I’m diving right in today. No time to waste. I want you to picture yourself as a child again for just a moment.
Picture yourself playing baseball with a group of kids at recess. You are up to bat. The ball comes towards you. You close your eyes and swing the bat with all the might that you have. To your surprise, you hear the crack of a successful hit. You smile as you open your eyes just in time to see the ball sailing towards…a window in your classroom. The ball crashes through the glass! Sudden panic hits you. What is your instinct? Throw the bat and mingle with the other children. Blend in. Whatever you do…do. not. look. guilty.
Funny thing about guilt. It is almost impossible to hide. If you have gotten good at hiding it…you are on dangerous grounds…and I suggest you flee from your ways. Learn to fight with truth. We were born into this sinful nature that instinctively makes us want to hide when we are wrong. We must fight against. This same sinful nature calls us to stretch the truth. We must fight against. It calls us to blame everyone but who is really responsible. We MUST fight against.
We are loosing battles that God wanted to claim victory over because we aren’t fighting. It is easier not to fight at first. I know. I’ve so been there and done that! It feels good to go with your natural response. But that good feeling fades so quickly. Immediately sometimes. And you are left feeling ashamed at what you have chosen.
You see the teacher walking towards you. Your eyes are shifting back and forth. You are looking for an escape. You are searching for a hole to dive into. You can’t just stand there! Before you know it the teacher is standing right in front of you. She asks what happened, and the crowd is silent. You are staring into the ground, and she sees. She says your name. Panic. What do you do?
Every day of your life is full of choices. Do you wake up early or do you hit snooze? Do you eat five donuts or do you eat fruit and granola? God gave us free will so that we would CHOOSE HIM! Not just on Sunday. Not just when it is convenient. Not just when we are in crisis. ALWAYS! He created us to worship Him…and we have every day, all day to choose whether we will do it or not.
You are still looking at the ground. You are trying to form an answer. You can choose truth or dare you lie. You can choose life or death with that tongue of yours. All of a sudden a genius idea pops into your head. Blame. It’s not your fault. You didn’t ‘throw’ the ball. It was clearly self-defense. The ball was going to hit you…so you swung. Dare you say it? Will it work? If you can just point your finger with enough conviction…maybe you won’t have to hear yourself breathing anymore out of pure anxiety.
Then just for a moment. You catch the eyes of the one you are about to accuse. You wonder what would he get in your place? Could you really do it? It is scary that it even crossed your mind. You have not yet sinned…and so you choose.
“I did it. It was an accident.”
Your shame immediately turns to a sigh of relief. Fear is still there, but the weight, the heavy burden of choice has been lifted. You have chosen to put your accusing finger back in its holster. The kids are dismissed and you walk inside with the teacher.
What does she do? She has a choice too. She takes you to the classroom and hands you a dustpan. She starts to clean the glass and asks you to help. She has not chosen to yell. She has not chosen to get angry. She even thanks you for telling the truth. Your choice of truth has set you free. Even though you are guilty, you do not feel guilty. You had a choice and you fought against the lie of the enemy. God was proud of you that day!
“My mouth speaks what is true, for my lips detest wickedness.” Proverbs 8:7 Sin lover…or sin loather…you choose.
I imagine you have stories of when you have chosen truth and stories of when you have chosen lies. Which one left you feeling satisfied? Which one provided a way out but quickly offered only shame and remorse? It’s not too late. You always have truth. You always have choice. You can still choose truth. Your character is forever being fine tuned. God is refining you so that you are more and more like Him. He sees you drowning in your choice…and He offers a way out. He has not turned against you. He is not ignoring you. That conviction you feel. That is because He refuses to accept less than what He has for you. But this 'free will' always leaves you with a choice. Good or evil.
What lies have you been believing? What half-truths have you been telling? Today I challenge you to choose truth. Whether you got away with your wrong choice or not…you do not have to live in guilt and shame. You still have the truth. You know it. God knows it. You might be nervous or dreading an uncomfortable conversation. But be honest with yourself, you live in discomfort knowing anyway.
“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 You can say you love truth. You can even convince me and those around you that you live truth. But God sees the fruit you are eating. He knows which ones nourish and enrich your life…and which decay and sour the effectiveness of your ministry. It is not too late. It is never too late! Restoration is close. Freedom is right on the tip of your tongue. Have the courage to speak to the mountains you’ve built by choice. It is your choice that got you in that valley…and it is only choice that will remove you from it. Your ministry is waiting for you to live and love what you know. “…if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 Those are the words of Jesus, Himself. They can be trusted! NO thing will be impossible for you. Rise up!
God has great things in store for those who earnestly seek Him. He rejoices when you choose, on purpose, to fight against the scheme of the enemy. He longs to see you defeat. He loves to watch you dodge those fiery darts of the enemy. They fizzle out. They become extinguished because of your choice. Their power to harm you is gone. Who knew that the easiest way to send the enemy retreating in defeat was to choose truth? Righteousness. Trust me…it looks good on everyone! =)
Words have power. Written words provide proof. You can read them, and reread them whenever you want. They can speak life to someone who needs encouragement. They can speak death to someone who is being deceived. The choice lies within you. How is it that you want people to remember you? Encourager...that is the gift that God has laid on my heart. To use my written, spoken, and/or sung words to lift people up. To be one link in their road to healing, restoration, joy. I have been without those things, and I claim them to be mine again. If you want me to seek God on a prayer for a specific situation...that is why I am here. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to pray God's Word of Life over you.