Must I really choose?
Making a choice is something that comes naturally to all human beings; choosing which drink to have or which type of food to start with at a buffet; choosing which movie to watch online; as an infant, choosing which friend to play with on the playground. We make so many choices on a daily basis based on environmental factors, our emotions and the needs that present themselves before us, amongst others. According to a publication by Roberts Wesleyan College, adults make about 33,000 choices every day; making 226.7 decisions daily on food alone!
With such an amazing capacity to choose, it is interesting that a number of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ find it challenging to choose to do what God expects at all times. We have the word available to us, however, we do not choose to “meditate on it day and night” (Joshua 1:8). We have bible apps in multiple translations, reading plans and devotionals on a wide range of topics of interest, however, we do not see the word as “a lamp to our feet and a light to our path” on this journey called life (Psalm 119:105).
In Romans chapter 6, the Apostle Paul presents an interesting analogy of choice, relating it to the concept of slavery which was relevant to his time. He compares slavery to the continual surrender of a person’s will, which in our time we would compare with addiction. When we continually yield to a craving, we are considered addicts. When we continually and diligently follow the expectations set out in our job descriptions, we are considered workaholics – addicted to our jobs. Let us examine what Paul says in Romans 6.
Romans 6:16 [AMPC version]
16 Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?
Romans 6:19 [NIV]
19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.
In simple terms, we are enslaved to whatever we yield to, to sin or to righteousness, so we must choose.
As we have the capacity to make an average of 33,000 choices each day, it will be useful for some of those choices to have eternal value. We can make the choice to fellowship with God, to prioritize our time with God above time with anyone else (John 15:7, Matthew 6:33, Psalm 91:1-2). I find that this seemingly simple choice can be herculean when one lives in a bustling city, where the drive to and from work alone can be a real trial of your faith! When you think about it though, you can choose to spend your precious time with your Precious Lord and Friend. If you truly love Him, then you must choose to spend time with Him every day.
Reference to publication by Wesleyan College: http://go.roberts.edu/leadingedge/the-great-choices-of-strategic-leaders