The Choice We All Make
Luke 11:23 Whoever is not with me is against me…
The temptation, when I read this verse, is to think that it has no application to me today. In this passage, Jesus said that everyone consciously chooses to follow him, or by default, they oppose him. As I became a Christian long ago, I have made my choice and thus, this verse has no application for me now, right?
When I was in treatment, I clearly remember begging God to save me from my destruction. He said I simply needed to point my life at him every day and I would not follow myself to this destruction again. Though I was already a Christian, I still had to make that choice. Was I for God or was I for me? Was I willing to discipline myself to make a daily effort to keep my eyes on him?
The alternative was not necessarily even a conscious choice. This is what Jesus was saying. Either I make a conscious choice to follow him or, by default, I have already made a choice to follow self to destruction. Destruction does not necessarily mean treatment or jail. Jesus defined destruction simply as not following him.
But I am not opposed to God! This is the cry of those of us who want God but continue to pursue self. We find ourselves accidentally opposed to God. Accidental opposition to God is still devastating. We call ourselves Christians but we live for self. We are trying to create that third option where we can have the benefits of knowing God all while pursuing our own desires. There is however, no third option. We follow God or we follow self.
But I am a Christian! I cannot be opposed to God, right? Daily, I need to ask myself if I am following God or following me. Yes, I have a new life in me that nothing can take away, but I still have this old life and daily, I have the choice to pursue one or the other. The temptation is to look back at my time in treatment and think that as I chose God then, I do not need to continue to do so.
The problem is, I find ways to subtly turn my gaze back to self constantly. In writing this blog, I can write honestly about my own time with God, or I can get caught up in my perceived success or failure. I see the numbers for the blog every day. At times, I find myself trying to write a good story so I will be more popular, so I will feel better about my writing. This though, is turning from pursuit of God to promotion of self.
It is not that I daily gain or lose my salvation. God loves me regardless of my behavior. I do not earn his grace by good behavior or lose it with bad. It is just that daily, I can choose to focus on him or not. It is only in following him and focusing on him that He draws near to me and fills me with his life and peace. I do not find intimacy with God by pursuing self.
We all make this choice. If we fail to make the conscious choice for God, we have automatically chosen the pursuit of self and thus, opposition to God.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.