Someone once said that most of us are born neither rich nor poor, but with choices. We all have a choice, no matter what circumstances we are born into or find ourselves. It is the choices we make that shape our lives, for better or worse. Study or sleep. Pray or sleep. Study the word or watch TV. Choices.
“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Through Moses, God outlines how the choices that Israel makes may positively and beneficially affect them, if only they make the right choice.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Phil 4: 8
Paul says that despite the overwhelming negativity and challenges faced by all Christians, we have to choose to think about good, positive stuff. Not that the negative stuff is not there, but because the Word of God calls us to walk by faith not by sight even in the midst of darkness. While the world may get overwhelmed, God’s word, in its creative and comforting power, helps us think differently.
The fall and redemption of man was a matter of choice
“And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;” Gen 3:17
Adam had a choice to make, either believe God or believe the devil. He chose to believe satan, a choice that continues to haunt and trouble mankind even today.
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.“ Luke 22:42
On the other hand, when given the choice, Christ chose to believe God at His word and for that all humanity and creation is grateful. Even in the garden of Gethsemane, when He toyed with the idea of giving up because of the revelation of the trial He was to face, He chose to go through it.
The above are two choices that echo through time clearly illustrate how choices can last more than one generation and affect all of humanity.
The fall of satan was a matter of choice
“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:13-14
“Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.” Revelation 12:7-8
Before man was created, satan chose to challenge God. The angelic host that were convinced by his deceit joined in the rebellion chose to challenge God’s sovereignty because they thought they could win. Over several centuries upon centuries, the devil thought God’s never-ending patience was foolishness. Maybe the other angels were offered high-ranking positions in the kingdom of darkness, but how wrong were they about the power of God. A tragic choice by eternal beings who chose to side with satan. We recently had much a publicized case of a young celebrity racing with his friend on a busy township road, whereby they ended up killing several school children and maiming countless others. Jail time for him and his friend, one that on review, he probably wishes to go back and undo, but cannot. Another tragic choice. The above are illustrations again of how some choices can have catastrophic, eternal consequences, changing families, stations and even life.
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
Instead, we choose to be led by the Holy Spirit, which enables us to manifest kindness, love, patience and self-control.
The salvation of man is a matter of choice
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” John 1:12
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18
When Christ came, man was given a choice again. A choice to reverse the fall of Adam. How beautiful is the picture? Every man was given a chance, not to fall because of one man, but to fellowship with God out of choice. Believe in Christ and receive eternal life and fellowship with God, which man had lost in the garden of Eden by believing in satan. No one is forced, as much as the angels in heaven had a choice. They could believe the lies of the devil or in the truth of God. Those who sided with God against satan chose and received eternal grace. Heaven will not be entered by accident or kindness, but by choice. A deliberate choice by a sound mind to side with God and all that He stands for and against.
“And behold, I am coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book.“ Revelation 22:7
“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?” Deuteronomy 30:11-12
Beloved of God, I hope this short study has helped you reflect on your own choices and how even today Christ is calling you to make the right choice, for your benefit even for generations unborn. May you from today choose to daily believe the word of God and keep it. Choose to know your God and walk in His excellent and peaceful ways. Amen.