to highlight today is the word “choose.”

God has offered us life. He has offered us blessings. Death and the curse entered the earth in the Garden of Eden. So, both life and death and blessing and the curse are out there for the choosing. The interesting aspect is that we get to choose. I always smile when I read this verse because I hear it this way, “I have given you the choice between life and death, the blessing and the curse. Let me give you a hint. Choose life and blessing.” It is like God is trying to clue us in on which one to choose. It seems ridiculous at one level. We should be smart enough that He does not need to give us a hint and yet, it is a forebearer of a truth. We often make the wrong choice. We choose death instead of life and the curse instead of the blessing. Why would we do that?

Let me ask you a different question. Supposing you rather have life and blessing, how do you make that choice? What mechanism is in place for choosing? That is the main issue, I believe. Do folks know how to choose life? In how many ways do we choose the curse instead of the blessing? I believe most Christians do not realize there is a choice, how to make the choice, or how they are making the wrong choice daily.

One of the most poignant events in the Bible is found in the book of Joshua. As the book opens, Moses has just died. He, who was the liberator of Israel, who led them for years through their long sojourn, who importuned God for them, prayed for them, taught them, and cared for them, is dead. Now what? Shall the nation of Israel fall apart right there, having never crossed over into the promised land? It is a climactic moment is Judeo-Christian history. It could have all ended right there, on the wrong side of the Jordan. Instead, God appointed Joshua to be the leader of His people. How would you like that job, following in Moses’ footsteps? It must have been pretty frightening for Joshua. God took him aside, though, to give him the secret of success, to be his coach and mentor. God told Joshua, “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” (Joshua 1: 7 – 9).

I know that was a long quote but you need to see it all. Right here God gave Joshua the choice to fail or succeed. He even gave him the crib notes for the test. In other words, God didn’t make success a mystery. Success or failure lay at Joshua’s feet so God showed him the path to success. He gave him all the secrets. That is what God does.

Here is my point. Father wants us to succeed so He has given us the cheat sheet. “Here are all the answers,” He says. All we have to do is use them. How many points do you find in the quote from the book of Joshua? I counted seven. The real question is, how many of them are we doing. This is how we choose life and blessing. Joshua didn’t have to take God’s advice. We know he did because he enjoyed success and led the nation of Israel into the promised land. He chose blessing. He chose life.

Here are two of the big seven. One, do not fear. If we live in fear, we fertilize death and curse. Second, and this is a really big one, meditate in this Word day and night. When we meditate in the Word, we are actively choosing life and blessing.

This passage from Joshua teaches how to choose to live in the blessing. We need to follow where the Lord is leading. We need to communicate with him so that we see his ways generally and the specific path he points out for us. We can choose to be blessed. We can choose the abundant life Jesus said he came here to give us. I think if you will follow the advice God gave Joshua, if you will learn how to commune with Jesus and actually do it, that you will find yourself in overflow of everything good. Please, choose life, choose the blessing. It’s your choice.

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.