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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Choose You This Day

"Oh, I just can’t decide! What are you having?"

"I just don’t know! It all looks so good!"

"It’s just can’t make up my mind…"

That's typical over-the-menu conversation at any lunch date with women. We agonize over what to choose, from the right salad to the right shoes. We ask one another's opinions on just about everything. We want input on our choices, and affirmation once they are made, whether it’s a haircut or home decor. We are creatures of choice. It's been that way since the first woman was fashioned by the Divine hands that chose to create us in His image. Part of that indelible image is "choice-maker."

I'm sure some variation of the above "lunch discussion" happened in the Garden of Eden. It must have "all looked so good!" How could they decide? They had the ultimate salad ingredients, that’s for sure! One day, though, the simple decision of "what’s for lunch?" became a destiny-defining choice. I wonder if the forbidden tree had ever been an issue before then. Aside from knowing it was off limits, they had such a bountiful buffet before them daily that it's quite possible they hardly even considered it. But the enemy was able to persuade Eve that its fruit was a valid, even desirable, choice. And what she chose has affected us all.

"Every time you make a choice you are turning the central part of you, the part of you that chooses, into something a little different from what it was before... either into a creature that is in harmony with God, ...or into one that is in a state of war with God. Each of us at each moment is progresing to the one state or the other."
~ C.S. Lewis ~
Mere Christianity

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve... But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

By nature, we are now creatures born into a “state of war” with God. But, by God’s grace, through Jesus Christ we can choose a path of harmony with God the Father, in tune with His perfect will. (John 14:6) So, the first choice is to decide whom you will serve: yourself, the world, God, or another person. Subsequent choices move you either closer or farther away from that chosen master. I can’t say "I will serve the Lord" and then make daily choices that move me closer to another master (and still be truly serving Him). The word "choose" in the above verse is the most common Old Testament word used to mean "to choose," "elect," or "decide for." My Hebrew lexicon says that this word, bahar, "always involves a careful, well thought-out choice." Further down in the explanation it says, "serviceability rather than simple arbitrariness is at the heart of the choosing."

Serviceability. "...choose for yourselves... whom you will serve." Our choices not only indicate who we serve, but our choices themselves serve the master by advancing his or her purposes. If I have chosen to serve God, when faced with subsequent choices I must ask myself: Will this choice serve to bring me closer to God or further from Him? Will it advance His kingdom? make me more like Christ? help me model Christ for another person?

Not that we should all live with deer-in-the-headlights expressions on our faces, while in a perpetual state of "analysis paralysis" over our choices of flip flops or pizza toppings. But just as Eve's choice had ramifications far beyond that moment in time, our daily choices do as well. How I choose to dress reflects my reverence for God. How I choose to spend resources reflects (and directs) my priorities. What I choose to eat reflects how I view my body, God’s temple. We don't need to be full of angst over each and every decision, for our loving God has not called us to a life filled with anxiety, nor has He saved us because of our works. But He has called us to a life of holiness, of being set apart for Him. He does desire us to live "in harmony" with Him rather than "at war" with Him.

By God's grace, we have the profound privilege of looking at the Garden of Eden from this side of the cross. We have the opportunity to respond to Christ's invitation and to receive the gift of salvation and the accompanying indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our choice-making each day. It is only by doing this that we literally "have it in us" to make the right choices. If you have not yet responded and "chosen this day" to serve Jesus Christ, I encourage you to go here. This world offers many choices of "masters," but only one choice, Jesus Christ, leads to life.

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4

If I delight in God, my desires will naturally (no, supernaturally) begin to line up with His. His desires will become my desires. God will change my "wanter." My "wanter" directs my "decider." The result will be choices that glorify God and bring me, with ever-increasing glory, more into conformity with the image of Jesus, who sits at the right hand of the Father in perfect harmony with Him.

Christine at Fruit in Season is our host for this week's In Other Words. If you would like to read other perspectives on this week's quote, or perhaps add your own, head on over. Thanks, Christine, for hosting us this week, and for this thought-provoking quote.

I'm praying for all of us and the choices we will make this day.

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Blogger Darlene said...

That was so well written and meaty, I felt like I was reading a book. Thank you!

March 26, 2007 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

Thank you for sharing.....Blessings

March 26, 2007 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

Really great take on this, bless you.

March 26, 2007 at 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Loni said...

WOW! You really put a lot of thought into this quote with a lot of depth. Thank you for sharing.

March 27, 2007 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger MiPa said...

Love your take on this. How true that our "wanter" directs our "decider". I pray God aligns my wants with His.

March 27, 2007 at 1:44 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

This is a great post. I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing! :)

March 27, 2007 at 3:38 AM  
Blogger Terri @ In His Hands said...

I love Darlene's comment because that is exactly what I thought. It was like reading a meaty book full of good morsels to chew on. Great post, Cyndi--I loved it!

March 27, 2007 at 5:57 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

"This world offers many choices of "masters," but only one choice" AMEN!!!

Great post.

March 27, 2007 at 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Lynn Donovan said...


Our choices do push us forward or back in the service of our King. I believe, aslo, our choices can have life-long impact not only on this generation but those that follow. Well said!

March 27, 2007 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger eph2810 said...

"By God's grace, we have the profound privilege of looking at the Garden of Eden from this side of the cross."

Cyndi, that is so beautiful. Thank you so much -- I needed to hear that this morning.

Blessings to your day :)

March 27, 2007 at 10:26 AM  
Blogger Faerylandmom said...

Wow. Thank you for the reminder.

March 27, 2007 at 11:47 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Wow, great post! You're right about women especially being creatures of choice- and we so often need approval! Wonderful thoughts this week.

March 27, 2007 at 12:45 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I wrote my post before reading yours Cyndi and thought it interesting that we both took the idea of choices back to the Garden.
You have done such an excellent job with this. I love the idea of having my "wanter" changed. If I can just get away from the selfishness that so often rules my "wanter" - I can make the right choices.
I also hadn't thought about the ramifications to the kingdom my choices can have. I must realize that my choices don't affect just my life.
You are an excellent writer/teacher. I just love these "discussions" - this sharing of insights. I am learning new things!!

March 27, 2007 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Dawn ; ) said...

I truly enjoyed your thoughts. thx for sharing. ;D

March 27, 2007 at 1:39 PM  
Blogger Amydeanne said...

hehe I like how you added supernaturally.. ain't that the truth! Amen!

March 27, 2007 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I am waiting for the cup of coffee and hours of talking.

I often don't think of the little things I do throughout my day to have any impact, but between this post and our ladies bible study this morning, I am reminded of how important our "little" choices are.

March 27, 2007 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Bonnie W said...

I like that - my "wanter" directs my "decider."
Thank God He changes the "wanters."
Bonnie W

March 27, 2007 at 6:14 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

What an excellent quote this week. I love you post on the subject. There were many sentences that I read and re-read to soak in. Well done!

March 27, 2007 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Great challenge! I must choose obedience.

March 28, 2007 at 1:39 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

"It is only by doing this that we literally "have it in us" to make the right choices"

So often I mistakenly choose to expect people who are not indwelled to make choices as if they were...I am praying for God to give me the heart of compassion for one close to me who is not His YET when they make downright terrible decisions.

This was great Cyndi!

March 28, 2007 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

much wisdom!

March 28, 2007 at 2:15 PM  

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