Each day we get up and we believe in something.
Whether you realize it or not, you choose to believe in something or someone. It can be yourself. It can be tarot cards, crystals, voodoo, psychics, or horoscopes. It can be magic. It can be your job. It can be your status. It can be the number of friends you have on social media. It can be your family. It can be the money in the bank. It can be God.
But you choose to believe, to follow, and to rely on something or someone.
God leaves the choice up to you.
You can believe in yourself and think you have enough strength, answers, and courage to get through the day in your own power. You can think you can stand alone and be OK. But you know what I’ve learned? Not only do people disappoint us, we disappoint ourselves.
We were created by a loving Creator for relationship with, growth by, and sustenance from Him. It is only through Him that we can have a firm foundation to live out a successful and joyful life. We have to have something other than ourselves to stand on, and I know without a doubt that what we choose determines the direction of our life, the content of our character, and the quality of our emotions. We make our choices, and we have to live with the consequences (both positive and negative) of those decisions.
So why does He give us the opportunity to reject Him?
To me, that is one of the great mysteries of God – that He gives us the free will each moment of each day of each month of each year to say “yes” or “no” to Him. Whether we choose to acknowledge Him is our choice.
So when we say “no” to Him, we’re missing out. We miss out on the fullness of His goodness, His blessings, His grace, and His love. We miss out on the magnificent Creator who weaves together our lives and sustains us. We miss out on the generous God who calls us to a better, more fulfilling, and more engaged life.
So what will you believe in? Will you believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God who directs each step and each day of your existence? Will you believe in a God who loves you unconditionally, no matter where you are and what you do? Will you believe in a God who is pursuing you to have an intimate relationship with Him? Will you believe in a God who gives grace, grace, and more grace for every decision, every bad thought, every denial, every lie, every hurtful word, and every thoughtless action?
There was grace for Peter, who denied Jesus not once but three times while He was being tried by the council. Peter, who had walked, talked, eaten, and spent personal time with Jesus. Peter, one of the three men chosen to see Jesus’ transfiguration and to be in the garden during His final pre-crucifixion hours. Peter, who was told he would be the foundation of the new Jesus movement. Jesus redeemed Peter’s denials in John 21 by giving him the chance to declare his belief and his loyalty.
Because Jesus knows we are only human. We will be tempted to believe things contrary to His love and His goodness. We will be convinced to believe things that are outright lies and deceit. We will be led astray to believe things that seem good but hide deadly consequences.
So He is always ready for us to turn (back) to Him to believe in Him. To believe in unconditional love. To believe in unlimited grace. To believe in unwavering devotion.
But the choice will always be ours. He won’t push or prod or pull us to believe. He will gently guide and encourage us in His direction. But He won’t force us or coerce us. Ever. He leaves the choice up to us.
So the choice is yours. He is waiting patiently for you. Will you choose Him?
Marie Fremin, 10/14 and 12/23/15