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  • Writer's pictureMike Creavey

Choose Wisely

Coming to terms with God's call to obedience is a difficult undertaking for me most of the time. At first glance it may seem easy: obey God, for he is God. My fears should seem small when compared with his glory, but when I honestly assess them it turns out that they're usually bigger in my mind.

Transformation in Christ is a great mystery. It is the greatest mystery of all. God calls me to a change of the very core of my being, a change that must necessarily eliminate from me everything that does not bear his mark. Evil is really nothing more than the empty, space-less, barren void that grows wherever I have willingly rejected God. When I participate in evil, I literally assent to an unmaking of myself - a de-creation in a sense. Like Smeagol's tragic journey in The Lord of the Rings, the life of sin is one in which I gradually divest myself of self, so invested in some finite thing that I rid myself of any space for the SomeONE who is the very source of my life. I close the door to him, and I lock it from the inside.

Sometimes I imagine that the Lord must stand at the door or window in an incomprehensible divine agony as he sees us suffering inside in our own little houses, which are in fact self-fashioned cages. We run about confused and broken, inflicting pain on ourselves and on others as we hopelessly seek our own fulfillment. He must suffer greatly as he witnesses our abuse of his gift of free will. But he will never himself abuse the gift by denying us of it, for only free will enables us to truly love. Without God, we cannot escape doom. Without us, he will not arbitrarily snatch us from it. Love that is not freely chosen is no love at all.

And so, man's heart must change. The rest of him must change, too. Choice, that word whose meaning has become a political slogan for decades, is in fact the root of authentic human freedom. It is the crux point of the change God calls all of us to make. We hear his call, but it will never lead to fruitful harvest unless we roll up our sleeves, say "yes" to him in loving obedience, and get to work. Then we may begin to understand what Saint Paul means when he writes "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God is at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13).

What will you choose today? Blasphemy or praise? License or freedom? Deception or honesty? Lust or love? Hell or Heaven? Each choice we make for God is a choice for objective reality. The more we move by his grace in that direction, the more we will begin to experience the rays of the eternal "Sonrise" pushing away the darkness borne of sin.

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