It seems to me that there are two choices that every human has during their life on earth, just two. Turn to Deuteronomy 30 verses 15 and 19 with me and we will discover them together, “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil” “Therefore choose life”. The two choices are life or death. Life brings a blessing and death brings a curse. How would one distinguish whether they’ve chosen life or death? Here are some guidelines.
You choose life when you love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and when you love your neighbour as yourself. You know you love God when you obey His commands. To choose life is not a checkmark off your list, you can’t say, “Great! I choose life, now what?” No, but it is a daily choice and depending on your day it could be an hourly choice. The choice between life and death is an ongoing decision. The option you choose will become easier as you choose it daily, so choose wisely. Your choice is not set in stone. It is not like a legal document which guarantees what is written on it once you sign it. You are not stuck in death (a curse) likewise you aren’t guaranteed life (blessing). Again, it’s a daily choice you can turn back from rebellion or you can rebel.
Life. We are human. We make mistakes, this is true. And we can still choose life in our mistakes. Even if our mistakes were purpose driven. Purpose driven mistakes are when we knew it was wrong when we started, while it was happening and afterward. Yet to choose life in our wickedness is to admit to God that we fell short and want to try again. We accept His forgiveness and change our ways.
The opposite of life is death. When we choose death, we choose to be away from Him. We choose not to listen to His leadership and turn our hearts away from Him. Instead of yes, we say no. At times this choice dresses itself up nicely to hide its true identity.
Let’s look at two people in the Bible where one chose life and the other chose death:
Judas Iscariot – betrayer of Jesus. If you go to Matthew 26:15 Judas says to the chief priests, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” This to me is the signature on the legal document, he is invested completely to his choice of death. Blinded by money. I wonder how long he had pondered to himself, “I wonder how much I could get? I could be rich!” before he acted out these thoughts. Clearly the decision between life and death began in his mind. We are no different. The choice is daily and the choice begins in our thoughts.
Queen Esther - an orphaned Jew, who became queen. At a certain time of her life an evil man tricked the king into making a decree to kill the Jews. Her uncle came to her to tell her to go to the king and ask him to revoke the decree, but she was afraid. She was afraid she might die if she went into the king’s presence without being summoned. But her uncle stated, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)
She entreated her uncle to gather the Jews to fast and pray for her for three days and afterwards she would go to the king. She went and the king acted. Esther and her people were delivered from death. Now understand, to choose life isn’t always easy and you may do it reluctantly, but it is right. At first, Esther wanted to save herself (death) but chose life and delivered a nation. We see that by Esther choosing life she had to deny her own life but in it she saved herself and the ones she loved. Therefore choose life.
This is not the end, there is good news! When we accept Christ as our Lord and Saviour we receive a helper, Holy Spirit. He dwells in us, strengthening our inner man. He is always with us. Giving us good thoughts and empowering us to choose life. We aren’t alone anymore, we don’t have to do it by ourselves, we are victorious in Him. He helps us!
If we go back to Deuteronomy 30 to verses 11-14 you will discover something beautiful, I left it to the end to surprise you. “For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you can do it.” Friends! It’s not far off somewhere in space, it’s attainable! It is in you, you can do it!