Written by Kat W.
Life is a series of choices. We make them every day, hour to hour, minute to minute. All choices have consequences for good, or bad. The choices we make directly affect us and those around us. While everything in life is not black and white choices, there are still choices that we can make that give us the right direction and purpose. Some choices have major consequences, but it is the small, daily choices we make that determine who we will be, no matter the circumstances. By the power of God living in us, if we don’t make these good choices, the opposite happens.
The first story after creation in Genesis is about making a choice. Eve, without Adam’s leadership, chose to take fruit from a tree that gave her the ability to decide what was right or wrong. Instead of allowing God that ultimate, wise place of authority, she chose to redefine truth on her own terms. Since then, we have all been faced with the same choice. Will we fall victim to the enemy’s lies that we can do life better on our own? Or will we choose to believe that God has a better way?
God’s Word, the Truth, teaches us there is a better way. The right way. His way. It is the path of life. There are two forces at work in this world, each with a plan to capture our hearts, our devotion. Good and evil, God and Satan.
We were created with desires for acceptance, purpose, and love. Even from childhood, we are looking for anything that will satisfy our wants and needs. The important thing to take notice of is what we are choosing in those times of needs and desires. God created us for great things, for His glory!
If we allow, these desires will point us to Him. For it is in Him alone that all our wants and needs can be fulfilled. God is not thrown off by our needs. He is a loving Father who lavishly gives from His abundance. He is God of life, love, and satisfaction.
He created us for relationship. To know Him, love Him and live our lives for Him. Not just to know about Him, but to really know Him as a close friend. He invites us into a relationship with Him, to be able to live the life He created us to live. A life filled with purpose, direction and satisfaction. God will never force Himself on you. He will always give you choices. He is a God that pursues you and desires to be found and chosen by you. Choose God or something else will choose your desires.
Our fears can be deep set and even crippling. Many last a lifetime, even if they seem unfounded and silly to those around us. Fears can be a hindrance, but can also be helpful. We only touch a hot stove a few times before we develop a healthy fear of being burned.
In the Bible there are two words for fear. In Greek one is “phobos”, a fear that either keeps us bound up with terror or causes us to flee in face of the unknown. The Bible has hundreds of scriptures that tell us not to have this kind of fear. The other word for fear is “yirah”, which is awe and respect, like how we should be fearing God. This type of fear keeps us safe from consequences. It’s a healthy fear.
Nearly every book in the Bible has scriptures encouraging us to yirah, to “fear God”. Fearing God is a place of safety for us. This healthy fear sets a boundary of protection around us, keeping us from evil. It is a place of knowing who He is, and of realizing whom we are not. It means to hate what He hates. Fear of God is a place of humility.
Satan is so deceiving. We often have a deeper fear of him than we do of God. His lies and deceptions keep us in bondage to fear of him, fear of the future, fear of death, fear of what people think, fear of things. All of these unhealthy fears drive us away from God. But, the fear of the Lord drives us to Him.
If we have chosen to live our lives for Christ, we have right standing before our Father that leads to eternal life. He is our righteousness. At the end of the day we are presented with a choice. Choosing sin that makes us a prisoner and leads to death (the flesh), or being set free from sin and finding life (the Spirit).
It takes a conscious choice of our mind to choose the Spirit of God and His ways over the natural direction our desires will lead us. The great news is that if we choose the Spirit, we don’t have to worry about being overcome by sin. Our choices determine whether that sin lives, or it dies, because whatever we choose to feed grows.
Religion sets standards that go beyond even what God asks of us. We do certain things with the hopeful expectation that those rituals will make us holy. Read my Bible today? Check. Prayed? Check. Did something good for someone and served at church this week? Check. The list of things we need to accomplish to become holy is exhausting. We are always going, always doing, and still never feeling like we have done enough. Eventually, we place on others the same expectation we have for ourselves.
It took me many years to realize that religion and relationship were opposites. As I learned more about grace and how much Jesus loves me, I realized He did not need me to perform for Him. He just wanted me to love Him, because He first loved me! So simple, so true, and so very freeing!
I didn’t have to do anything to gain His love and grace. I simply had to be His. And in the being, I don’t have to worry about the doing. Praying, reading my Bible, and serving happens because my heart wants to know Him. My desire is for Him, not the things I can do for him. Choose relationship over religion, so that you will find the freedom of living in His grace.
A few choices have been laid out in this devotional, and there are many more. The question we now must ask is, how can I consistently make the right choices?
We are in a battle for our hearts, our minds, and our lives. We have a very real enemy out to steal, kill and destroy our good, right choices. He hopes we will choose our own selfish desires. This battle for our hearts and minds is not something we can fight alone!
He has given us His armor of protection to daily fight the war, if we choose to put it on. We exchange our garments of fear, defeat and wrong thinking for a mighty warrior armor that covers us head to toe. Ephesians 6 tells us to put it on and to stand strong against our enemy.
He gives us a belt of Truth to hold our beliefs to His standards. He gives a breastplate of His righteousness to protect our heart, which will also protect our words. Our feet are covered with His Gospel of peace, because He is Peace. He hands us a strong shield of faith to protect us from the fiery arrows meant to defeat us. He gives us a helmet of salvation to surround our mind from lies. He gives us the sword of the Spirit which is His constant presence and His powerful Word which divides right from wrong, light from darkness, and truth from lies. And finally, He invites us into a relationship of constant prayer.
His strength is abundant, never ending, and overflowing. His presence and power enables us to choose His way, a way of freedom and liberty lived within the boundaries of His goodness.
Will you choose to turn away from the enemy, going back to your human nature, or stand firm and strong against him, choosing truth and righteousness? Suit up, brave one! God has you and He is enough! Choose the armor of God, so you can stand strong against the enemy. Choose to have the promises and gifts from God, such as peace, joy, and love!