Personal Choice / Personal Accountability
One of our questions today regarded the choices we have made and what words we could use to tell others about choice. As I thought about this I was confronted by the denial of accountability I see in those around me such as neighbors, people I work with and others that I know. Everything seems to be someone else’s fault. There is always someone else to blame: politicians, educators, big business, religion, even God.
There is anger, fear and resentment, but mostly it comes from a spirit filled with discontent. As Deut 28:65 says, “an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. In the morning you will say, “If only it were evening!” and in the evening, “If only it were morning!”
We like to hide behind the “no one is perfect” line as justification for a life of rebellion. But in Deut 30:11 God says through Moses, “Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.” He goes on to say it isn’t hidden in heaven or some foreign land. “No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.”
We are given freedom of choice, obedience or disobedience. We choose the path. But the path we choose has consequences. A journey of disobedience brings hardship and curses. These are not threats, they are reality of what an eternal life on the path that veers away from God looks like. A journey of obedience brings blessings. That does not mean there will not be trials and hardships, in fact, God promises His people there will be those things. The difference is that, while neither path is without difficulty, the path of righteousness is one traveled along side God who promises to lift us up and carry us along when things get too tough.
Think about this in the “then and there” of it being delivered by Moses to the Israelites. God has committed to take them as His and given Himself to be theirs. He has formed an everlasting relationship with them. But, even as He recommits to that relationship, He knows they will cheat on Him. He knows they will disobey and worship other gods. He knows they will commit atrocious and deplorable acts meant to cause Him pain. He knows they will become so distant and callous to the gift that He is giving them, a gift of peace in the promised land, that they will completely lose this book of the bible and it will remain lost in a pile of debris in the back of the temple for years until it is uncovered during a remodeling project. And, yet, not only does He commit to the relationship with them but He promises that after they do these hurtful things, He will still take them back and even cut those things out of their heart as if they never had occurred.
The choice, the path that leads to life and prosperity or the path that leads to death and destruction, was theirs as it yours and mine. But make no mistake, we choose our own path and live with the consequences of that choice.
If you are on the wrong path, if you are traveling alone or living a relationship with God that treats Him as a spare wheel to be pulled out in times of trouble instead of a steering wheel to keep you out of trouble, you are not stuck. God always provides and on-ramp to bring you back onto the road of salvation. He is one prayer away from sending in the rescue crew of Son and Spirit to save you from the mess you have made.
I choose to make my own choice. I choose obedience to God. I choose life. What do you choose?
return to the Lord and obey Him with all your heart and soul
circumcise their hearts
While God wants and expects me to be obedient, He will forgive my disobedience, even to the extent of “cutting it out of my heart” so that it is no more and welcome me back and reconfirm His relationship with me
life and prosperity, death and destruction
I choose life. I choose a sacred relationship with God to belong to Him and to put all my trust in Him
Because He loved them. Because He knew the sin they would commit and, in love, wanted to warn them to change their ways.
The law was a guardian to protect the people (protective custody) as those belonging to God until the day that Christ came and paid the ransom for their souls