This Thing Called Choice

Recently I came across a posting for a job that I considered applying for. So many people encouraged me to apply but I wanted to hear from God and get the final green light. For days I kept praying, looking for a sign and after many days of waiting it hit me. God was not going to give me a sign! Instead, He would bless my choice like He promises in His word:

For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. Psalm 1:6 NIV

God doesn’t make the choices for us. He orders our steps; He points us in the right direction through His word (Psalm 119:105) and through the counsel of trusted men and women (Prov 15:22); He may go as far as to give us the desire of our hearts to pursue certain choices (Psalm 21:2). But God will never make that final choice for us.

Two things intrigue me about Psalm 1:6 quoted above. The first is that my choices are not automatically the right ones because I profess to love and serve God. This scripture and others in the bible emphasize that this privilege is reserved for the godly, for the righteous. I need to be in right standing with God. When I am godly, I attract the presence of the Holy God into my affairs and He comes in, rejoicing over me with singing! How can my choices be horrible when God Himself delights in all the details of my life and is excited to share my successes and joys with me?

If you do what the LORD wants, he will make certain each step you take is sure/The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23 CEV/NLT

The second thing from Psalm 1:6 was the emphasis on the word way. There is a binary contrasted here: the way of the righteous and the way of the sinner. Let’s read the entire passage that culminates to this ending.

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction. Psalm 1:1-6 NIV

By our choices, the way in which we walk, we are either blessed or condemned. I recently heard an argument by a so-called preacher for a God that loves so much He cannot send people to hell!  Well… to that I say God does not send people to hell. People send themselves there by the choices they make. What God did for man in that regard was that He himself paid the ultimate price of death for atonement of sin for everyone. He continues to love everyone regardless of race, creed,  sexual orientation, and any other socially constructed categorization. He earnestly wills and desires that everyone will be saved (1 Tim 2: 4). What God will not do is make the choice of life everlasting or eternal damnation for anyone.

“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. Deuteronomy 30:15 NLT

There is a way that leads to life and prosperity; and one that leads to disaster and death.  And the choice is yours to make. Scripture describes the way of life as narrow – a path less trodden; a path that seems contrary to mainstream thinking; a path you might be alone on in the company of your family, your coworkers, your spouse, your friends (Matthew 7:13-14). Finding the narrow way is very easy- Jesus said I am the way to life! That’s the first choice. Now staying on/ in the way of the righteous is a series of choices that we make daily. A line in one of my favourite songs is that “every choice is an act of war”– a war to stay on the path of the righteous or to walk in the way of the wicked. The comforting news here is that God watches over the way/ path of the righteous!

So what do you choose today?

…follow the steps of the good, and stay on the paths of the righteous. Psalm 2:20 NLT

Yours Truly.