In the last blog, I shared two facts about choice:
1. We are all responsible for the continuation of a deception that choice is held by God and is not our responsibility.
2. Bottom line is that we have to pick between the words of Jesus or the voice of the flesh. When we CHOOSE the flesh, it is an inescapable fact that we have chosen bondage and have chosen on the side that resists the spirit.
You will have to read the last blog to understand fully what I mean. In this blog, I want to go a little deeper into the choice. I want to talk about the second choice we make as believers and to use choice as a lifestyle.
Our first choice as a believer is to believe in Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins proceeded by our own failure and sin. The second choice will come again by our failure and sin.
If you turn to Exodus in the Old Testament, you will discover how the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years because they could not come to grips with trusting God as the Lord of their life. I have to admit that I did the same. After my conversion years ago, I wandered in a desert of my own before I realized that if I would just give it all, I mean all to Jesus that He could lead on a path of meaning and truth and joy. I wanted to act like Jesus during those years and thought that I had the strength to do so.
When things went well, I was confident and full of pride and glory.
When things fell apart, I tended to blame others, and myself leading to depression, frustration, and guilt. The time between my two choices was a desperate, hard time, for no man is created to imitate Jesus, but rather to be a vessel for the living Jesus. Everyone gives us advice on the second choice with scripture memory, quiet times, prolonged studies, witnessing, or stronger resolve, to help us become more like Jesus. The tension of trusting self (a self that prefers it own reign to the reign of Jesus) for the provision to act like Jesus is actually absurd and only results in heartache and sadness.
The flesh does not want the rules of Jesus and thus trying to imitate Jesus just creates guilt. It is not about imitating Jesus but about participating in His life, being attached to the Vine, and having Jesus flow through us. When I decided to trust Jesus in me and decided to live and breathe what He wanted in my life; when I decided to make every decision in prayer and to be in relationship with Him everyday, my life became more relaxed, meaningful and fulfilling. The Holy Spirit in each of us brings about revelation and we need to embrace that fact!
So how do we make the choice a lifestyle?
When you make the second choice, you open the door to making hundreds of choices, each of which has to do with the progressive conversion of seeing Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life in every situation.
The revelation that Jesus is living in a person comes more from what the person REFUSES TO DO than what he does do! You can choose to refuse bitterness, anger, justification, debate, hatred, self-righteousness, and competition, and instead, follow the will of God. The choice is not to ask Jesus for help to act like Him, but to ask Jesus to act through you. The choosing Christian says,
“Jesus, be my words, my love, my acceptance, and my life.”
Here is the point. The Christian that understands this concept is choosing Jesus as Lord of their life in every action and decision. They can say no to the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the boastful pride of life; they can say no to appetites because he is dead to sin and, in Christ Jesus, no longer a slave to sin. They can choose not to follow anything but God’s will to the point of death! Can you live each moment in the will of the Father through Jesus?
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