(For the record…and for this season of resolutions) Wanting is different than choosing.
Do I want to stop worrying? Do I want to be patient? Do I want to stop rushing? Do I want to lose weight or inches? Of course. Most people want some or all of the above and this is the time of the year when many people resolve to get what they want. However, the power given to us by God to stop rushing, lose weight, be patient, and stop worrying is not found in our wanting, but in our choosing.
I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life that you and your descendants may live. Deut 30:19 AMP
God is Life. He desires for us to, not just want Life (or Him), but to choose Life. The power of God flows through us when we make that choice.
Life means trusting God instead of worrying, mindfully doing something in God’s rhythm instead of rushing, being patient and kind with ourselves and others instead of forcing and pushing, and making wise, healthy, and reasonable eating choices instead of demanding that our body perform to reach self-determined diet goals. In each of our circumstances the passage in Deuteronomy commands us to choose…not to just want…but to choose Life. God’s divine power flows through us when we choose Life.
While want is a preference, choice is an action.
I Peter 1:13 says, Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; KJV
The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary explains that this is “an image taken from the way in which the Israelites ate the Passover with the loose outer robe girded up about the waist with a girdle, as ready for a journey. Workmen, pilgrims, runners, wrestlers, and warriors (all of whom are types of the Christians), so gird themselves up, both to shorten the garment so as not to impede motion, and to gird up the body itself so as to be braced for action. The believer is to have his mind (mental powers) collected and always ready…” (Bold and italics mine.)
We are to choose to make our minds act differently.
When we choose Life our will chooses to control our mind. Of our own free will we are demanding that our mind move from a pattern of thinking death to a new road of thinking Life. God is with us on Life’s road.
Here’s an example. Several nights ago I awakened at 3 a.m. I got out of bed, went into my office and plopped in my chair. A spiritual knowledge that seemed to start in my heart quickly saturated my entire being. I was highly aware that I was bone-tired of worrying. My soul (that is my mind, my will and my emotions) was exhausted. Moreover, I not only wanted to stop worrying, I simply could not do it anymore. Out loud I said, “I choose to stop worrying. Of my own free will, I choose to stop worrying. Then, I slept.
When I woke up the phone was ringing and the television was barking a bunch of negative junk. Loud and clear the challenges of the day had begun. I watched my mind jump from the peace of sleep into the defense and worry of the day … until I remembered my choice from the night before. “No.” I said. “God, You handle this,” I found myself saying over and over that day. “I will not think the worst. I will not try to control people or their circumstances. I will not try to fix things. I will not worry. NO! You do it all, God. ”
Within several weeks my will had taught my brain a new way to behave. However, the neat part was that I learned to watch God work. When I got my junk, (that is my rotten thinking and its subsequent lousy behavior), out of the way and let God take on the hard stuff I was free to watch His day and His way unfold. I watched in amazement as problems unraveled and people relaxed. I realized that there was a very natural rhythm, order and peace waiting to surface. It was as if God’s reality…which is Truth… was emerging from within a misty, receding fog.
Here’s the deal.
God was finished with the world ─ the past, present and future, you and me ─ a long, long time ago. It is done. It is good and He is pleased. He loves me and you and He has given us freedom and our freedom is in our power to choose. His power is in our choice if we choose what pleases Him.
We encounter hundreds of situations with hundreds of decisions each day but we are really only faced with one choice over and over again ─ do we please God and choose Life or do we go our way and choose death? The power of God stands with us when we sync with Him and choose Life.
This year gird up the loins of your mind and choose life. Whether it is a diet, a change in a behavior or a circumstance ─ whatever the stronghold ─ choose to commit your will to Life. The power of God is with you.