WE CHOOSE OUR DESTINY
“‘If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
“‘There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that His command leads to eternal life. So, whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.'” John 12:47-50 NIV.
Could Jesus say any more clearly how intimately He related to the Father? His claim to oneness with the Father was spelled out and lived out in everything He said and did.
As human beings and according to the way we humans think, we have the mistaken idea that God will be our accuser when we stand before Him at the end of time. Yet the Bible teaches us that it is the devil, not God who is the accuser. We need to get rid of the notion that God will demand, ‘Why did you do this?’ or ‘Why did you do that?’ Enshrined in His gift of free will is the very judgment our choices will bring by the consequences of our choices.
There is a tendency in us to blame God when the choices we make bring the consequences we don’t like. Is there any logic in the outburst of the young girl, ‘Why did God allow this to happen?’ when her promiscuous behaviour produces either an unwanted pregnancy or worse? Did God tell her to sleep around? Did He force her to go to bed with every man she dates?
When she decides to get rid of “the products of conception” and then faces the shame, guilt and condemnation of a conscience she cannot silence, is it God’s fault that she feels so bad? Did He tell her to get an abortion? Did He hide the truth from her until the deed was done and then beat her with the consequences? Unfortunately, above and beyond the consequences of her disobedience lies the very word she has disobeyed, the word that will ultimately be her judge.
The difference between God’s way and the devil’s modus operandi is this: God speaks the truth and does not hide the unpleasant consequences of our disobedience. He makes His requirements clear and warns us what will happen if we choose the path of self-will. He offers His grace but we must first make the choice to obey Him.
Satan, on the other hand, makes disobedience appealing. He lures us with self-gratification; he insists that it’s okay to satisfy our fleshly appetites now; he lies about the consequences; he waits until we have transgressed the boundaries and then beats us with condemnation. ‘You stupid fool! Look what you’ve done. You are a wicked person. You don’t deserve to live.’
Those who believe in Jesus can live life one of two ways. It all depends on whether or not we have embraced the truth of God’s word. We can be propelled into the future by our past, ashamed, apologetic, never knowing whether we have done enough to satisfy God’s requirements, acting like a slave who is bound to his master by rules and never able to accept God’s embrace and His affirmation, ‘My son; my daughter.’
On the other hand, we can be drawn into our future by God’s promises — believing the truth of His word and living up to who He says we are. He has cancelled our debt, and the written law with its demands and requirements. He knew we could never keep His law perfectly. He paid our unpayable debt, past, present and future and received us back into His family as greatly blessed, deeply loved and highly favoured sons and daughters.
He gave us the Spirit of sonship. We are no longer slaves but sons. We have all the privileges of sons. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. No condemnation! No guilt! No shame! No barriers! Every promise we believe and embrace draws us nearer to who we really are.
God has made us responsible for our own judgment. When we stand before Him, what will our lives reveal? Obedience to His word and eternal life or rejection of what He said and an eternity of consequences we brought on ourselves because we thought we knew better?
It’s up to us to decide.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.