Every day, God sets before us a choice between life and death. It’s a spiritual choice, really, though it certainly leads to a physical outcome. Moses practically begs the Israelites in Deuteronomy 30 to choose life. Why would he even have to say that? Who in the world would consciously choose death?
Of course, we wouldn’t. If we’re seeing through God’s eyes, we’d spot those death choices and reject them outright. It’s the deceiver that makes them seem enticing: looking for what’s right now instead of what’s right; listening to our 5 senses and not our spirit; thinking me-first instead of Kingdom-first. Romans 8 says to be carnally minded– or body ruled– is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
God didn’t create us to be robots with built-in obedience. He’s a loving God, and true love requires choice. Choice of our priorities. Choice in where our affections lie. Life and all of its benefits come to us as we choose Jesus first and His plan for us. Here are some Bible examples to consider:
Moses Chose to Suffer Instead of Sin
He didn’t have to serve as the deliverer of his people, the Israelites; though it was clearly God’s plan. Hebrews 11 tells us, “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Moses’s uncomfortable choice meant God could use him to lead three million Jews out of slavery and to the border of a new land God had set aside for them. He chose to fulfill his destiny.
Mary of Bethany Chose Sitting Instead of Serving
Look at Jesus’ friends, sisters Mary and Martha, who hosted Jesus for dinner. Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and heard his word, but Martha didn’t find the time since she was so busy serving. Her anger bubbled over on Jesus: “Do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!” Surely Martha was busy doing something good. But Jesus reminded her of a higher priority: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Mary’s choice changed her life and challenges us today to trade the burden of working for God for the joy of fellowship with Him.
Jesus Chose Our Redemption Instead of His Rescue
He made this choice in the garden the night he was betrayed. For the first time in all of eternity, He knew he would be separated from the presence of His Father. The pressure caused him to sweat great drops of blood, yet he prayed, “Not my will, but thine be done.” How ironic that the Son of God’s choice to die would make a way for us to truly live. How could that be?
In our sin, we were slaves. We had no choice but selfishness, idolatry, and all the works of death. But Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection conquered our captors of death, hell, and the grave, as only the Son of God could. Yet since He was also the Son of Man, he brought this victory over sin down to us and set us free forever. Will we use our freedom to serve him and carry on the abundant life he desires for us for all eternity? Let’s set our minds on things above. Let’s tell our senses and emotions we will no longer obey their passions and desires. This world is not enough for us. Instead, we will walk in the full gospel life we were created to experience. Every day, we will choose LIFE.