the choice.

Choices-fork-in-the-road

“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30.19 NLT

Life is full of choices. Every single one of us is bombarded by any number of choices each day. Some would say that our lives are the sum of all our choices. One thing leads to another and that thing could lead to something else.

I have the choice to crawl out of bed each morning (or, in my case at times, enthusiastically greet my day by literally leaping from under the covers) or I can stay buried beneath the blankets, wishing the day would just pass me by (I have those days too). And that’s just the start. I have a vast array of choices when it comes to what I’ll have for breakfast each morning. Do I reach for the Captain Crunch, my ultimate comfort cereal, or do I scramble up some egg whites with mushrooms and spinach? Will I have coffee or tea today? Will I bike or walk to work? These, among others are just a snapshot of the plethora of choices I make each and every day.

But, among those, lies the most important choice I can make before I even open my eyes in the morning: Will I follow Jesus today? Will I choose to walk in life or will I choose to walk in death? The kind of people we are is determined by that ultimate choice.

I have searched to find
the meaning of this life
Something that would fill my empty soul
Some believe the lie
choose darkness over light
But I will stand and let the whole world know

God gave us the ability to choose. It’s called free will. He didn’t create us to be puppets, moving at His beck and call. He wanted us to choose Him, just as He’s chosen us. He longs for us to choose life.

Luke 9 reads, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (vs. 23).

Did you catch that one word?

Daily.

I choose Jesus, the One who first chose me.

I’d like to share a quote written by Michael Plemmons, a CBN Staff Writer:

“Those who choose to reject the life that Jesus died to freely give us, choose to walk in darkness rather than light. Their hearts and deeds are consumed by an inner drive of selfishness. Sin injects the human heart with the desire or lust that is the predominate characteristic of evil. We see a pattern in all who choose spiritual death over life. Life is to the spiritually dead a treadmill driven by the desire to advance our own agenda…There are others who choose a different course. There are those who long to be free from the damming influences of hell and make the choice of life over death. Jesus offers to every human soul the choice of life or death. We can [follow] Him as Lord and Savior [of our lives] or follow our own path. Those who choose to lay down their lives and follow Jesus are transformed from the inside out. It is a fact that I have observed over and over again the closer we walk with Jesus, the more “other” minded we become….True followers of Jesus Christ are moved by a very different agenda than the ungodly. They are not immune to the suffering and pain that they see all around them, but they are driven by a higher ideal than just the selfish ambitions of power or pleasure. Those who make the choice for life, by laying down their life in service to Jesus Christ, are transformed by the divine connect to Him [(the Holy Spirit)]…The more time we spend in [His] presence, the more selfless we become…”

I would also like to add that following Jesus isn’t a one time commitment statement that you make and go on your merry way. No; not at all. It’s a choice that you make each and every single day. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s a choice I make moment by moment. Will I follow Jesus and let His glory shine through me during the next call I take? Okay, I’ll admit that the question sounds cheesy, but it’s true. It’s true when it comes to every aspect of my life.

Can I be honest with you for one moment? I was baptized this past Sunday (full immersion and it was a great experience that I’ll never live to regret) and the clarity of that truth dawned on me later that afternoon.

I stand unashamed
trusting in one Name
Cause I have seen the cross and I believe
This choice comes at a cost
All other things are lost
No other love could mean so much to me

I realized that moving forward from that defining moment (which is quite possible as that moment was blended in with a few others) that I wanted nothing more than to have Jesus involved in every single aspect of my life. That means that I need to make the choice to follow Him; to allow Him to be involved in every nook and crevice in my life…especially those cob-web–covered, dark corners in my life that I haven’t touched in years and repairing the scarred, broken pieces of my heart, allowing Him to bring them to the glory they were intended to be at, by His will. What will that look like? Glorious ruins coming to life, I’m sure. Will it be easy? No. Nothing in this world is and when it comes to Jesus, He doesn’t promise easy, in the simple sense anyway. He simply states that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11.30). The beauty in that is the fact that He is with me each step of the way, whether I am fully aware of that or not. That’s what makes it bearable.

I’m left with asking myself questions during each of those moments: Will I chase after Him with all that I am, living with abandon, or will I chase after that run-away relationship or my current object of affection? Will I stand under the shadow of His wings and allow Him to comfort me in my moments of loneliness or will I turn to movies and TV to find mild fulfillment, allowing myself to be entertained for a brief period of time? Will I allow Him to woo me; to pursue me to His heart’s content (which is on-going, I’ve discovered)?

I choose Jesus, the One who first chose me, for now and eternity.

I choose Jesus.

“Serving God does make us very rich, if we are satisfied with what we have.” 1 Timothy 6.6

He chose to love me when I felt unlovable (He still does!)
He chose to reach me when I felt unreachable
He carried me out of my fear and doubt
How I want the world to know

During my quiet time last night, I stumbled on these words penned by Jerusha Clark:

“What happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow do not matter as much as what you choose now, in this very moment, where God meets you and promises to satisfy your most intimate desires. Never stop pursuing the life you crave; the life Jesus died to give you.” Every Thought Captive

I want that. Oh boy, do I want that. Not just now, but for each moment after, and for as long as I live.

I know I will fall. I know I will fail. I also know that He will catch me when I do (and this, by the way, is not a “get out of jail free” card…grace doesn’t work that way). But, in being blessed with free will, I will choose Jesus and I will be intentional about it. That is my prayer from here on out: that He’ll teach me what being intentional in this means and what it will look like in my life. Not just today, but every day that follows, until He returns or calls me home.

My Jesus…I choose Jesus, the One who first chose me, for now and eternity.

 

The italicized lyrics are from Moriah Peter’s I Choose Jesus and can be heard/viewed here.

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