Life is lived on the basis of a series of choices!
At a very fundamental level most of what happens in your life is based upon your choices. I would also want to add that in many cases our life is profoundly affected by the choices of others. Either way life is lived on a series of choices, your choice or the choice of another.
First let us seek to give a definition of choice.
You did not have any choice of who your parents would be.
You had no choice in what color your skin would be or in what nation you would be born or what language you would speak as a child. Others made all those profound choices.
At an early age you did not did not choose what clothes you would wear or what you would drink or eat or where you would go. Someone else made those choices for you.
However, slowly ‘you’ found your identity and personality and you started to manifest yourself. You were now making choices for yourself, first about food and clothes and toys and friends. You were on the road now of choices that were to determine your past, present and future.
I will fast forward to ‘now’. I want to ask you to do a most profound thing. Look back at the past. Consider just briefly the chain of events that key choices have made in your life. Some were good choices others were bad, some you are not sure of. However you view them, you soon realize that the choices you made years ago started a string of events that are still affecting you.
Now I ask another question.
What did you learn about your decision process? I am not trying to revive guilt or regret but seeking to help you with the choices you have to make now and in the future.
Were your past choices based on emotion?
Were they reactions to events?
How much knowledge did you seek before you made the choice?
Did you seek advice?
Did you feel coerced by others?
Were you driven by fear?
Did you feel in control?
Do you have a foundation value system that you will not compromise?
Were you driven by greed, self-gratification or compulsion?
Did you pray about the choices?
Should you have prayed, how did you feel God answered your prayer?
Did you follow the way you felt the Lord leading you?
Did you set conditions on your choices?
What were the consequences?
Were you lead by the Holy Spirit of God?
I could go on but I think the above questions are a good starting point.
I think as you have looked back at the past you see the value of making the right choices in your life.
Perhaps the following could be some good tips for choices.
You cannot make choices for someone else. You may be affected by their decision. However you and only you are responsible for ‘your’ response! However you may be mistreated only you can choose to hate, or forgive, or love.
You choose how you deal with the situation you face. There are usually several choices in most situations. I suggest that you write them, pray over them and think about the choices you have. Look at the possible outcome of each possible decision. While going over these in your mind, you may whisper a yes or no to each one. It may just be that when you say yes or no you will feel an inner peace to one of those. It may also be that you feel a direct message from Jesus.
Often there are a number of even ‘good’ choices. I truly believe that God has an exact and certain will for each life. We must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all things.
The basic foundation of one’s choices needs to the Word of God as found in the Bible. Of course so many things we face are not written in the Bible. These things include such as whom we are to marry, our vocation, where to live, what church you should attend etc.
Often good advice is a great and needed help. I have a pastor and close friends that I can talk to and sound off ideas and possible choices. My wife Denise is vital in my decision process.
I think we are called to ‘act’ and not simply ‘react’. We can hear from God and act in obedience to His will. There may be times you choice is praised and at other times even friends may disagree. But true friends stand with you and bless you with loving support and true counsel.
Now for a few passages from the Word of God.
“ I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days.’
(Deuteronomy 30:19-20 in the Holy Bible)
“ Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
(Joshua 24:15 in the Holy Bible)
” Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul’.
(Mark 8:34-38 in the Holy Bible)
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
Then Peter said to them,” Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
(Acts 2:36-39 in the Holy Bible)
“ If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.
For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
(Romans 10:9-13 in the Holy Bible)
I could go on and on with hundreds of scripture that calls for us to choose.
Let me end by saying that God is a God of mercy and grace. Often we have and even will make wrong choices. God will forgive when we ask and repent. He will also give cleansing and grant new life. Over and over in the Bible we read of men and women who made the wrong choice but found the mercy of God ready to forgive and lead then on, often in the mighty power of the Holy Spirit.
Do not be discouraged or live in condemnation. Do not let mistakes and sins of the past destroy now and the future. Come to Jesus. Start afresh.
“ Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 in the Holy Bible)
Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
(John 7:37-39 in the Holy Bible)
In this column, you choose the ending’¦!
At another time I will write a column on how to know the will of God. Coming Soon.
Pilgrim followers of Jesus,
Arthur and Denise Blessitt