What the Bible Says About...
How Our Choices Create Our Future
By Betty Miller
The freedom to make our own choices is a very important issue in our society. Every
day, each of us chooses to do the things that we do, unless we are in a situation where we
have been stripped of our freedom and then we must do as those who have control over us
command us to do. This would be the case of those in prison or those who are enslaved by
force in repressive societies. Even in these circumstances one still has freedom to make
certain choices although they may be limited. For example, one can choose as to what kind
of attitude and response one would have to his or her oppressors. Those in prisons
can still experience freedom when they have Christ, because true freedom is an act of the
soul and therefore we each can make choices in our soul. Other men cannot force us to
think wrongly unless we choose to agree with them.
There are other circumstances that can limit our choices because of the authority that
exits in the world. One of these would be the choices of school children are limited
to the authorities' decisions and rules. This is also true of the military. These are just
two of many circumstances that can limit one's own personal choices.
However, no matter what our choices are today, they are ultimately creating our future
because every choice that we make will either cause us to be blessed or cursed. Another
way to put it, is that things will get better or worse for us. All choices have
consequences. These consequences will be for our betterment or will work to destroy us. We
are also responsible for our choices. The Bible challenges us with this admonition in Deuteronomy
30:19: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set
before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and
thy seed may live"
Messages going forth in our society today have stressed our "right to choose"
but have not balanced it with the message that our choices also have consequences
(especially in the area of lust and selfishness.) For instance, most movies have
glamorized many things that are bad for us and have not generally shown the destructive
results of smoking, drinking, adultery, fornication, gambling, abortion, etc.
These things do not often hit home until ----
- A loved one gets lung cancer and is dying.
- A child is killed by a drunk driver
- Close friends divorce because of the unfaithfulness of a mate
- A teen is infected with a venereal disease she will have for life
- A family loses their home because of gambling debts
- A baby is aborted because of the lust and selfishness of its parents leaving them
struggling with guilt
Our Daily Choices
We face choices on a personal level daily:
What shall we eat? ---- We can choose to eat healthy or just "pig
out" on junk food.
Whom should we vote for? ---- We can take the time to pray and
study the candidates positions and vote accordingly or we can refuse to vote. When
we do not vote, we are actually making a choice to allow others to choose who shall rule
Whom shall we marry? ---- This is a serious life-time commitment and
should never be gone into without God's guidance. Making this choice foolishly or
based on emotion alone has brought much heartache to many a person.
What occupation should we pursue? ---- Those making this decision
strictly based on need or money issues will regret not seeking God about this issue.
God has gifted every person with certain talents to adapt to the jobs that are
suited just for them at the right times in their lives.
Should I return the money that was credited to my account by accident? ---- Remember
the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
When only God is watching, what kind of choices do we make? He is looking for
people He can trust, as He desires to use us in His work.
Should I purchase this item on credit? ---- Do I really need this item
or is it something I want, even though I cannot afford it?
These are just some samples of choices that we face. We also face temptations
that we must resist with the Word of God. The consequences of some choices are more deadly
than others. When we rebel against God and choose our own way, we are choosing a path of
destruction that will ultimately end in hell. Because of Gods love and mercy to
humanity, most of our choices do not have immediate results. We are all given a time to
repent and find the Lord and His ways. We may all get away with sinning for awhile;
however in time we will reap what we have sown.
2 Peter 3:9 says "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men
count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but
that all should come to repentance."
Galatians 6:7 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap. 8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap
corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life
Wrong Choices Cause Soul Sickness
Many people are sick in their souls because they have not known the ways of the Lord,
and therefore have made wrong decisions. God wants to heal us in every area of our souls
and bodies, as well as give us a new life in the spirit. To receive healing of the soul,
however, we must understand it and why it needs to be healed, restored, and renewed.
The Greek word psuche (pronounced "sue-kay") is the word Bible writers
used when talking about things of the natural man, which in English is called "the
soul." The soul of man is comprised of the mind, the will, and the emotions. Our
emotional patterns tend to formulate our personalities.
The soul, or personality, is formed through a person's reactions to the information the
mind takes in. The way each person chooses to react to the things he hears, the things
that happen to him, and the things he chooses to receive as truth causes each soul to
become what he, or she, is. However, when a person is born again, he becomes a new
creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15), and the soul can be
changed and renewed through the Holy Spirit.
As Christians we are to develop the attributes of Christ and become like Him. Because
much of our personalities are formed through our choices, we have to make new choices to
let go of the old nature and receive the new. Our new natures are formed by the truths
from the Word of God. The healing of the soul, which is a cleansing process, takes place
as we learn to study the Word and develop a close fellowship with the Lord through prayer.
The Mind, the Will and the Emotions
We might look upon human beings in this way: each of us is a spirit who
has a soul and lives in a body.
The will is how we exercise our freedom of choices. God gave man this freedom
when He created Adam. God will not violate our free wills and make us do the right
thing, nor will He make choices for us. We can choose His way, "the law of the Spirit
of life in Christ" (Romans 8:22:"For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ
Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."), or we can choose the
way of self -- which really is the devil's way or "the law of sin and death."
There are only two ways: God's or the devil's. What man thinks is his own way is really
Satan's way and puts him under the authority of the enemy. If someone is not for
God, he automatically is against Him (Matthew 12:30). There is no possible
way man can just do his own thing and think he is not making a choice. That choice is
choosing Satan's way. Even "no choice" on man's part is a choice, because when
we refuse to choose, others will make our choices for us. Satan causes men to follow him
by encouraging apathy, laziness, or lack of responsibility.
The mind is the intellect, with reasoning being the "voice" of the
mind. If the mind remains unrenewed, not "healed," it will continue to think
carnal thoughts, believe false information, and result in fleshly speaking and living.
The emotions were designed by God to express His characteristics, which are
placed in our spirits when we become born again. Those are the "fruits" written
about in Galatians 5:22,23, and other places. If we do not yield to the renewal
process, we continue to act like our "old father," the devil.
Put on the Nature of Jesus
Much of the Church considers sanctification or "conforming to the image of
Jesus" (Romans 8:29) to be optional. It is not taught or preached as much as
it was in former generations. Many Christians born since World War II are as much a part
of the "Me Generation" as the world. Self-will and rebellion are more a part of
society today than at any time previously in the history of the United States. It is no
surprise that much of today's American Church operates in carnality, and it should be no
surprise to us that God has finally set out to expose this evil and clean up His Church.
When Paul wrote to the Ephesians about "crucifying" the old man, this is
exactly what he meant (Ephesians 4:18-24). When something is crucified, it is put
to death. Every Christian needs the things of his old nature (which are part of his
unregerated soul), to be put to death in order for the life of God to permeate the whole
person. We have been given the power through the Holy Spirit to overcome sin in our
lives. We can choose to obey God and He will empower us to overcome every sin.
Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore
reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield
yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as
instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to
whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Instead of pursuing holiness, many Christians have just
allowed Christ to dwell in their spirits, but have not allowed Him to renew their souls
and heal their bodies. As soon as a person is born again, he should begin to make the
choices that will put to death his old ways of thinking, talking, and acting, and
allow the Holy Spirit to replace them with God's ways.
Overcoming Through Faith
Renewing the soul will cause negative habits and emotions to change. The key to that
change is faith. Through our wills we must choose to change. However, it is only
the work of the Holy Spirit who can actually bring permanent change in us. We cannot
do it in ourselves. We choose to let go of the negative and that allows the Holy
Spirit to do the changing. But doubt and unbelief can keep a person from receiving this
kind of healing as much as it does healing of the body. A Christian must make the choices for
God's way and against his own way in absolute faith that the Holy Spirit will do
His part and make the needed changes in us.
If we allow our bodies to be lazy and undisciplined, they will suffer the consequences.
Bad physical habits can hinder God's work in us. The Holy Spirit wants to help us overcome
these ungodly ways. In the soul, if we choose to be resentful, hateful, angry, unkind,
discouraged, worried, fearful, impatient, lustful, greedy, etc., we will allow these
things to rule us instead of calling on the strength of Christ to help us to overcome
these negative attitudes.
Many habits or addictions of the soul and body can be broken with a three-day fast.
Certain desires or feelings of the body are perfectly legitimate, such as hunger, sleep,
and so forth. Through the five senses, the body is the receiver of information from the
world around it. The senses were given to us by God to protect us, and under the direction
of the Holy Spirit, they work perfectly to serve us. However, under Satan's influence, or
self-will, the senses are perverted to fulfill the lusts of the flesh which can bring
Changing Old Habits
Every sinful habit in our lives gained its foothold through our thoughts and choices.
We can gain victory over those habits by thinking God's thoughts. A person who feels
unworthy and unacceptable can replace those negative feelings with the truth that through
Jesus, he or she has become worthy and acceptable. The process of conforming to the image
of Jesus will be successful as we choose to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
The way to change a habit of negative thinking is to choose to change that
negative thought for its opposite. The Bible calls that "overcoming evil with
good" (Romans 12:19-21). For example, if a Christian finds himself ready to
repeat some negative gossip about a brother or sister, he should choose to say something
nice about that person instead. Very quickly, the habit of repeating negative things about
other people will be broken.
The Lord wants to save us from tragedy, sickness, fear, anxiety, and the turmoil of
this world. These things come upon us because of our bad choices or through ignorance or
chains of iniquity. Instead, God wants us to walk in the Spirit of life so we may have His
love, joy, peace, and victory (2 Corinthians 7:1) over every trial and temptation.
Bible Choices Bring Blessings
Our future is determined by all the choices we are making today. Let us bring God
into helping us make our decisions. In doing that it will determine whether our future
will be secure and will have God's blessing on it. Let us be as Joshua was and declare:
"As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." God promised Joshua
good success if he obeyed the words of the Bible and chose to follow Him. Joshua and his
family were blessed because he made the right choices even though he went through many
battles God was with him. He was an overcomer!
Joshua 1:8: "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but
thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all
that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt
have good success."
Joshua 24:14: "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in
truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and
in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. 15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose
you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on
the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as
for me and my house, we will serve the LORD."
This article was taken from the Overcoming
Life Digest (November/December 2000 Issue); click here to view Digest