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Which Door God?

by Rev. Dr. Paul Sene

Two doors. One choice.
Behind one door is the complete will of God for your entire life and behind the other door is how life would be according to your own choice.

Which door would you choose? That may be an easy question, or it may not be!

God gave man the right to make choices and God respects man's power to choose. That is why the human will is one of the most precious blessings that we have. Yet at the same time, we know that God wants us to obey Him with all our hearts. Thus, we must realize that with our own free will or power of choice, we will have to bear the consequences that follow. It can be good or bad; it can happen immediately but sometimes it takes a while. To make a choice in not a small matter that can be done with our eyes closed. God will hold us responsible for our own choices. What you and I choose today will determine the kind of life we will have in the future.

Many times in the Bible God cautioned His people against sin and disobedience but left it to them to decide if they wanted to obey Him. We can choose to hear Him or ignore, keep His commandments and statutes or transgress them, cleave to God or turn away from Him, follow His way or go our own way. However, God longs for us to respond to Him voluntarily because our lives are made up of the decisions we make. Every one must choose life or death.

Deuteronomy 30:19
"I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live."

God wants us to know how to refuse evil and choose that which is good. God never desires anyone to make wrong choices which result in sin, defeat, grief or suffering. Bitterness, weariness, dissatisfaction, desperation, worldly wealth or even persecution should not influence us to make a wrong decision. God clearly said, "(You) choose for yourself" (1 Chronicles 21:11b). Remember, the consequence of a wrong choice will not only hurt you but also your loved ones, including your family and your descendants. In addition, we cannot control the extent of the consequence or even the consequences of sin. One situation can snowball into another situation.

Therefore, before we make a decision, we should bring them to the Lord in prayer. If we know that a wrong decision was made which subsequently led us to do the wrong thing and cause chaos in our lives, come to the Lord in prayer and seek His forgiveness. Ask Him to direct our ways.

The key to making choices in God's way: TOTAL SURRENDER

I am sure that most people want to follow God but they struggle deep down in their hearts. There are many questions that plague their minds, "{What will happen? What do I have to give up? How will others view me? What about my life? What about what I want? What about my family?"

Yes, many desire to follow God but NOT at any cost. They love God but are not willing to give Him complete permission to do as He wills in them. Initially, they were willing to give up everything to obey and follow God. However, when faced with tests or temptations, they compromised God's Word. Their desires became more important than God's desire and what the world offered appeared to be more attractive, pleasurable, easy and reasonable. Then, obeying God became difficult and inconvenient. Fulfilling God's will was no longer their priority.

Whatever we hold on tightly to more than God, we will in the end lose them. It's better for us to lay them on God's altar. Surrender totally to Him! Do not struggle - the more you struggle, the more difficult it will be!

Remember how Mary yielded herself to follow God's perfect will for her to give birth to a son, Jesus. It was definitely not easy for her to agree to it! She was after all a virgin. It was inconceivable for her to conceive! Furthermore, Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph. Despite the unrest she might have felt and the 1001 questions that might have filled her mind of what would happen and what she would have to face, in total surrender to God, she said, "Let it be done unto me according to Your Word" (Luke 1:38).

Joseph contemplated divorcing Mary quietly and this made matters worse. At the time, Mary was ready to risk being a disgrace to the people if Joseph annulled the marriage. But God was in control of everything. An angel of God appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that the child Mary was expecting was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Thus, he should not be afraid to marry Mary. Joseph did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him but he had no union with Mary until she gave birth to the Son of God.

In those days, Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken. Joseph belonged to the house and lineage of David so he had to register. So he and Mary had to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the town of David. It must have been an uncomfortable time for Mary who was pregnant. What's more, when they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to give birth. But there was no room in the inn and she had to give birth to her firstborn, Jesus, the Son of God in a stable. Mary then wrapped Him in cloth and laid him in a manger.

Like Mary, we know that our lives are in God's hand. But can we do as Mary did, who totally surrendered her life and all that was hers to God? Mary walked in total obedience to God because her life was totally surrendered to God.

Total surrender will enable you to make the right choices and do God's will above yours. There is no such thing as 50% yielding or 99% surrender. It has to be absolutely 100%!

Many people fear what's behind the door of full surrender, the door God would have us choose. In fact, it is a door that leads to life and life abundantly. It is a door that leads to a closer walk with Jesus, walking in faith in His Word, total dependence and trust in Him. You may think it is a life filled with uncertainties but our assurance lies in the Lord and His Word.

Fear will hinder us from surrendering our lives to the will of God. With His guidance, we need not fear. We can step out in faith. Don't just give mental assent to God's Word but give yourself wholeheartedly to His will. The Bible never promised us a path free of gravel and stones, but God promised that He will never leave nor forsake us (Hebrew 13:5). Anyway, when God is with us, who can come against us? He will give us nothing but the best!!!

The key to the door of having a totally surrendered life : TRUST

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

To acknowledge God is to put Him first above all things. This includes our ways, desires and even understanding. If we trust Him, we can put Him above all things and not lean on our own understanding. He will then direct our steps. Acknowledgment of God in all our affairs is a sign of our faith and trust in God.

Trusting God will help us to be decisive in both large and small decisions. We have to place our trust in God and know that whatever He wants us to do is not beyond our abilities. Trust Him that He knows what's best for us. We may not have the whole picture or the fine details but God knows what is going to happen. He holds the future! When we go along with God's principle, we will do fine. And even if things don't work out according to our expectations, we can take courage that our obedience to God and His Word pleases Him. Trust Him that He is working behind the scenes on our behalf!

Don't fall into the trap of self-sufficiency, self-confidence and leaning on your own understanding. These have been the ruin of mankind ever since the first man fell. Man's sin has been his self-reliance. They think they can do everything by themselves.

"If that is the case, how do I know if I have made a right decision?" Do as Jesus did; He prayed first before He chose the twelve apostles (Luke 6:12-13). Pray first before you make any decision ask God for guidance. Don't rush, listen to godly counsel. Make sure you have all the facts and spend consistent time in God's Word.

God's Word gives us wisdom to know what He wants and to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Seeking His will and being committed to do it will help us to make right decisions. You know you've made a good decision when your decision produces good results (Matthew 7:20).

Remember, God never forces anybody to follow Him. He respects man's freedom to choose. So, give Him complete permission to do His will in your life! God's ways are much better than your ways and His thoughts are higher than yours (Isaiah 55:8-9). Choose to always obey Him! He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His perfect will in this generation!

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