I’ve been quietly bouncing up and down on this limb of thought for awhile. It seems like a good day to quit bouncing and write…
Consequence is a word in our English language that a lot of people don’t like. I can say that because I have been one of those people that has proven it out in my own life.
If consequence means end result, outcome, upshot, product, outgrowth, effect, fruit and more – which it does – then there is something of significance about the thousand little choices we make on a daily basis.
“I…have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, that you may live, you and your seed…” (Deut. 30:19 LITV)
Many years ago this verse from the Old Testament jumped off the page and smacked me right upside my New Testament head. The Lord knew I needed a wake-up call about this concept of life and death, the blessing and the curse. And, He knew I needed to hear it again, once more from the top:
If a thousand little choices are made about every seven days or so (my guesstimate), I was well on my way to joining the Millionaire’s Club. And like many of the clients who now walk through my husband’s and my office door, I was hit with the realization that I had really screwed up. All those choices had led to consequences, some evident and others I could not know would yet follow. There had to be consequences or the Lord would not be the righteous judge that He is. (Did I just hear a limb crack?)
Meanwhile, I kept making a thousand little choices. And I discovered making a thousand little choices flows both ways…toward death and toward life.
Before you go off quoting that “a double-minded man is unsteady in all his ways!” let me assure you I found that to be true. “Unsteady is as unsteady does.” Yet I find we have perfected living on the fence.
I can’t tell you how many times I hear some truth of the Word come out of someone’s mouth, only to have them follow it up with statements of rationale, denial, giving up, or determination to try harder. I ‘hear’ it because I have been personally familiar with that kind of thinking. Somewhere along the route of a thousand little choices, we learned how to undercut the truth of God even while aiming for it.
Which is why the Lord, knowing our flesh doesn’t take easily to dying, continually sets before us life or death, the blessing or the curse – and keeps telling us the exam’s answer! He desires that we begin, or continue, to make the thousand little choices that lead to life.
In the midst of the circumstances I found myself in during that long period, the Lord was teaching me and testing me. Teaching me to be aware of and recognize the choices I was making; testing me as to whether I would acknowledge and admit the choices I was making.
Fair Justice that He is, this not only included recognizing and admitting the choices I was making that led me away from His blessing, but being aware of and acknowledging those that I was making from a heart that was moving toward Him in earnest.
The more I came to earnestly desire life and blessing – as God and His Word defines life and blessing – the more I began to draw upon His bountiful account of grace to help me make my ongoing thousand little choices.
Whether or not we have ever thought about decision-making in these terms doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. God’s eternal laws are in operation all the time that we are making our thousand little choices. The choices we make will lead to consequences.
No one knew that better than Jesus even as His thousand little choices led Him closer to the cross.
Join me on the limb next week for Part 2…
Gracefully Free-er with every little choice
Shammahs Field LLC/Shammah Ministries is the biblical counseling, life coaching, and spiritual growth ministry entrusted to Wayne & Nancy Bentz. You can learn more about the resources they have to offer at www.shammahsfield.com.