Moment of Choice
Within this mind, I see a few things taking place. First, there is the old man’s ways before accepting Christ into my life. The old habits, thought patterns, etc. The old identity’s thought patterns resurface at times. Such thought patterns always align with things of the world that were taught through societal influences such as family, friends, tv, etc (the fallen world through Adam). These thought patterns are a result of what the world molded me into thinking. They are me, my ideals, the flesh, habits, etc., but the root (the molder) came from things other than God.
Then, there is the new man, the new nature from being born again in Jesus Christ. Their are thought patterns which are in-line with the mind of Jesus Christ (the Word, Sword of the Spirit, etc). These new thoughts are righteous, good, and align with the character of God. It truly is the Word of God, Jesus Christ’s teachings, the Spirit’s unction, etc. These thought patterns are a result of what God molds. They are Him, His ideals, the Spirit, new habits, etc. and they come from God’s molding.
Lastly, there are outward things that come from situations, people, etc. These outward things will either line-up with the old nature or the new nature in-Christ. They end up being an influence on things of the world or things of God.
Thus, with these things in mind, I’m taking a look at the moment of choice. I’m going to dissect the very moment that I decide which thought patterns to choose and deny. At the moment of choice, one thought pattern is chosen and another thought pattern is denied. Ultimately, either we choose God and deny ourselves (the old man, the world’s ways, etc) or we choose the ways of the world and deny God. I pray the blogging of such will bless you in some fashion or another. In Jesus name, amen –
Joshua 24:14-15 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
At the moment of choice, I find that either I am serving things of the old nature, the world, etc. or I am serving God. There are many other aspects that are part of the moment of making a choice, but ultimately, the choice is either for self motives, self glorification, etc. and a denial of God, or I accept God and deny my self and my own understandings (those that the world formed). Accept the new man and the moldings of God and deny self, or accept self and deny God. There is no other way about this. The moment of choice is life or death, blessings or cursings, etc.
Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.
Deuteronomy 30:15-20 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Jesus taught on this too. The context is about treasures in heaven, money, etc. But we can see on His teaching, He is talking about choosing what we serve –
Matthew 6:21-24 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
At the moment of choice, we are aligning ourselves with either God or the world. Even though the above teaching’s context is about money, the overall view that Jesus is giving is that there are treasures in heaven too, not just the world’s money. The most important aspect that I want to get out of this is that no man can serve 2 masters at the same time. He said that we will either hate one and love the other, or we will hold onto one, and despise the other. In the midst of this, there is a choice to be had. God or the world. We cannot serve God and the world in the same circumstance. Each choice is either 100% God or it’s 100% self, world, etc. There is no 90/10, 80/20, 50/50, etc. In each and every situation in our lives, we are either choosing God or not.
So what I am getting out of this is that throughout my day, I am addressed with many choices. There are literally 1000s upon 1000s of choices that we make every single day. For instance, I know I have to eat. It isn’t a choice to eat or not, excluding guidance to fast, but when I eat I am either honoring God with my body, or honoring the self. I know eating a specific food is not good for this body. I also know my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. On the flip side, I know the old man loves the taste of certain foods, loves abundance, etc.Then I choose.
At the moment of choice in such a situation, I am ultimately choosing to love God or to love my old nature. I am choosing to hate my old nature and deny it, or I am choosing to hate God and deny Him. I am choosing to hold onto God and despise my own ways, desires, thoughts, etc. or I am choosing to hold onto my own ideals and despise the ways of God.
The end result is this: at the moment of choice, I am choosing life eternal or I am choosing death. I am choosing blessings from God or I am choosing curses. I am choosing myself, or I am choosing Christ. I am choosing Flesh or I am choosing Spirit. I am choosing my words, thoughts, etc. or I am choosing the Word of God. And on the flip side, whichever I choose, I deny the other. The moment of choice is truly a matter of life and death.
Thus, why would I choose anything other than God, life, blessings, etc? Of course, outwardly, I will say “I choose God! Of course I do! I’m a Christian! I’m a good person!” Isn’t that what we all do? We don’t want to look bad and will ultimately puff ourselves up higher than what we really are? Some will admit to this, and those that like to remain hidden will try to keep themselves hidden from the truth. And that’s ok, it’s between them and God. I don’t know about you, but at the moment of choice, at times I still choose my self. I still choose the thoughts of self, I choose to agree with influences of the world, I some times choose the old man, etc. And what am I doing? Ultimately, these moments of choice, I am choosing death, sin, curses, the world, flesh, me, self, etc. Why?
Because at the moment of choice in certain aspects of my life (not globally, but moment by moment, choice by choice, situation by situation), I have not surrendered it to God. There are reasons why I have not surrendered certain aspects of my life to God. Like eating unhealthy, not exercising regularly, smoking, and so on. It’s because, in those specific situations (not globally), but yes, in those specific situations, I love the darkness rather than the light. I despise the light and hold onto the darkness. It’s very hard to openly admit this, but it is the truth. Yes, at times, I choose the things I want. I say “I surrender my life to God, but I want to hold onto this, this, this, and that. Is that ok God? I’ll give you the things I don’t want to deal with. Relationships with others, finances, etc. But these things that my heart is still set on, I want to keep them.”
Thus, this turns into a battle. Spiritual warfare. The Spirit is battling up against my own ideals. And in those specific circumstances, my self continually wins because, in all honesty.. I like it. The flesh is glorified, the flesh is served. I am serving myself, an idol, a false god (again, in specific circumstances, not globally). I think too many tend to look at themselves globally. “I’m a person of God. Ya, I got things that are being burned out of me by God, it’s gonna take time.” Yes, I have said this myself. We call it purification, sanctification, being saved, transforming, remolding, etc. These things are true, but..
I’ll admit something here. I use those things as an excuse and a justifier to keep doing the things that the flesh likes doing. I know this for a fact: The flesh likes to smoke. The Spirit hates it. My choice lines up with me and my ideals. Others do not make me choose this. I know it is bad. There are outward influences like others smoking, and that’s just an excuse. No different than the self saying “you are smoking natural tobacco and are only smoking a couple a day. that’s good!” I even get that from fellow Christians. “A pack a week, that’s not bad. Good job!” No, please do not glorify my incorrect choices please. I’m choosing self over God no matter how small of a neat little tidied up package we place it in.
It is so easy to blame others, outward circumstances, other influences, satan, etc. But see, the moment of choice, the flipping of the switch to align with self or God is done by me, internally. No one has control over this switch, not even God. The moment of choice is done by me and me alone. I flip the internal switch to align with me, my self, selfish feelings, the world, friends, other societal influences, emotions, upbringing, past hurts, etc. or to align with a godly response. My choice.
All I can control is my response to the thoughts, which is to align with them or not. That’s the moment of choice. I respond in agreement with some thoughts or I respond in disagreement and cast it out. “Woe is me!” Agree or disagree. “I can’t do this.” Agree or disagree. “I am more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus.” Agree or disagree. “Greater is He that is in Joseph, than Joseph who is in the world.” Agree or disagree. Agree with myself and my thinking.. Agree with what I was taught by the world. Agree with society in general. Agree with the flesh. Agree with my understandings. Or, agree with God. That’s our individual choice, in individual matters of our lives. What we should always remember is that whenever we agree with and choose a certain thought pattern, we have also chosen to disagree with another thought pattern. It’s either agreement/choice of God and quenching thoughts/ways of the self, or it is agreement/choice of self and quenching of the Spirit of God. Not only is the thing that we choose accepted, but the thing we do not choose is denied. One is held onto while the other is despised. Of course we won’t say we despise God.. it’s far from our nature of man to admit such shortcomings (pride). The proof is in the pudding, the action, the fruit, etc.
This spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. I believe Lord, help me in my unbelief. Help me Lord God, help us all. Time to go pray.. This is probably why Paul said to pray without ceasing. It gives us a direct connection with God, which strengthens us. He says “Let this mind be in you that is also in Christ Jesus..” Let = a choice. “Set your mind on things above, not below..” Set = a choice. “Pray without ceasing..” Pray = a choice. There are many commandments from God’s word for us, and each one, we decide to do or not do.
The moment of choice is ultimately choosing me, my ways, my ideals, my understandings, my thoughts, my feelings, my emotions, etc.. or it is choosing God. It’s a matter of serving self or serving God. Choose wisely…
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
I read this today.. seemed fitting –
Being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t mean simply agreeing with Jesus or even heading in the same general direction as Jesus. We’re not called to follow Jesus in the abstract. It is not like we’re negotiating a contract, where we come to an agreement in principle. Think of it like this: you can agree smoking is hazardous to your health, but it means nothing until you stop smoking.
Repentance is key.. Confession is one thing, we agree with God. I can say I hate smoking until I’m blue in the face. That’s confessing that I’m doing something that I should not be doing. But until I act, isn’t it just mere words?
p.s. something was bothering me on this writing, whereas I said that not even God can control our free-will. I should clarify. I do not know if God can or cannot make us choose.. What is known to me is what He has shown in His word. Via the Word of God, I have not found any examples of where God controls or forces free-will. I see many examples of His influence and guidance, but not any that show He will force someone to choose one matter or another.