May 25, 2016

Letting God choose

When Abraham and his nephew Lot stood looking at the land before them, by seniority Abraham had the first choice. He could take the best of the land without violating anything. It was his right to do that. However, Abraham was a man of faith. He trusted God to choose what was best for him.

“Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself from me. If you take the left hand, then I will go to the right, or if you take the right hand, then I will go to the left.” (Genesis 13:9)

Lot picked the best of it, the lush and productive land. Abraham was content with that choice because he trusted the Lord. Most of us know the rest of the story. Lot’s choice led him to Sodom and eventually to disaster. Had Abraham taken the Jordan Valley, the story may not have ended the same way, but God knew, and He blessed Abraham saying, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever. I will make your offspring as the dust of the earth, so that if one can count the dust of the earth, your offspring also can be counted. Arise, walk through the length and the breadth of the land, for I will give it to you.” (Genesis 13:14–17)

Chambers says that the life of faith includes exercising my right to waive my rights — letting God choose for me. This may include the right to protect myself, to choose what is best for me when that choice is not sinful, yet by faith, I can allow God to choose for me.

The examples that come to mind include those times I was asked to lead a Bible study. Then one or two requests to lead other studies came at the same time. None of these choices were wrong, but which one was the best one? I had no way of knowing, and learned that God would guide me. His choice would be the best choice.

Chambers also says that spiritual insight is dulled when “my rights” become the guide for life. I might select a good thing, but God had something better for me. The good is always the enemy of the best. If choosing what is right becomes my standard instead of relying on God to choose for me, I’m putting myself in a place of ‘no growth’ in faith, a place where ‘my way’ comes first.

However, picking my way over God’s way is dangerous because that is a biblical definition of sin . . .

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)

Several times, Proverbs says that our ways seem right to us, but they are the way of death! That means that even if my choices are not sinful, putting my own way above the way of the Lord is at the very root of sin. Chambers says the good is the enemy of the best, which is true, but I also need to remember that telling God that I know what is best for me is just as sinful as blatantly disobeying Him.

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