Deuteronomy 30:15-20 (ESV)
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God[a] that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules,[b] then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
I am reminded of a famous quote from Forrest Gump… “My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” But as a child of God, we are promised with the Land the Lord swore to our forefathers and given free will to choose Life. We do not need to live on mere chances & coincidences. We can choose Life and live the Life we have chosen.
God so wonderfully and beautifully created me, a very capable person and I mean it, I can do many things very well! However, God doesn’t want me to do everything. He only wants me to do what He intended for me to do. My mind and heart were constantly cluttered with things that only bring more distractions, disabling me to hear God, disabling me to choose Life.
Doors were opened and closed according to what I assumed as God’s leading. I moved quicker, as usual, than what the Lord had wanted. I started things from ground zero, be it work or ministry, and God provided. Money and job recognition are good but it wasn’t enough for me to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I worked hard and long hours but I couldn’t quite see God in the midst of my work. I wasn’t contented. In the midst of thanking God for pouring out His blessings and His providence, I was crippled with fear and, doubting all the time. I couldn’t remember God’s promises and couldn’t see any fruits of the spirit in me either. I couldn’t choose Life. I was desperate. I needed clarity. I needed to quiet my heart to hear our Father’s voice once again. I kept second guessing God because I was always ahead of Him but He is still and faithful and I was reminded of His footsteps.
Psalm 16 (ESV)
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
6 The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.[a]
8 I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being[b] rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
10 For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.[c]
11 You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 19 (ESV)
7 The law of the Lord is perfect,[a]reviving the soul;
the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
9 the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever;
the rules[b] of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold;
sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your grace & mercy that enable us to live life with a Living Hope. Give me an undivided heart to live for You & not be swayed by the cares of this world. Help me slow down, pause to take stock with You and enjoy living in Your Presence, the Life I have chosen because You first loved. In Jesus’ precious name I pray, Amen.
(Featured image: Taipei, Taiwan; March 2017)