Tag Archive for Free to Choose

The Power to Choose

God said, “Let Us make man in Our Image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth.” (Genesis 1:26, NASB)

God is sovereign over all reality. All matter was created by Him and responds to His Word. He speaks, and all that is obeys. He says, “Let there be…”, and worlds spring into being.

But to us human beings, made in His image, He delegates the power to choose, within set boundaries. As Sovereign God, He gives us the privilege and responsibility of making decisions – real decisions, with real consequences.

Put yourself in our Heavenly Father’s position. As parents, we deeply desire a close, loving relationship with each of our children in all their individuality. But we cannot compel such a relationship, and we wouldn’t want to. We want our children to love and trust us freely, by their own choice. We want them to want to be with us. We do everything we can to nurture and encourage such a choice, but in the end we honor what the child chooses. It’s not the kind of decision we can ignore or override, no matter how much we want to.

Our Heavenly Father is the same. He does all He can to bring us to Himself. Even in our sinful weakness and blindness, He gives us the grace to choose Him. But He does not compel it, and in the end, He honors our choice. If we respond to His grace with even the feeblest desire to love and trust Him, He will move heaven and earth to lead us into full union with Himself.

But if we choose separation from Him, He will at last honor our decision, completely and eternally.

He is forever the only source of life, light, goodness, peace, and love. Imagine the results of final and complete separation from Him. Choose wisely!

Heaven and hell,
now and forever
are determined by our relationship with
God, the Source of all good.
We choose to be near Him or
to keep our distance.
Choose Him.
Talk to Him.
Trust Him.
Walk in His presence.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Free to Choose
Printed Music & Lyrics

Hiding in You or from You?

A prayer response to Revelation 6:9-17,
the opening of the fifth and sixth seals

Almighty, holy God, am I
hiding in You or
hiding from You?

When I am pursued and pressured by evil,
when doing what is right seems
less desirable than compromise,
less pleasant than “just this once,”
do I hide
in You or
from You?
Do I immediately turn toward You and
cling to You more tightly,
or do I let myself be drawn away toward some other “good”?
When temptation comes, do I move
toward You or
away from You?

Or to ask it another way:

When the Day of the Lord comes to all the earth,
when Your reality is suddenly obvious to everyone
and I realize that my eternal destiny is now fixed,
will I be
hiding in You or
hiding from You?

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Free to Choose
Printed Music & Lyrics

A Clear Choice

from the devotional book, PICTURES OF GOD

Deuteronomy 11:26-28; 30:15-20

God always takes the initiative to bless us, but the final choice is always ours. We have to choose to receive His blessings.

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse.” (Deuteronomy 11:26, NASB)

But what sense does that make? Wouldn’t everyone choose God’s blessing rather than His cursing? No, for we make that choice by the attitudes and actions we choose:

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse:
the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God…
and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God.”
(Deuteronomy 11:26-28, NASB)

To dramatize the choice, God selected a valley with a mountain on each side — Mt. Gerizim on the south side and Mt. Ebal on the north side. He appointed six tribes of Israel to stand on Mt. Gerizim, representing God’s blessings, and six to stand on Mt. Ebal, representing God’s curses. As they stood there, the specific blessings of obeying God were read, followed by the specific curses of disobeying Him. The people were given a clear choice. (See Deuteronomy 27 & 28; also Joshua 8:30-35.)

Centuries later, Jesus presented the same clear choice. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:24-27), he told the story of two different men, each of which built a house. The wise man built on rock, the foolish man built on sand. The wise man weathered life’s storms, while the foolish man met with complete disaster. Both had heard God’s word and knew it. The difference was that the wise man chose to act on what he knew, while the foolish man did not.

God is eager to bless, eager to give, eager to be close to us. But we decide our relationship with Him by the choices we make. In our daily lives, we either choose Him or choose to ignore Him. We choose life or death, blessing or cursing. One day those choices will be forever.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: Free to Chose
Printed Music & Lyrics