Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Acts 16:6-7, “They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; . . .”
On The Turn of a Mere Choice
On Christmas Day, 1849, a part of twenty-seven wagons broke over a barren ridge and skidded downhill into the desolation southeast of Mt. Whitney. A scorched, tormented land burned before the pioneers. Their caravan decided to split up. One group of bachelors called Jayhawkers went north, and two families and a few single men moved south. In two or three days the Jayhawkers found their way out of the desolate valley. The other group found themselves trapped, trudging through misery day after day only to reach impassable mountains. Two of the men went for help in California. Three hundred miles later, at the nearest store, they acquired supplies and returned for the families. When the survivors finally left the valley, they looked back and muttered, “Good-bye, Death Valley” – an appropriate and lasting name.
We need to make our choices carefully, especially those that affect our moral and spiritual lives. God has determined the limits of acceptable behavior, but He gives us the freedom to accept or defy those limits. He gives us the privilege of accepting Him freely or rejecting Him. And while wisdom would dictate that we exercise our privilege – not our right – the choice is ours. What will it be for us: escape by grace into life (by walking in the Spirit) or entanglement by self-will in (doing the works of the flesh resulting in) spiritual death? (Parenthetical emphasis added by Pastor Roland for clarity; not part of original).
Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Salvation is from our side a choice, from the divine side it is a seizing upon, an apprehending, a conquest by the Most High God. Our “accepting” and “willing” are reactions rather than actions. The right of determination must always remain with God. – A.W. Tozer
Now just think a moment and answer the question, “What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” – Dwight L. Moody
Nothing harms or destroys us but the wrong use of that liberty of choice which God has entrusted to us. – William Law
When a sinner refuses to come to Christ, he is guilty because he has made a free choice. It reflects his own state of mind, feeling and attitude toward GOD and His Son. He has acted voluntarily without coercion. It is his decision. – Walter J. Chantry