We face choices every moment of every day. A constant series of choices lay before us and while some seem benign to us, not a one is without consequences.
The key to successful living is allowing ourselves to make the right choices and these may vary from individual to individual. The key to lasting life is not varied at all, it is a singular decision made at one moment with lasting impact for eternity.
I’m a member of the “God brought me to this place for a reason” crowd.
So many times in our day to day walk through life we find ourselves at junctures in the path. And often times the choices we are faced with really do not seem to have any real consequence at all. They are for all intent and purpose seemingly inconsequential and arbitrary.
I am of the opinion that they are in fact neither inconsequential nor arbitrary.
There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death.
Proverbs 14:12 (CSB)
Now I am not trying to be heavy-handed here bringing out the heavy artillery in the Word right out of the gate. However, one of those choices we are talking about I made some time ago and that was that the Word of God is insightful and useful, despite how trivial the matter. So, while this passage is true of the big things in life, it’s power and meaning also filter down to the things that we might consider inconsequential as well.
God isn’t overwhelmed by the complexity or diversity of his Creation. Due to his magnificent power and majesty, the volume of information that comes from not just one life but every life for all time at the same time is nothing more than child’s play to his intellect. Even more amazing is that this massive amount of information about us and our choices is something that he is earnestly invested in.
Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Aren’t you worth more than they? Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying? And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these.
If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you — you of little faith?
Matthew 6:26-30 (CSB)
You can also understand that what these things are doing serves a specific purpose God intends as well, so you can easily say, “If God is interested in the nature of grass, how would he not be interested in me in the finest detail?”
The answer to that is a resounding, ‘Yes!!, he is interested in our finest details, and the choices related to them!’
Aren’t five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:6-7 (CSB)
In some ways, our choices don’t have a significant effect on God’s plans. I know how this seems counter to everything we’ve been sharing to this point in the conversation, but understand this, God is God! He is sovereign in his ability to direct and control his creation, our self-determination doesn’t stand up to his strategic plans.
Many plans are in a person’s heart, but the Lord’s decree will prevail.
Proverbs 19:21 (CSB)
In other words, our decisions don’t affect God’s plans, but our decisions do affect our outcomes, and God has a specific interest in both the choice and the outcome for us.
This hardly allows us the choice of making decisions that are either inconsequential or arbitrary to God’s way of thinking.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 (CSB)
Hey you! God cares! He cares and has a purpose for us. The choices we make are being used to bring about good results, within his purpose. If we are really following Christ Jesus then we should be focused on those choices with the understanding that they have a role in God’s plan.
Not Sorry, Not Arbitrary
God places more significance on our choices that perhaps we first considered. In the least, we can see that he is involved in the minutia of life in general, and if that is the case then he most definitely is engaged in the minutia of our lives.
And if God is, then we should be as well.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (CSB)
That’s right. We have had it tucked away as one of those wonderful verses that we enjoy quoting but again we tend to just fly over it and go on about our business.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding.” Can we really read this and then consider that we are trusting in the Lord with all our hearts, when we rely strictly on the knowledge and information that we have managed to gather to ourselves? I don’t believe we can.
“in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.” Ever have a bad day? A time when it seemed that everything you did was counterproductive when you couldn’t get into the rhythm of the day and everyone else seemed to be functioning on a higher level than you were even capable of organizing in your mind?
I’m not going to suggest that leaving the decisions all to God is going to prevent you from having one of those days. But I am willing to go as far as to say that if we are surrendered sufficiently to God, those things that belong to God, and trust in him with all our heart, not relying on our own understanding, those days will be far fewer in number and the effects of being out of phase with things around as will have a much shorter duration.
I will suggest that we need to open our hearts to the direction of the Holy Spirit in all things, not just the ones that we think are significant to God. Start at the beginning of the day. Then recall Proverbs 3:5-6, while committing to do exactly that, so that we are empowered with the direction God’s promise to give us if we will but ‘In all our ways acknowledge him’. The right direction for those little choices are something God is interested in and we profit by giving him the say in the matter.
The Singular Decision
In the opening, I mentioned while there is a myriad of choices we make every day, there is one singular decision that comes with an effect that lasts throughout eternity.
This, of course, is the one that we make if we will place our faith in the saving grace of Jesus Christ, who paid our debt for sin on the cross of Calvary.
While the vast majority of those who read this devotional blog are followers of Jesus, there may be a few that are not. They may be just mildly curious about what these Jesus freaks talk about, and are looking for a little enlightenment in the matter.
It doesn’t matter what the motivation is, we want to consider that this decision is profound, transformative, and enduring.
Too many preachers and evangelist focus a bit too much on the gift of grace given to all who are willing to accept it by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as being ‘free’.
His Grace is given freely. There is absolutely nothing we can do to earn it. We don’t have to raise a set sum or repay the obligation later, it is free. It is a gift.
But just as a child is adopted into a family and there is no cost to the baby, nor is there an expectation that this child repays the adoptive parents for the grace they have shown to the child by making them their very own. So it is, with salvation and the grace imparted to a new believer.
The singular decision to accept this gift of Grace in faith to what Jesus said he will do for you, has had the complete costs covered by Christ and Christ alone. He purchased salvation for you, he sacrificed his life so that he could give you life eternal and everlasting. He paid your debt and made it his own so that you might have the opportunity to have a relationship with him.
But as with the adopted child scenario, this gift Jesus extends to us involves our adoption into God’s family. This changes our family status from being spiritually orphaned to being fully adopted children. We become God’s children.
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 (CSB)
And as with being a child in a human family, we have responsibilities and chores that must be attended to, likewise, God has a set of chores for us which is disclosed to us in his Word and illustrated to us by his Holy Spirit living in us.
As I said before, a singular decision which has everlasting implications.
If you’ve made this decision, be certain that you’re doing your chores. Be cognizant of the family you now belong to and honor ‘Daddy God’ even more than you would our earthly parents.
Remember Proverbs 3:5-6 and acknowledge God as your father. Acknowledge his Word and instruction to you with all the zeal you can apply to the tasks before you.
And, if you have not made this decision yet, this is a limited time offer. This offer of adoption by virtue of Grace by faith in Jesus. When life’s days are done for you if you neglected so great a salvation, then the result is that you will spend eternity in everlasting torment separated from God and the love he has for you.
For this reason, we must pay attention all the more to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away.
For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?
Hebrews 2:1-3 (CSB)
The simple truth is that we will not be able to escape as the opportunity will have passed.
And just as it is appointed for people to die once — and after this, judgment — so also Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28 (CSB)
There is a judgment. Jesus has paid all of our debt for the sin in our lives. If we are not in possession of that gift of Grace, then the punishment we are deserving we will receive.
Don’t allow that to happen! Because in doing so, it is a tragic waste of Grace. You do not have to pay your debt, it’s been covered. To have it wiped off the books you simply have to surrender to Jesus and place your faith in him for the forgiveness of that debt.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy — dwell on these things.
Philippians 4:8 (CSB)
We all have decisions to make and one life-changing one that Jesus calls us to.
“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”