God Doesn't Force Us; He Gives Us a Choice
By Rick Warren
“Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. I am commanding you to be loyal to the Lord, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 CEV).
A lot of people have a big misunderstanding about God. They know God planned their existence and has a purpose for their lives. But they have the wrong idea that every detail of life is preplanned. They think they have no choice.
In fact, the Bible teaches the exact opposite. Yes, God has a plan and a purpose for your life, but it’s not automatic. You can miss it.
That’s because God won’t force you to enjoy the plan he has for you. He gives you the choice to accept or reject his salvation. He gives you the choice to obey or disobey his directions. He gives you the choice to follow or ignore the purpose for which you were created. Far too many people miss the purpose of their life because of their poor choices.
The Bible says repeatedly that God will not force you to do his will.
When Moses led the Jews out of Egypt and into the desert after 400 years of slavery, he told them about a land of milk and honey—a land of great, bountiful blessing—that God had promised them. It would be so different from their years of slavery.
But before they went into the Promised Land, God, through Moses, said to the people the same thing he says to you: “Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. I am commanding you to be loyal to the Lord, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 CEV).
God was giving them a choice. God wanted his people to enjoy the bounty of the Promised Land. But he didn’t make them accept it. The choice was theirs.
This is a picture of salvation—of coming out of slavery to sin into freedom in Christ. In order to enjoy life in the Promised Land, the Israelites had to choose to obey God. You, too, have to choose whether you’ll accept God’s salvation and the good things he’s planned for you.
God could have made you a puppet, but he didn’t. He gives you the ability to choose. If you choose poorly, that choice is your greatest curse. If you choose wisely, it’s your greatest blessing. Today God gives you a choice between life—choosing salvation and his path—or death. Which path will you choose?
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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