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 Choices - 12/5/10

The Choice that We ALL Have to Make Today

December 05, 2010

Beloved, as I slept last night, the LORD showed me dreams about the choices that He has set before each and every one of us today. As I awoke early this morning and went into my prayer closet, His Spirit further spoke to me by leading me to some passages in scripture that confirmed elaborated on what I had dreamed.

We all have a choice to make today about the road that we will travel on. And two choices are before us – the road that leads to destruction and the road that heads to life. In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus outlined this important choice as one of the concluding anchor points in His sermon on the mount. As I re-read the sermon of the mount, I see this as one of the points at the end where Jesus is building a case that says “in light of all that I have just finished teaching you, THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO DO.” And there is the choice, these two roads that lead to two gates.

Broad is the way – Here is the thing, the broad way that leads to destruction is super crowded with people, indeed most of us. Because of our fallen nature, we have all been on that crowded road to destruction until we chose to make a truly radical turn and take the narrow road where there are very few people. For those of us on the broad road, it seems like the right place to be… it is very comfortable, popular, and it just feels good to us. But destiny of this road is destruction. Of the two choices that are before us, this is the default choice.

The way that leads to the straight gate and life is described as “narrow.” This means that it takes a deliberate choice to find it and a disciplined life to stay on it. It is easy to stay on the broad path (verily all you have to do is nothing). But on to stay on the narrow path takes discipline that starts with choosing it. A great place in scripture that describes this narrow way is Isaiah 35:8-10 where it is referred to as the “highway to holiness.” Even though this narrow way requires discipline to stay on it, through Isaiah the LORD says that there are no lions or ravening beasts there (a reference to the enemy from 1 Peter 5:8). Once you are truly on the narrow path and are the redeemed of the LORD, the enemy can’t devour you. Also, verse 10 shows that those on this path are going to Zion singing songs with everlasting joy and gladness (without any sorrow at all).

Back in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ next anchor point to conclude His sermon warns us about false prophets who will come looking like saints, but whose goal is to deceive and keep you on that broad road to destruction. In verse 15 He describes the false prophets as “ravening wolves”. Remember that from Isaiah 35 the LORD said that on the highway to holiness there are no ravening beasts. Then the LORD gives us a remedy to the deception of the false prophets in that we will know them by the fruit that they produce.

Finally, Jesus issues a stark warning about the people on the broad road when He says in Verses 21-23 that not everyone who calls Him Lord will enter into His kingdom. Many will say have they not done many great works for Him and He will say to them “I never KNEW you.” This is because they were all along on the broad road. After this, Jesus punctuates His sermon with an exclamation mark concluding with strong advice to us that we do what He just said (especially the advice that we chose the strait gate). He finishes with His famous example about those who hear His words and heed them are wise and those who hear them and don’t are like a foolish man who is destined for a great fall.

The choice – So each of us today must make a choice. Just as Joshua said to the nation in Joshua 24:15 at the end of his time as leader, “choose you this day who you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood (the gods of sin and captivity and the worldly)… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD”

Just as Joshua did that day and also asked all of Israel to do, each and every one of us today must also make a choice. There are only two choices, the broad and the narrow. And just as Joshua went on to describe in chapter 24, the result of that choice today will determine and verify what road you are on and this will illustrate your destiny.

A CHOICE IS REQUIRED – We don’t have the option of saying I won’t choose today or I will choose later. That in itself is also a choice. You see, remember that the default choice is the broad road. In order to stay on that road, we simply do nothing or remain passive. But to choose the narrow road will require an active and disciplined choice. So in the end, the decision NOT to choose is in fact a choice for the broad road.

Today is the day. Also in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said not to worry about tomorrow because sufficient is the evil of today and we are not promised tomorrow. Putting off this choice until tomorrow keeps us on the road to destruction. Also Paul hit on this same point in Ephesians 5:15-20 when he warned us to redeem the time for the days are evil. We should not walk as fools but be wise. Today is the day… salvation is here.

Beware brothers and sisters of our tendency to try to make this choice based on reasoning it out in our own minds. The Spirit of the LORD has shown me this in recent weeks that we can not make very important decisions on our own or in our own strength, but that we need Him. If we try on our own, we will simply deceive ourselves and choose poorly. We will choose that which seems right in our own eyes which will be the broad way every time. It is not enough to just say the words (many do this deceiving themselves without ever really changing). The LORD wants us to realize that we need to come to the end of ourselves and ask Him to work with us to help us find our way… to find the straight way… to find the way to Him… Jesus… The Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to Him on their own terms… only those who are drawn by the Father and do not resist.

 

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© 2010 Gerald L. Prater

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