Choose life!

Choose life!

We need to make countless choices in life. Some of these will actually result in spiritual life or death!

Our choices have consequences

Our life is made up of times that we should make choices: what to wear, what to eat, what to say, what to think, what to believe, how to react ... Every day; so many decisions. And actually, every decision has an effect on something else in my life. Some more important than others. Am I aware that some of my decisions actually will result in spiritual life or death?

“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.

It may seem slightly over the top that something I think today will lead to death or life, but as we read in James 1:15, “[…] when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.”  So it doesn’t happen immediately, but it starts a process that leads to eventual death. Therefore, it is vital that I am so awake to catch those thoughts that would eventually destroy my whole being so utterly.

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Choices in daily life

But how does it work in real life? Say someone treats me in an unfair way, something that I didn’t deserve, maybe publicly humiliated me. It hurts deeply and I cannot understand it. How do I tackle that? Do I see that God has set life and death before me? And that it is up to me to choose which way I want to go? If I choose despite everything to love the lord my God, obey His voice and hold fast to Him, then I will truly experience God will bring me to life and vitality in my spirit – peace and life abundantly! (John 10:10.)

But in Deuteronomy 30:17–18, God also warns us of the results of making a different choice: “But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess.”

These “other gods” can be so many things, but in the situation described here it could be my own reputation, pride, and feelings that I place highest. Becoming offended and bitter by giving in to the feelings caused by my pride being hurt is sin and going against God’s will for my life. If I choose that rather than obeying God, I am serving another god, an idol. Simply put, if I allow the hurt and pain to take over my thoughts and heart; if I can’t and won’t just let go of all that, then it is the beginning of a slow painful death. Painful not only to myself, but for those around me who must witness it. When we talk about death, it is a death in our spirit to things of God, so they no longer are exciting or important for me. On the contrary, I become more alive to things of this world – those things drive me, excite me, consume my thoughts and energy. I can even still be nice person outside, but something in my spirit is dead, and those who belong to God will notice this.

Is it worth it? Is it worth allowing that hurt feeling – or, to put it bluntly, being offended and angry – to cause so much misery in my life? Is it worth clinging on to all the negative thoughts about the others: “How dare they? Why did they …?” Or can I give all that and my entire life into my Lord God’s hands, love Him and trust Him so completely that I cling to Him in these times of hurt, for He is my life and will give me life! When I don’t understand, can I bring it to Him and give all that hurt and heaviness to Him? Leave it at His feet and choose to go the other way that leads to life? Will He not pour out His blessing over me so richly that I will wonder why it was so hard to do in the first place?

Choose life!

He has promised that what He asks from us is not too hard for us or too far away from us, however difficult or impossible it may seem: “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.” Deuteronomy 30:11–14.

It is just a matter of doing it, in full surrender to Him! To choose it! I choose life! I choose a future and hope! I choose to bless those who curse me, do good to those who hate me, and I choose to pray for those who spitefully use me.

I choose to do this so that I may get life, and life in abundance, because I refuse to die, but live and declare the works of the Lord! (Psalm 118:17.)

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Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, unless otherwise specified. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.