The Choice

Today, I am grateful for the fact that the Lord gives me a choice each day: To follow Him, or not. It’s a daily decision.

Apparently, this choice to follow God is like two sides of a coin: It involves an act of our volitional will and our emotions (“determine in your mind and heart”) to seek the Lord. God wants us to be all in – we can’t simply decide to give Him intellectual assent alone, but not stir our hearts; similarly, we can’t seek after Him solely on the basis of our feelings, and not engage our intellect.

As I grow in my relationship with Lord, I understand that life is a series of choices, forks in the proverbial road. God gives us choices, and as we seek His wisdom and will for our lives, He gives us different, harder choices – usually requiring greater discernment and trust in Him. As it says in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV),

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.

Not all of the decision set before us are bad; some are good, and some are better than others. By following the command, “Now determine in your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God,” i am affirming each day that I want the Lord to show me which way to go, and to have Him shed light on the circumstances in my faith journey that represent life and blessings, and also illumine the ones that promote pride and worldliness (how I interpret “death” and “curses”)..

From my perspective, 1 Chronicles 22:19a is about affirming the decision to choose life – God’s wisdom – every day. Even when I mess up and do things that make God sad, I can always confess my sin and recommit myself to Him anew.

So I am grateful for the opportunity to choose God and trust in His purposes each day. He could have made me some sort of automaton, but instead, He chose to give me the freedom to love Him (or not). He wants me to choose Him each day, but He will not force me to do so.

Many feel like Christianity is about following rules, and to a certain extent, it is – God has some clearly-defined principles and guidelines that He wants us to follow. However, more than that, the Christian life is about freedom – the freedom to love Jesus (or not), and to follow after Him (or not); to trust Him totally (or not), and to believe the promises of the Bible (or not). There are lots of choices in the Christian faith,  and more freedom than may at first be apparent to the casual observer.

Thank You, Lord, for the privilege to choose You each day (or not).

Here is my prayer for today: Dear Jesus, thank You for giving me such remarkable freedom – to choose to follow You, or not. However, may I always remember that such a decision requires me to engage both my mind and my emotions – I can’t choose one or the other. Also, such a daily decision presents challenges for me – it’s so easy for me to rely on my own intellect and desires, rather than trusting You (which can seem quite hard and counter-intuitive, in comparison). When I make the wrong choice and choose my own way, thank You for forgiving me, and inviting me to choose You afresh, as if I had never drifted away from You in the first place. Amazing grace, indeed! In Your name I pray, Amen.

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