“Everything in life is under our power of choice, but once the choice is a made, we become the servant to the choice.” Ed Cole.
Life is all about choices. Surely you remember the first choice you made? You know, the first time the empty feeling in your stomach made you realize that you liked the feeling of your stomach when it was full? So you cried out for something to eat? Faced with the choice of “feed me” or starve, we all chose “feed me.” Thus started a lifetime full of choices.
As Americans, we have been blessed with more choices than we know what to do with. So many choices in fact that some of us need “Life Coaches.” For the vast majority of us, we rely on faith, family and friends. If those should fail us, we can always turn to the all-wise, all-knowing world of celebrity. There seems to be no lack of opinion from the celebrity world on the decisions we should make, but isn’t it funny the choices they want us to make aren’t the choices they make for themselves?
Forever linked together with choices is the dreaded “decision.” At some point we all have to decide what and where we are going to eat tonight. So much agony, so much stress.
“This day I call heaven and 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 and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Deuteronomy 30: 19 & 20 (NIV).
The most important choice, the most important decision we make in our lives is for Jesus. Do we believe in Him or not? We have multiple choices when it comes to Jesus. Is he liar, lunatic or Lord? You can only choose one and no other choices exist. The perceived choices of “prophet”, “good man” or “misunderstood leader” are all false choices. But the choices and decisions don’t stop there.
If you choose liar or lunatic, then do you choose another faith or no faith at all? If you choose another faith, then it makes deciding what and where to eat look easy. There are more faiths than you can shake a stick at. Even if you choose no faith, you still have to choose from agnostic or atheist. You just can’t escape choices and the inevitable decisions. Help, somebody call a Life Coach.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (NIV).
Even choosing Jesus as Lord will not stop the choices. Denominational or non-Denominational? Contemporary or Traditional? Submersed or Sprinkled? King James or another translation? Spectator or Participant?
We even make up choices that don’t exist. Back in the dark ages when I was a teenager, the big thing was to say that “my faith is personal, I don’t need to share it.” What a load of manure born out of the “It’s All About Me” generation. It is a personal, not a private relationship. He didn’t tell us to hide our lights under a basket. If He had told us that, we would have to change the children’s song we sing: “Hide it under a bushel basket, YES! I’m going to snuff it out.” Unfortunately for some of us, that is how we live.
We think we are in an eternal game of Monopoly and we have a “Get Out of Hell Free” card to play. Except this is no game and there is no card.
God told the Israelites to destroy all of the false idols and images in the land. He knew not destroying them would be a hindrance to the people of Israel. They destroyed some but not all of the “high places.” And it would prove to be their downfall. We are just like the Israelites.
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NIV).
We have a choice in our relationship with Jesus, destroy all of the idols, images and high places or not. We think we can get away with a few high places, it won’t affect us, and we can control it. Like all choices we become servants to the choice, servants to the high places. God tells us to ruthlessly clean all of the iniquity and unrighteousness from our lives but we leave that little pile in the corner that we like and are comfortable keeping. We rationalize that it’s not that big of a deal, after all its only…………sin.
In the “Leadership That Works” chapter of Real Man, Ed Cole gave us the real man’s criteria for decision making: Is it spiritual, moral, ethical or legal? How different would our lives be if we made decisions based on this criteria? I know my life would be different, much different. Where would our country be if decisions were based on is it spiritual, moral, ethical or legal? Would we be choosing between the lesser of two evils to lead our country?
How much different would the world be today if the Israelites would have completed the “scorched earth” policy that God called for in the Promised Land? Where would our lives be if we adopted the same “scorched earth” policy on the sin in our lives?
On our own we will never conquer our sin. Only the blood of Jesus and the power of the Cross can scorch the sin from our lives. Will you choose to submit to Jesus or will you continue to struggle?
Every one of us struggles with sin our lives. Every one of us has choices to make. What’s your choice?
Choose Jesus and run to the Cross!