Choices and Consequences!
Contrary to the popular consensus of our current culture, God is not all the tyrant that some would have us to believe He is. He is not sitting on his big white throne in Heaven, looking over our shoulders, waiting for us to make a mistake so He can strike us down with a bolt of lightning. That imagery may make for a great fantasy novel or even a Hollywood sci-fi blockbuster movie, but it is not the truth.
God has, and He always will be—our Father. He has our best interests at heart. When He tells us to follow His instructions, it is being done out of love for us.
One of the greatest attributes that accommodate God’s love is—CHOICE! However, this liberty to choose comes with accountability. This is what separates God from every other self-proclaimed, man-made god; He gives us the choice to choose whether or not we want to serve him.
Liberty Without Accountability Leads to Irresponsibility!
God doesn’t force, threaten or manipulate us into obeying his will. He places the choices before us and allows us to choose for ourselves. Like any good parent, God rewards us for our good behaviors and corrects us when we make bad ones. Ultimately, the choice is up to us.
Joshua, the young apprentice of Moses, reminded the children of Israel that serving God was a choice. However, some choices came with consequences.
The great Hebrew leader exclaimed:
“Today I have given you a choice between life and death, success and disaster. I command you today to love the Lord your God. I command you to follow him and to obey his commands, laws, and rules. Then you will live, and your nation will grow larger. And the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take for your own. But if you turn away from your God and refuse to listen, if you are led away to worship and serve other gods, you will be destroyed.
I am warning you today, if you turn away from God, you will not live long in that land across the Jordan River that you are ready to enter and take for your own. Today I am giving you a choice of two ways. And I ask heaven and earth to be witnesses of your choice. You can choose life or death. The first choice will bring a blessing. The other choice will bring a curse. So choose life! Then you and your children will live. You must love the Lord your God and obey him. Never leave him, because he is your life. And he will give you a long life in the land that he, the Lord, promised to give to your ancestors—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)."
Even though God has given us "FREEDOM OF CHOICE," He never intended for us to choose things that would dismantle the relationship between He and us.
He understands that being absent from His presence will be detrimental to us. That is the misjudgment Adam and Eve made, and it cost them—everything!
Genesis 2:16-17 (ERV)
The Lord God gave him this command: “You may eat from any tree in the garden. But you must not eat from the tree that gives knowledge about good and evil. If you eat fruit from that tree, on that day you will certainly die!”
God presented them with two choices, and the consequences of those choices. They made the choice to eat from the tree which brought them harm, and it cost them their relationship with the Creator, as well as their paradisiacal abode.
Life is full of choices and God has promised that one day, He will hold us all accountable for the words we have spoken with our mouths and deeds we have done with our bodies. If the choices you are making today, are pulling you away from God and causing you to disobey His instructions for your life; then you are more than likely, making the wrong choices. You will know when God approves of your choices because His peace will accommodate them.