July 17, 2016

Psalm 101:2-3 I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
when will you come to me?
I will walk in my house
with blameless heart.
I will set before my eyes
no vile thing.

This Psalm is a statement of intent, and as such is beautifully in line with the message I will be preaching this morning. None of us is perfect, but we must not be content with our imperfection. Rather, we are always to be pressing forward toward the goal God has set before us, just as Paul did. (Philippians 3:12-14) This Psalm claims to be by David, and would be in line with what we know of him. As is well known, David made some drastic mistakes, but his intent was to walk in purity and obedience at all times. The longer I live, the more I am convinced that all we really can offer God is our free will, our choices. I preached not long ago on Praise and Worship, and one of the points, based on Psalm 22:25, was that even our praise to God comes from Him; all we give Him, as such, is the choice to do so. In the same way, we don’t have the strength, wisdom, power, ability, what have you, to do anything apart from God. Jesus Himself was quite blunt about that. (John 15:5) However, that is not at all to say that we are to be passive. The Bible speaks many times of God desiring our hearts. That is nothing more than the fact that He wants us to choose Him. I am convinced that human free will is the most valuable thing in the universe, because if we were not free, we would not be responsible for our actions, which would mean sin would be meaningless. It is only because sin is real that God had to send His Son to die as an atonement for human sin. Thus we come to the conclusion that our free will is worth the life of the Son of God. That is mind boggling indeed, and shows why our choices, on a day-to-day basis, are the most important things we do.

Having said all that, I realize that there are people who are paralyzed by an inability to make choices. There have been times when I have agonized over choices myself. However, such indecision is actually secondary. Our primary choice is extremely simple: God or other. It is when we understand that is our choice that everything falls into place. I’ve got to remember, and teach others to remember, that whatever it might look like, our choices all boil down to whether we will seek God and place Him first in our hearts and lives. There are indeed relatively inconsequential choices, such as what shirt to wear on a given day, but even those are relatively inconsequential. As a case in point, what we eat, when we eat, and how much we eat don’t seem terribly spiritual to most of us, but they are directly related to our stewardship of our bodies. If our focus is truly on God, then our intent will be to treat our bodies as His temple, (1 Corinthians 6:19) and so we will maintain them properly. I am painfully aware of my own imperfection in every area, but by God’s grace I choose Him, to allow Him to work in and through me what He desires, and nothing else.

Father, thank You for this strong Word. Since it relates to what You have given me for this morning I am tempted to try to incorporate it, but that would certainly produce overload in most if not all of my hearers. Guide in when and how I am to share this truth so that it will penetrate and be applied. May we all choose to be Yours, even though we don’t yet know all that means, so that Your Name may be acknowledged as holy and Your kingdom come as Your will is done in and through us, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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