Sunday, March 25, 2012

Freedom of Choice

Occasionally when I ask people if they think they are going to heaven, they respond with something like, “That’s for Him to decide.” What they don’t realize is that man has been given the freedom to choose his destiny. 

Adam and Eve could have chosen to follow God’s instructions not to eat the forbidden fruit but did so anyway. Cain could have chosen not to become bitter about his rejected offering but later murdered his brother Abel. We can choose not to sin instead of using that old Flip Wilson alibi, “The devil made me do it.” Hebrews 11:24-25 says that Moses “…refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.”

Some choices may seem insignificant such as what clothes to wear or where to eat dinner. Then again, our choices can greatly affect the lives of others. Just last night, a pastor I was riding with drove us to Papa John’s where he planned to buy us pizza. Five young people were hanging around outside and I immediately knew I was supposed to witness to them. One of them already knew the Lord. The other four thought they were good enough for heaven. Eventually, they prayed to get born again. My pastor friend then decided to eat at Pizza Hut instead. Our waitress and another customer there got saved. Glory to God!

Apart from salvation, probably the most important decision anyone can make is who to marry. Once I proposed to my then-girlfriend and she accepted. But soon afterward I didn’t have peace inside. Although we mutually agreed to call off our engagement, my premature proposal caused my girlfriend a lot of heartache and pain. It would have been better if I had waited until I was absolutely sure this woman was someone God wanted me to spend the rest of my life with.

One thing that irritates me is when I make plans with someone and that person keeps flip-flopping. God wants us to be decisive. Look at James 1…

6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.
7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;
8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

As a young believer, I had a hard time making certain decisions because I was afraid of missing God. One thing that helped set me free in this area was a comment I heard by Joyce Meyer, “Sometimes you have to step out to find out.” Since then I have stepped out when I perceived God wanted me to do something but then backed up if I perceived I was going the wrong direction. Colossians 3:15 tells us to “…let the peace of God rule in your hearts.”

A man’s choices will affect his life now and for eternity. Will you choose God’s best for your life?

“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”-   Deuteronomy 30:19

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