How do I make the right choice?
Our day is filled with decisions, one after the other. Opportunities to choose, to make decisions, is as constant as the breaths we take to remain alive. And some decisions we make can have life altering consequences and either lead to life or to death. This is true of both physical life and spiritual life.
So the freedom to choose comes with a risk, because of the resulting consequences, and our decisions are important. How then do we make the right decision?
1) Pray for wisdom and guidance
2) Listen to instruction and guidance
3) Choose to follow and obey
If we leave out any of these three, we are putting ourself at unnecessary risk.
If we do not pray for wisdom and guidance, if we look to our own understanding, we may think that we are heading in the right direction, but find ourselves running under our own power and far from God’s will for our lives – listening to our own deceitful heart instead of seeking God’s will.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord , and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.
If we just treat God like a genie in our lives and speak to Him but do not listen, or if we do not read His written Word and seek understanding, how can we claim that we are a student of God, that He is our teacher, our comforter, our Father who disciplines and instructs us?
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.
If we receive instruction, if we know what to do, if we realize what His divine instruction tells us to do, and we refuse – if we encounter temptation and evil and do not resist but choose to remain in rebellion, how can we say that Christ who has the strength to overcome all things lives in us without proving ourselves a liar?
Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
So we should:
1) TALK with God
2) LISTEN with God
3) WALK with God
In each of these, we are choosing to do life WITH GOD.
We don’t just talk AT Him or TO Him, we live WITH GOD.
We don’t just listen to things written ABOUT Him or to instruction given BY Him, we sit at His feet listening and learning WITH GOD.
We don’t just try to go out and prove ourselves strong enough so that we can be proud of all of OUR WORK, we walk this life out WITH GOD so that we realize our weaknesses are overcome by His strength and HIS WORK is done through us.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.