Wednesday, June 24, 2009

the choice

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!" Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)

Yesterday I listened to a teaching message on CD about moods and was really blessed by all that I learned.

The speaker matter-of-factly stated that we can choose to live on the other side of our feelings. Can you imagine? Could it be true? Do we actually have a choice where our feelings and moods are concerned?!?

It may sound crazy, but honestly, I have never heard of such a thing. I immediately got excited by the sheer possibility and began to pray about what I was learning. I wanted to understand how to make this a reality in my own life.

I think God was anxious for me to finally learn this key lesson as well, because He immediately answered. :-)

The first thing that came to my mind was Deuteronomy 30:19. I felt God speak to my spirit that I was to actively choose life in everything I do. He gave me another one of those light bulb moments where everything became crystal clear.

All of my day is built around choices and I am free to choose life or death, blessings or curses.

I can choose to go to bed on time, or I can stay up late watching TV and surfing the Internet.

I can choose to speak words of love, or words that bring shame.

I can choose to spend time reading God's Word, or catch up on my email.

I can choose to look at my children when they speak to me, or focus on what I am doing.

I can choose to smile at my neighbor, or pretend like I don't see them.

I can choose to go the extra mile for someone I love, or I can take the easy way out.

I can choose to eat my fruits and veggies, or eat a manufactured, artificial snack.

I can choose to be obedient, or I can be rebellious.

I can choose to be patient and wait upon the Lord, or I can strive in my own flesh.

I can choose to rejoice, or I can to complain.

I can choose to build up, or I can tear down.

I can choose to forgive, or I can allow bitterness to take root.

I can choose faith, or I can choose doubt.

I can choose joy, or I can allow my emotions to direct my day.

Choices. All day. Every day. Big and small. Choices. Lots and lots of choices.

The interesting thing that God showed me was that in choosing life, most of the time, we have to die to ourselves. To not give into our flesh.

To truly live, we must die.

And that, my Friend, can be a very, very hard thing to do.

The good news is that His Spirit resides within us and guides our choices. We choose whether to listen or not. But either way, the result will be a blessing or a curse.

When I choose to give into my flesh, I may experience an immediate consequence or it may not happen for some time. The reality is, however, is that I always (always!) reap what I sow. It's one of God's foundational truths.

God's ways are always a mystery. But the good news is that He delights in revealing His truths to us when we seek Him.

I was so excited to understand this new truth better, that I dug into the Scriptures early this morning to learn more.

Philippians 2:5—8 gives a deeper understanding of what choosing life really looks like:

"In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born as a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death—death on a cross."

I already know that actively choosing life instead of giving into my human bent will take time to learn. However, I've experienced enough consequences in my life to know that the sacrifices I will need to make are most definitely worth receiving God's best for me.

With so many, many choices each day, I will get lots of practice. The key is to have grace for myself and rest in the fact that my God is ever-so patient with me.

"As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust." Psalm 103:13—14

Christ is truly a perfect example of dying in order to live. In Him we are LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Making the choice,


HisFireFly said...

Great insights, I for one needed to read this today!

I choose to choose to die to me and live in Him.

Warren Baldwin said...

This is good and true. Years ago I felt such a dislike for someone it was actually more like hate. I heard a speaker (on tape) talk about the nature of hate. If love is from God, where is hate from? The devil. If we hate, he said, we give our hearts to the devil to work in. We CAN CHOOSE to love instead of hate.

I couldn't believe it, but I could actually begin to experience what he was saying. No, the people did not become my best friends. But, I realized God gives us the ability to love even when it doesn't make sense. I prayed for them, asked for God's blessings for them, asked him to change my heart. We can choose the right way, and God blesses us when we do.

Good post!


ellie said...

Excellent post. Perfect timing for me . . . as I have been thinking about this a lot lately, though I hadn't though about it in terms of a choice between life and death, a blessing and a curse. I was just noticing how many times in the day I don't make the right choice (internet is a weakness for me) I have been trying to make better choices. I like the way you laid it out with such a clear scriptural lesson. and ended with an encouraging scripture. THANKS!. I think about the fact that the Lord knows that I am dust. every. single. day. For some reason I feel really encouraged by that fact :)

Wendy said...

Your posts are so consistent with God's word and Truth! I love learning here and being remninded of how He calls us to live!
Thank you!
~ Wendy