Follow the Helper--and Choose Life!
"There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."—Romans 8:1
Life is filled with choices! Studies report that we make more than 2,500 choices every day! Imagine just the first ten minutes of your day. What do you choose to think as soon as you wake and your eyes open? What do you choose to do as soon as your feet hit the floor?
Without question, we determine the quality of our lives by the quality of our decisions. This is an immense responsibility, yet we are not left alone in this matter of choice: God has offered us great wisdom in understanding how to make quality choices and empowering us to make them!
Meditate on one of the most important invitations given to us by God:
"I call Heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."—Deuteronomy 30:19
This is the law of the universe: God has set before us blessing if we choose life. But what does it mean to "choose" life?
The Most Important Decision You Can Make
This Hebrew verb translated choose is a profoundly important verb for us to understand. This verb, as often as we seem to use it, does not suggest a mundane, dispassionate choice as if we were choosing between having our eggs scrambled or hard-boiled. This is not the verb used to describe a choice to turn right because the road to the left is blocked by traffic.
Not at all! The Hebrew word bachar has three significant meanings—all of them suggesting a relationship with the choice. The first meaning of bachar suggests the action of rubbing on a "touchstone"—or the gesture of dividing and examining, as if proving to oneself the truth of a matter. When we choose, according to this verb bachar, we are affirming that we have examined our choice and found it to be true.
The second overtone of this marvelous Hebrew verb is to approve of, as one approves of a beloved—one whom we have chosen because the choice is excellent, surpassing all others! As we "choose life," then, we are declaring that we love life, approving life as surpassing all other options.
In fact, the third translation of the Hebrew bachar actually means to love, to delight in any thing. This is the same verb for choose that we find in Isaiah 14:1, when God declares His profound love for Israel: "For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land..." Young's Literal Translation renders the verse thus: "Because Jehovah loveth Jacob, and hath fixed again on Israel, and given them rest on their own land..."
To choose life is to fix ourselves on life with a passionate love! To choose life is to examine and prove the truth of life as a surpassing, excellent choice. To choose life is to love life as we love a person, to take great delight in life as the Lord Himself delights in His people Israel—fixed on them, without shadow of turning. But in John 14:6, didn't the Lord Jesus say, "I am the way, the truth, and the life"?
John 1:4 explains that "In Him was life..."
Choosing life is indeed choosing to "live and move and have our being" in Christ (Acts 17:28). As one, we affirm and prove to be true as our Beloved, who surpasses all others, is the One and only in whom we delight!
This is how the Lord empowers us to make quality decisions during the day. As we continue to choose Life, delighting ourselves in Christ, we will "walk according to the Spirit." We will be moved and directed in our other choices by the Spirit of Christ because we have an intimate relationship with Life itself.
This relationship of abiding in Christ, choosing Him moment by moment, is vital, imperative and necessary. We must be prompted by the Holy Spirit continuously, for that is the only path of blessing. We must allow the Word of God, who is Christ Himself, to influence and direct every choice.
Consider the consequences of choosing anything or anyone other than Christ or not following the Word. Deuteronomy warns us that choosing "death" leads to curses. Read the entire chapter of Deuteronomy 28 to gain a deep understanding of the life that is blessed and the life that is cursed. Make no mistake: choosing Life, choosing to live following the Spirit of Christ and the Word, is the most important decision you can make.
How Exactly Does this Precious Spirit of Christ Speak to Us and Prompt Us to Make Quality Decisions?
In 1 Kings 19, Elijah, the mighty prophet of God, listened for the voice of the Lord in an earthquake and the fire—but could not hear Him, despite the volume of natural sound. Meditate for a moment on this life-changing lesson: the Spirit speaks to us as a Friend speaks with a friend, walking with us in the cool of the day—not shouting to us like a deafening bullhorn (unless we're in grave danger and aren't paying attention)!
One day, the Lord confided this truth to me: He may shout His truths to strangers, but He whispers His secrets to His friends. He is an ever-present help, a constant Companion and the Lover of our soul! One important way God speaks to us is through our spirit. His whispered voice inside of us prompts us when we should or shouldn't do something.
Consider the almost imperceptible reminder, for example, to take your keys or to pack an umbrella! The Maker of the Universe knows when you might be locked out or rained upon. Believe with all your heart that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, too insignificant for His care. He is concerned with every single choice and situation, no matter how minor, from the time we awake to when we sleep. If we turn to the Beloved Counselor, Guide and Teacher, the Holy Spirit of Christ, He will, without fail, lead us into all truth. His name is the "Spirit of Truth"!
Having this inner Counselor is a gift beyond compare. He is the treasure of Whom Jesus said, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you" (John 16:7). It was to our advantage that Jesus departed this earth in the flesh—because we now have His wonderful Spirit within our very being!
This Spirit, this Helper, is the parakletos of God. Meditate on all this beautiful name Paraklete suggests: He is One who is summoned, called to our side and present to aid, the counsel for our defense, an assistant, an advocate, an intercessor, a pleader.
When we choose to obey God's leading—His inner prompting—we will always, without question, make the right choice because we have the Helper guiding us.
Remember, there is a way that may seem to be right, but that way will be harmful to us, bringing curses and death. We must choose God's ways, as they are always the best ways. God's ways are always higher and lead us into paths of peace (see Isaiah 26:3).
Are There Any Conditions to this Walk? What Other Choices Must We Make?
Above all, we must choose to keep our thoughts pure and upright (see Philippians 4:8). With holiness and the fear of the Lord, we will be free from guilt and shame—fearing God and not man, pleasing God and not man. We will be fearless to make the right choices, no matter the consequences.
Choosing to keep our conscience clear, in fact, is the only way to maintain this clear communication with our Beloved Heavenly Father. In 1 John 3:21, we read that guilt robs us of this communication. We must repent—and repent quickly—as soon as we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and realize we have made a mistake.
"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."—I John 1:9
Finally we must remember Jeremiah 29:11. The LORD Almighty, King of the Universe, promises that He has great plans in store for us when we choose to follow His leading: "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."
This word "future" in this verse is also translated "expected." The word is translated from a Hebrew root qavah, which means to twist or bind together, as with a rope! The Lord will literally "rope us" to His future plans for us, binding us to Himself and the blessings He has ordained through Christ—as we choose Life and walk according to the Holy Spirit of Truth.
He Will Guide Us on a Path of Victory in Every Area of Our Lives
You are born to win, fulfilling the great plans and purposes that God created for you before the very foundations of the world (see Ephesians 2:10). In fact, you are more than a winner—you are an overcomer!
"But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us."—Romans 8:37, NASB
Pray with me today: "Precious Heavenly Father! Thank You for Life in Christ. I choose Life today. I choose to follow the Holy Spirit today. Thank You for Your promises to lead and guide me by Your Spirit. I ask You to teach me to hear Your Spirit within my spirit—distinctly and clearly—and the grace to obey with all my heart. I quiet my heart to hear Your still, small voice and trust that You will guide me as my Shepherd. I shall not want. Thank You for setting me free to walk in the power and victory of Your Spirit today!" Amen! So be it!
Go here to listen to Bobby Conner's interview with Sid Roth.