Life is a free gift from God. More than that, it’s His desire for us.
In Deuteronomy 30:19 God has just outlined through Moses the lists of the Blessings for obeying His Law, and the Curses for breaking it. Then comes the clincher – “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live”
The statement is stunning – it’s our choice.
Heaven or hell is our choice.
Forgiveness or bitterness – our choice.
All power in Heaven and Earth is in His hands. He can wipe us from existence and start over. Satan’s biggest gamble paid off. He gambled God wouldn’t wipe out creation because of His Love for us. He gambled God would choose to give us a choice.
It’s free, but it costs everything. To truly choose Life means to turn away from everything this world offers. Revenge, unrighteous anger, lust. Doesn’t sound so difficult really, except for one thing – we make that system. We build that kingdom one brick at a time through our lives until we open ourselves to Christ and choose Life.
We can’t just forget the old way of thinking. Even Paul wasn’t immune to it. “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) It’s programmed into us by the curse. We battle our old nature daily in every choice we make. Every decision requires us to rebel against the old man. To choose Life requires us to declare war on Satan.
We must declare war on what put us where we are. Kick away the ladder we are standing on. Saw off the tree limb where we are sitting.
The difference is the outcome. By trusting God, the Truth is revealed. The ladder is shown to be an illusion, the tree falls and the branch remains steady.
The cost of Life is persecution. The reward is relationship with God on an intimate level. The world hates God and His People because the Light exposes the darkness in them. As John writes: “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:5) Another translation reads “has not overcome it”.
Persecution comes in many forms. It can be blatant oppression in some places – threatening of life and limb. In Western societies it is more subtle – loss of status, preference given to people who will compromise their beliefs and many other subtle attacks that undermine our faith or expression of it. The insidious nature of of the persecution means we are often blindsided by the attack until we have been totally disabled by it. We compromise in the name of convenience and a desire to not “rock the boat”, when what we should do is hold fast to our confession, capsizing the boat if necessary.
Choose Life. Live. Resist the persecution and the temptation to compromise
Choose Life that you and your family may live. Let the cost be what it may, the cost is worth the Price Jesus paid.