May 3, 2017
WOFCF Bible Explosion
The Power of Choice
"In order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:12). God has given us the power of choice, but once we have made the choice, it has power over us.
The Bible is filled with illustrations of decisions with which people were faced and the result of the choices they made. Joseph chose to forgive those who had cruelly mistreated him rather than harbor bitterness. Samson chose to follow lustful desires rather than God's plan for his life. Abraham chose to trust God and demonstrate that trust by being willing to offer his son as a sacrifice. Judas chose to betray Christ for financial gain. Of the two thieves crucified on either side of Jesus, one chose to mock Him while the other chose to trust Him.
The choices of Joseph, Abraham, and the thief who trusted Christ brought unbelievably wonderful results. God honored Joseph's faithfulness and forgiveness by raising him from the prison to the palace and reuniting him with his father and brothers. God honored Abraham's faith by providing a substitute sacrifice and blessing his ensuing generations with strength and multiplication. God honored the thief's choice by promising him a home in Heaven (just as He promises to anyone who will trust Him for salvation).
On the other hand, the choices of Samson, Judas, and the mocking thief brought consequences that they did not foresee when they made their decisions. Both Samson and Judas ended their lives by suicide. Samson lost the delivering power of God and ended his life a slave-his eyes gouged out and doing the job of an animal while being mocked by God's enemies. The unbearable guilt Judas felt after betraying Christ brought him to the end of a deception where he hanged himself. The mocking thief will forever be regretting his decision to reject Christ as he spends eternity in Hell.
God has given each of us the power of choice, but once we have made our choice, we have no power to choose the consequences. Consider Eve's choice in the Garden of Eden. Even after God gave Adam and Eve every good thing in the Garden of Eden, when Satan tempted Eve to take of the one tree God had forbidden, she yielded.
Satan suggested to Eve that she could be her own god, making her own decisions based on her own reasoning: "And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:4-5). This temptation to be one’s own god appeals to many Christians today. They want to be the one in control.
God does give us a free will-power to choose whom we will obey just as He gave to Adam and Eve. However, notice that once Adam and Eve made their choice, they had no control of the consequences. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).
When you are faced with temptation, remember the power of choice. You can choose to yield to temptation, but once you have made that choice, you cannot choose the consequences. On the other hand, as a Christian, you can choose to yield to the Holy Spirit (Romans 6:13). Once you have made that choice, you will find the consequences are the unrestricted blessings of God (Romans 6:22). Choose today, through the power of grace, to yield to the Holy Spirit.