There was Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, living in Heaven on earth, and the Lord God gave them only one “test” to obey or disobey Him. The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:15-17 You would think that is easy compared to all the choices we must make today. Yet, they make the wrong choice!
We often hear “God is in control”, but the truth is that God gave mankind control when He gave us the freedom to choose. We must seek His help and ask for His intervention in a situation. We make a choice and pray about it. “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep His commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in His ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
“But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Deuteronomy 30:15-19 Can you hear the Lord God’s heart for mankind? He wants us to choose Him. He wants us to want to worship Him and obey His commandments. But if we don’t, He clearly lays out the consequences: (Further reading Deuteronomy 28) Don't throw out the Old Testament. Remember that the Old Testament shows us God’s character. It shows us His “heart” toward mankind. When He sent Jesus, the Lord God’s character didn’t change.
The Lord God doesn’t “make” you do anything. You have a choice. Satan can’t “make” you do anything either! You have a choice. Make your choices with that in mind. We’ve all heard the saying “the devil made me do it” but we know that is just a joke! If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall. The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:12-13
Our society today would like you to feel like a victim, rather than seeing the bad choices, errors in judgment, that have placed us in the midst of some bad consequences. Sometimes the only way out of a bad situation is to see our bad choices, repent and change what we are doing! Seed—time—and harvest doesn’t only refer to money or crops. It refers to every choice, every decision, every action we do. Seek out God’s Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in every decision.
Jesus replied, “All who love Me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and We will come and make Our home with each of them. Anyone who doesn’t love Me will not obey Me. And remember, My words are not My own. What I am telling you is from the Father who sent Me. I am telling you these things now while I am still with You. But when the Father sends the Advocate as My representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. John 14:23-26 It is the Holy Spirit—our Governor—who will lead us to make good choices if we will only listen.
Today, I am building a foundation, a solid foundation upon which you can stand. Every time you make a choice that is in line with God’s Constitution, your self-control fruit of the Spirit will grow. You will become stronger in the Kingdom and more able to withstand the attacks of our enemy, Satan. He wants to tempt you to make the wrong choice and separate you from the Lord God. It’s your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, He has turned away and will not listen anymore. Isaiah 59:2 NLT I don’t ever want my Father to turn away from me and not listen to me anymore!
Here are more foundational “scripture bricks”:
Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.
Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living.
Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy.
When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:15-23
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28 NKJV
Anyone who does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother!” Matthew 12:50
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent His own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to Him at all.) Romans 8:1-9
But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Kingdom citizens are well able, with the power and strength of the Holy Spirit working in them and through them, to make choices that line up with God’s Word. The more you do this, the stronger you will become. In our present world, we need that strength!
The Lord is close to all who call on Him, yes, to all who call on Him in truth. He grants the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them. The Lord protects all those who love Him, but He destroys the wicked. Psalm 145:18-20
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you [setting you on a firm foundation] and will protect and guard you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 AMP
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
Your heavenly Father loves you and gives you the freedom to choose to love and obey Him or reject Him.
The choice is yours.
Be a Kingdom light shining in the darkness,
All scriptures are NLT unless otherwise noted.
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