Choosing Fruit or Consequences
I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
Making the right choice: it seems simple enough for the average American, even for the average Christian. Contemplate the alternatives, consider how you might be affected, get some input from friends, and toss up a token prayer. It doesn't seem too complicated. We do it often; it's routine, right?
In making those everyday choices, however, we seldom consider that today's choices yield tomorrow's results. Will those results be fruit or consequences?
Every planting has a harvest, every seed a crop. It is as basic as sowing and reaping. Under that light and under the light of Scripture, making the right choice takes on entirely new meaning. Suddenly, making the right choice becomes consequential, carrying wide-ranging ramifications for you, your family, and those around you.
Choice is the power to choose, and God endows each of us with that gift. Choice centers upon our very existence. It is who we are.
We choose to hate or to love. We choose to disobey or obey. We choose to murder or respect the sanctity of life. We choose to be jealous, envious, covetous, or a gossip. With those choices come the result-either fruit or consequences.
What choices are you amking-choices of life and blessing, or choices of death and the curse?
Our choices have implications for everyone. Sometimes choices affect an entire nation.
The story of Achan is a telling example of this. Achan's sin caused God to remove His blessing from Israel. Men died because of Achan's choice to disobey his leaders and God. in essence, Achan chose death and the curse for a whole nation of people (Joshua, chapter 7).
Likewise, Moses made the choice to entreat God to turn away His anger against the Israelites' sin (Exodus 32:1-15). God changed His mind because of one man's decision to pray!
Our daily routines consist of thousands of choices, from what to eat for breakfast to whether we will steal. Think about it.
We choose how we view every day, with a smile or with an "oh no!"
We choose to listen, either to the positive influences or to the gossiper and negative speaker.
We choose every word we speak. Need I say more?
We choose our reactions to others' actions. Be mad or be glad.
We choose our lifestyle and our character. Do we live with honesty and integrity?
All choices are not conscious choices, but they once were. For example, you may not decide today whether to steal a car, but years ago you faced a series of decisions concerning whether or not you would steal. Now you have an ingrained second nature, a deep-seated result of earlier choices. Remember, today's results are based on yesterday's choices.
Right and wrong are inherent in making choices. Right choices result in the blessing and fruit, wrong choices in the curse and consequence. Righteousness, therefore, is nothing less than making right choices.
The curse can be broken. Still, the consequence remains.
David repented of his sin with Bathsheba, but the consequence-or result-of his choice was born and remained. A further consequence? His son died as a result of the choice (sin).
The Bible traces virtually every sin to three areas, as we are warned in I John 2:15-17. We choose with our eyes, ears, and mouths. We even make choices with our hands and noses.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the wolrd passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
We choose to watch something or not to watch. We choose to listen to someone or not to listen. We choose to follow a certain thought. We choose to edify or tear down with our words.
That is why the words of Deuteronomy are so strong: "Therefore, choose life, that thou and thy seed may live."
To say that we have a choice between right and wrong-the blessing and the curse-is to say that we have a choice between obedience and sin. The blessing and curse, in many cases, are merely the results of our right and wrong choices. If we do not tithe, we tie God's hands from blessing us financially. If we do not teach and discipline our children, they grow up unrestrained and disrespectful.
We either agree with the Word of God (choose life), or we agree with the god of this world (choose death).
When we choose to sin, we choose to live under the curse and eventually die. Our spiritual life does not prosper. James 1:14 says, Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."
Temptation is not sin, but making the choice to combine that temptation with an action gives birth to sin that leads to spiritual death. We all have a choice. We can walk into the streets and shoot someone. There will be repercussions from that choice, though we have the inherent "right" to choose to do so.
Likewise, when the person focuses his thoughts on God and combines those thoughts with his actions, he bears much fruit.
Furthermore, James 4:17 (NAS) says, "Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin."
Those responsible for the abomination that is abortion have made the choice for an entire nation. By choosing abortion, this nation is cutting off the continued blessing of God. Remember Achan? God would not bless Israel because of one ma's sin. Can He bless America with bllod on her hands?
"Righteousness [right choices] exalts a nation, but sin [wrong choices] is a reproach to any people" (Proverbs 14:34).
Choice is basic to humanity. Each choice affects our destiny.
So, again, I pose the question: What choices are you making? Choice of life and blessing, or choices of death and the curse?
We can control the results and the direction of our lives by redirecting our choices.
Take inventory of your choices and results. You will find that a road from one leads to the other. Remember, the choices you make today will lay the foundation for tomorrow's results.