June 20, 2010
Choosing to Live
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
We have a choice whether to live in God or to die apart from God, and as long as our earthly sojourn continues God is always urging us to choose life. “Life and death” and “blessing and cursing” are set before us. Therefore, God says, “Choose life.” And we are encouraged to do this not only for our own sakes but also for the sake of our descendants.
Life and death are not fates that are forced upon us; we have the freedom to choose between them. In giving us our freedom, God apparently desired beings who could respond voluntarily to God’s love.
There would be no significance to our love for God if we were merely programmed to behave lovingly. So rather than compel us, God invites us. God calls upon us to choose life. And the life that can be chosen is a far finer thing than any force of nature.
But as important as the word “choose” is, the word “life” is even more important. The thing that we can choose to have in God is not merely a period of service but an eternity of life. What God wants for us is our highest good. Speaking of Himself, Jesus said, “God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17). And He told His disciples, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Although there is some difficulty in choosing the life that God offers, it is no difficulty at all compared to that which is encountered on the path to death. And choosing life over death is also easier than living in the limbo that results from not deciding.
The person who won't make a choice or take a stand is going to get the most difficult of all lives. Nothing is more exhausting than procrastination, and nothing is more destructive than indecision. So when the God who created us calls upon us to “choose life,” it's time to determine our course. “God has no need of marionettes. He pays men the compliment of allowing them to live without him if they choose. But if they live without him in this life, they must also live without him in the next” (Leon Morris).
“Be entirely tolerant or not at all; follow the good path or the evil one. To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess” (Heinrich Heine).