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Monday, September 5, 2016

Not my will, but thine

When people make good choices, He is pleased; He even causes their enemies to live peacefully near them.  (Proverbs 16:7 VOICE)

If making good choices were so easy, we'd all be upstanding citizens in both this place we call home presently and in the realm of service to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Truth be told, choices are sometimes tougher than we'd like to admit - because there are so many of them and oh so many ways they could turn out!  I think this is why it is so important to have some type of "governor" over our choices - helping us to decide between a good one and the best one. Good ones are alright, but the best ones bring us the greatest sense of well-being and peace in our lives, don't they?  

Even when we ask Jesus to help us make the right choices, sending his Holy Spirit to be that "governor" over our choices, the choices are still up to us. He helps us to make right choices, but the ones we make are still completely within our control.  I think this is where we sometimes get things wrong in life - we think just asking Jesus to help us know the right choice will assure us we are consistently making it every time we are faced with the opportunity!  Our "will" gets in the way, overriding all sense of reason on occasion, and helping us reject what we know to be right and true in life.

I know we all struggle with right choices from time to time - some of us more than others.  We all have areas in which the heart determination is there, but the "will" behind it is kind of wishy-washy.  We rely too heavily upon someone or something "stopping" us before we go too far down that wrong road, but really don't see it is our determined and stubborn will driving us down that path. The ability to make right choices isn't in the "giving over" of our will, but the constant re-evaluation of that will in light of what we know to be true in our lives.  

For example, if I know telling the truth is God's will, but the choice presents itself to just tell a little lie so we don't have to deal with something which might be a little uncomfortable for us, we sometimes cave to the "little white lie", don't we?  We know the right thing to do is tell the truth - but we have determined in our hearts and minds that the little white lie is really not all that bad.  If God says he detests lies of any kind - even the "little white ones" - then why do we pursue that path at all?  It is easier than dealing with the truth!  We look for the easy way out of our struggles of will on occasion, and that "easy way out" may not always be the best way!  

You see the dilemma?  The will wants to submit to what is good and right and true - but it struggles with what is comfortable, easiest, and not always all that upright.  The Holy Spirit helps us know the truth, but the choice to walk in it is still ours.  As long as we live in this body we will deal with these choices.  The more we move away from the desire to take the easiest way in life, the more likely we are to move toward the more "righteous" way!  Maybe this is the meaning of that passage in which Jesus describes two roads - one quite wide and the other very narrow.  So many will choose the wide one because it is easiest.  Be one of the few who choose the narrow - it won't be easy, but the view will be breath-taking!  Just sayin!