(Genesis 2:16,17, Joshua 24:2-24, Luke 4:1, Philippians 1:9-11)
We must choose. We must make a choice. It is our responsibility to do it. He will not make that choice for us. He will not do it on our behalf. In fact, He will show us the available options, for us to make our choice. He instructs, teaches and does all as guardian, teacher, friend, parent, leader and Lord, to prepare us. However, He leaves us to exercise our power of volition when it comes to making choice between him and the devil. To choose to obey Him or the devil. To be faithful to Him or to be unfaithful. The Lord will do all that is required from Him to get us prepared for making this right choice. Then He will lead us to that point and show us the options and the possible outcome of each. He then watches us as we make the choice to be for Him or for the devil.
The choice to be good instead of being evil. The choice to be faithful instead of being unfaithful. The choice to be obedient instead of being disobedient. The choice to be holy instead of being unholy. The choice to submit and be for God instead of submitting to the devil.
Jesus does not make choice for us. He does not decide for us. He prepare us to be able to choose right. But we will need to decide to choose right. Though, it seems He is far away at such time, no, He is closer than we know. He only withdraws to be the passive One, letting us be the active one at that time.
When our Lord Jesus came for His earthly mission, He was faced with same options; to be for the Father or the devil. For 30 years He was prepared. When He was to begin His works on the earth, the Holy Spirit took Him and led Him to that critical point where it was left for Him to make a choice all by Himself. To choose to be the faithful Son or fall into the path of disobedience.
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness
The Lord does not necessarily hide evil options from us. He let us see them as we also see the good options.
Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die
Just as the tree of life, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil were readily accessible in the garden of Eden (being a thing of choice with known repercussion), so also are the choices before us in this time we live in. God gave Adam and Eve the liberty to make their choice, either to eat the forbidden fruit or not. It was quite unfortunate that they chose the wrong option (the devil’s option).
But why will the loving Lord not choose for us?
The Lord does not cajole, hypnotize or mesmerize anyone to obey (against his or her wish). He wants and use whoever takes a definite and deliberate decision to be obedient and faithful. He does not steal us (He is not a thief but a Lord ), the devil is the thief. Our Lord only comes to take charge when we choose to submit to Him. He does not use a cajoled person but He uses someone who deliberately exercise his power of volition to choose good, by himself. He does not take delight in someone who will say later that “I did not really make the choice to submit to the Lord”. He uses those who among other readily available alternative options choose Him and His Word. The time to choose God’s will or the devil’s will and the time of temptation are two critical times when the Lord plays the passive role in our life while He let us play the active role. It is not like He leaves us alone. Not like He abandons or neglects us. It is just for us to be proved and confirmed.
This is the reason why He could go to the extent of pleading with Israel to walk the right way but would not cajole, mesmerize or hypnotize them to make such choice until they decide and make the choice themselves. We can go through the Bible especially the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel among others to see many of these encounters. These are showing how concerned He was about their choice, yet He would not force any choice on them.
Moreover, the Lord will not necessarily take away evil options from around us (or away from our reach) but we are to decide not to choose it. It is only in the kingdom of God that there will be no evil but here (in this world) we make our choice.
At this point, let us consider our ways before the Lord and in his word, to know where we have made wrong and ungodly choices. Let us repent and yield to Him. Anytime the Holy Spirit convicts us of such, please let us immediately repent, ask for forgiveness and retrace the right path again and start growing fruits worthy of repentance. Do not let us start looking for someone or Bible passages that can justify our wrong choice, it is deadly.
May the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace be with you. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:22)
1) Father, reveal to me where I chose the wrong ways, forgive me and restore me, in Jesus name.
2) Father, please give us the grace to seek Your face for direction and strength at the time of choice making, in Jesus name.
3) Holy Spirit, by Your abundant grace and strength, I choose not to make choices that will destroy me or my life, in Jesus name (Zechariah 4:6).
4) Oh Lord, do not lead us into temptation but guide us on the good path to follow.
5) Lord, by Your grace, I choose not to forsake you and will not go against Your Word, in Jesus name