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Choices

The Problem is Choices

Why is it that two individuals can listen to the same teachings and yet live completely different lives? Today, the Christian church is full of members who have the appearance of Christians but their choices tell a different story. God directly addresses His people about these acts of hypocrisy in the Bible.

And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote (habitual repetition).” Isaiah 29:13 NLT  

Furthermore, the Apostle Paul warns Timothy about the behavioural patterns that will become common in the last days. 

“They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!” 2 Timothy 3:5 NLT

What does this look like IRL?

Our affections and desires could be invested elsewhere whilst appearing to be wholeheartedly devoted to God. This results in our worship not coming from a place of true surrender to God. Worship becomes a mere regurgitation of the traditions we have learned through observation.

Those of us who grew up in the church are in danger of falling into this practice. From a young age we have learned and mimicked the Christian ‘walk and talk’. We know the cues – when the pastor says something deep and meaningful we know when to shout ‘amen’ or nod our heads vigorously in agreement. We know to close our eyes and lift our hands as a sign of a deep connection with God during worship.

However,  if we do not settle it in our hearts that we belong to God and we are His alone, these works are all in vain.

It’s all about choices!

God has given us all the gift of free will. We are capable of making decisions for ourselves. More importantly we are also accountable for the decisions we make and responsible for the consequences that follow. We are all capable of making bad choices and good choices. However, God would rather have us make godly choices. We make Godly choices from a heart that is set apart for God and surrendered entirely to Him.

God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5). When we worship the idols in our lives, we rob God of the things that rightly belong to Him.

What difficulties do we face in making Godly choices?

We have too many options available to us. In this day and age, we are spoilt for choice. We can have an earnest and genuine desire to serve God but remain distracted by the choices the world has to offer.

Greedwe want the best of both worlds. We ask ourselves “Why can’t I serve God and do everything I want?” (despite those things compromising our relationship with God).

Fear – we have become reluctant to commit to God for fear of losing ourselves. Fear of later becoming dissatisfied with this decision is also common. “Will I still be cool when I become a Christian?”

There is an absence of the fear of God in our generation. We have forgotten how deeply God hates sin.

When faced with difficult situations a double-minded believer will struggle to make the right choices. This is because they are torn in two directions. A single-minded believer has the freedom to make the right choices because they have one focus, God.

How can we make godly choices? 

Examine yourself. Learn how to be honest and transparent about your relationship with God to your leaders. It is better you confess that you don’t like church or don’t like people in church rather than strive to maintain a false appearance.

“Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine.” 2 Corinthians 13:5 NLT

Choose God. We said yes to God at the point of salvation but we need to continuously pursue Him.

“Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him.” 1 Chronicles 16:11 NLT

Spend time with The Holy Spirit. We can make Godly decisions can only through the help of the Holy Spirit.

“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 ESV

Read and meditate on the Word of God.

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 NLT

Commit yourself to prayer.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5 NIV

Choose the right company. Choose friends who always direct you back to God.

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16 NIV

In conclusion…

God’s Word is the final word. He has made it clear that we have to put Him first above everything else. There is no such thing as partial commitment to God. Fence-sitting is not being partly godly but being fully worldly. The truth is that we all have our struggles. However, God is merciful.

“For He knows how weak we are; he remembers that we are only dust.” Psalm 103:14 NLT

There is no excuse that is good enough. And that’s not to bring condemnation but it is to make us realise that God has equipped us with all the tools we need to live honestly and purely.

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.” 2 Peter 1:3 NLT

Let us therefore choose God and trust that He will help us make choices that are pleasing to Him.

 

-NS

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