Choice? Choose. Chew on that.

Listen…

You can choose between surrendering to the enemy or surrendering to The One who loves you most.

-Me

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice

-Neil Peart

We all have the natural desire to just simply follow our flesh. Like a church of, “Do whatcha wanna do!”, without even bothering to take into consideration how that effects our personal relationship with Christ. However; the Apostle Paul argues in Romans 8,

For those who are outside of Christ, there is no choice. They are only controlled completely by their sin. Many don’t or can’t even comprehend the concept that they are in a spiritual battle for their own souls.

There is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness (Galatians 5).

God’s Word tells us,

“Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God.”

Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what HE is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored.

Anyone who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about here.

Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life.

It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get our own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never- satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. (Gal. 5)

I know this 1st hand because I’ve been there. I’ve mucked things up more than once. In contrast, here is the good news…

The apostle Paul reminds us that believers have the Holy Spirit living within them.

By the Spirit we are becoming more and more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome our flesh. As Joshua told the Israelites,

“We can choose.

Think about it… If God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him (Ro. 8).

What happens when we fall in love with Christ and live God’s way?

He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way.

Everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified for those who belong to Christ
(Galatians 5:22‭-‬23‭, ‬23‭-‬24 MSG).

As Believers our lives and lifestyles belongs to the Lord. We are under His authority and command.

Our agenda is called out by Christ. Each day, each moment, we gotta intentionally keep this in mind and acknowledge to ourselves who we are in Christ. That type of practice transforms how we think about and live out the rest of the moments in our lives, day by day.

Hear The Lord saying, Hey, if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.

Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective (Col. 3).

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.

You & those who know you will soon find you being even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you.

And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness.

Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house.

Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense.

And God tells us to sing, sing your hearts out to Him!

Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way
(Colossians 3:1‭-‬17 MSG)

Amen, may it be so.


God’s Word,
Notes and Links Used For This Post:

Romans 8:1‭-‬14 MSG With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. 3‭-‬4 God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all. The law code, weakened as it always was by fractured human nature, could never have done that. The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us. 5‭-‬8 Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life. Focusing on the self is the opposite of focusing on God. Anyone completely absorbed in self ignores God, ends up thinking more about self than God. That person ignores who God is and what he is doing. And God isn’t pleased at being ignored. 9‭-‬11 But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! 12‭-‬14 So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!
Romans 8:1‭-‬14 MSG

Galatians 5:16‭-‬23‭-‬24 MSG My counsel is this: Live freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic compulsions of a law-dominated existence? 19‭-‬21 It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on. This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom. 22‭-‬23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. 23‭-‬24 Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified.
Galatians 5:16‭-‬23‭, ‬23‭-‬24 MSG

Colossians 3:1‭-‬17 MSG So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. 3‭-‬4 Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ. 5‭-‬8 And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That’s a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It’s because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn’t long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it’s all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk. 9‭-‬11 Don’t lie to one another. You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ. 12‭-‬14 So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it. 15‭-‬17 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.
Colossians 3:1‭-‬17 MSG

Reflect back on a post of mine inspired from the song Freewill by Rush https://tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com/moving-pictures-the-series/

Also inspired from a devotional thought provided by YouVersion called, Choosing Each Day: God Or Self? (http://bible.com/r/2o3)

https://bible.com/bible/97/col.3.1-17.MSG

https://bible.com/bible/97/gal.5.16-24.MSG

https://bible.com/bible/97/rom.8.1-14.MSG

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