Choices…How can every area of your present life, your future, and your eternal destination be determined by such a small, little word? Do the small and seemingly insignificant choices that you make today, actually impact your future? After all, aren’t some of your choices simply preferences?
Some one has said that there are two ways to look at life. The first way is to choose a path, and accept the destiny of where your path will lead you. The second way is to choose the destiny (Heaven), and accept the path that God has planned for your life.
This past weekend, when we were sharing at the women’s prison, we met many women who had faced terrible pain and loss. When they encountered their trials, they were immediately at a crossroad and were faced with a choice. They needed to choose how they would respond to the pain they were experiencing. We only saw a glimpse of the devastation that happened in their lives because of their wrong choices. The unbearable pain led many of them to drugs, cutting themselves, and lesbian life styles. These precious women were filled with so much unrest, hatred and bitter feelings to God and to those who had hurt them. The current situation they are in, is a result of NOT choosing God’s way in response to pain.
In the Bible, we read how Job experienced rapid fire destruction and had everything taken away from him. He had a big choice to make, and it would forever affect his destiny. Job suffered severe affliction, and his earthly hopes all lay dashed at his feet. In one day, he lost almost everything he owned. All of his ten children were killed and yet he said, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (Job 1:21)
Job chose to see God’s hand behind the swords of the men who killed his servants and cattle. He saw God’s hand in the devastating winds and lightning that took the lives of his dear family. Job chose to see God’s hand even as he heard the dreadful silence of his shattered home. As Job mourned and sat among the ashes, he proclaimed, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.” (Job 13:15) Job made an incredible choice, and because of it, God rewarded him in an incredible way. (Read Job 42: 12-13)
I admire the character of Job and the choices he made. Our family knows just how difficult it is to respond in a godly way when we are facing a “Job experience”. There have been many times when we have made wrong choices, but we are so thankful for God’s grace and forgiveness.
How are you responding to the little irritations that you are facing today? Do you really feel that you can validate your wrong responses? You may even be facing a crisis or devastation, but can you truly justify your anger and bitterness when the same God that carried Job is also waiting to carry you?
Maybe you are finding yourself on a mountain top right now. Life is great! You are experiencing the rich rewards that God is sending your way, and you are basking in His faithfulness and provision. You also have a choice to make. Will you continue receiving blessings from God and keeping them only for yourself? Instead of passing the blessing on to others, are you becoming like the children of Israel who tried to hoard more “manna” for tomorrow? (Read Exodus 16:17-20) Are you becoming self sufficient and forgetting that all that you have is a gift from God? Are you allowing Him to bless others through you?
The choice is yours! Remember that every choice you make, whether big or small, will affect your eternal future.
JeffPosted at 10:07h, 20 August
Or it might just be that God doesn’t want any relationship with those people in prison. They might not be elect, and God might hate them.
That’s the way I perceive my life. I have no choice but to obey because something worse might happen to me. But in the end, I know I really had no choice and no help from God. A lot of people are created to be destroyed.
Duane & CindyPosted at 15:02h, 30 August
Hi Jeff! Thank you for your comment. I don’t feel very qualified to discuss predestination, but I will explain my personal opinion and belief regarding this. (I welcome any other feedback/comments from others!) I whole-heartedly believe that God gives every single person He’s created a chance to obey Him and to go to heaven when they die. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever (that means EVERYONE!) who believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Joshua 24:15 “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve…” Deuteronomy 30:19 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life…” (Why would everyone have the opportunity to choose life or death, if some were just created to be destroyed?)
I believe because God is loving, all knowing, and all powerful, He knows the choices people will make and what their eternal destination will be. He can still use them to serve His purposes. However, He still gave them a free will in the first place, and their choices determine their end. The Bible may be indicating that God placed certain individuals at a particular time in history to fulfill His bigger purposes, because He knew that they would choose this evil. For instance, it isn’t God’s fault that the ISIS is committing all these horrendous evils. They have a choice! Satan is the author of evil. NOT GOD! We are not supposed to blame God for temptation:
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.” (James 1:13)
“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men…” (Titus 2:11)
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
I pray that God will continue making Himself known to you. I don’t believe you would even be interested in what you are reading if there would be no choice for you to make. I believe the tugs and questions you may have are all an indication that God is drawing you and desires for you to come into a close relationship to Him.
Please feel free to stay further in touch with us. (email@example.com)
martha yoderPosted at 17:27h, 13 June
Duane and Cindy, this is so well explained and scripture to back it up!