Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Making Choices / The Holy Spirit
When we ate of the tree, we learned disobedience. We learned to take responsibility into our own hands, thinking we knew best (knew better than God).
And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
What is the knowledge of good and evil? It is the ability to choose—and make a choice that is not the choice God would make for us (thus, an evil choice). Letting Him make the choices for us is us acting in faith. And anything not of faith is not of the Lord (Romans 14:23b).
We didn't know how to be evil before the Fall--we only knew how to be good. But with eating of the tree, we now were personally responsible for making a choice of obeying the Lord, or the choice of obeying our own self over the Lord in our everyday.
What happened with Adam and Eve is that they chose to make a life choice that was not of the Lord. The Lord had to give them that choice, but did not want them to make that choice to disobey. He Loves us so that He really does only want the best for us. And it really is only Him that is capable of making the best choice for us. This was pure living in the Garden; and is the most excellent way of living in a fallen world.
We had choices before eating of the tree, but those choices were always in line with the Lord. But with the eating of the tree, our choices now had personal consequences that were not in line with the Lord. We now had the knowledge of disobedience (sin).
The Lord never wanted us to have the burden of making choices for ourselves—He always had the want and ability to make and guide our choices in life to protect us from ourselves. But we "lost" that.
But we didn't really lose that—for the Lord never left us or abandoned us. He stayed with Adam and Eve, and now even moreso, He established Himself with us through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit upon us all. He purposefully restored to Himself in a grand fashion the express desire to guide us in all our choices.
The Holy Spirit speaks and ministers to every human beings—all flesh (born-again or not):
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh.
He has given back to us what we discarded in the Garden. We now have that ability to let the Lord (the Holy Spirit) guide us in all our choices. He speaks up for us to protect us, minister to us and others, and to take away the stress, worry, and burden that comes with making choices on our own.
The reason we stress and worry about matters in life is because choices have responses. And we don't always know if the outcome of our choices are going to be the best. We plan and calculate and guess at what the outcome will be; but we never really do know—despite all efforts of planning.
I've worried and stressed over finances; but He knows when and what to buy—He guided us to get the right and best car for us here.
Kelly and I stressed about our wedding—the timing, the cost, the preparation...even down to the little things like the cake. But when we both listened to the Holy Spirit, He assured us that the timing was His; that all our friends and family would be able to come; that even the cake that He lead me to (without Kelly seeing it) was going to be the best cake for us.
He is in those little things too; not just the big things.
We often feel we don't have to give Him the little things because it's too menial for Him or that He really wants us to handle it. And why not..."He blessed me with the tallents to do them". This may be true, but His given talents to me does not exclude me from seeking Him. They are His Gifts and He knows best how those Gifts should be used.
One of the littlest things He shared with me was when I was shopping for a lamp switch with a chain. I needed to buy the chain separately from the switch. When I looked at the chain, I could not see if it included a connector piece, so I grabbed a package of connectors. But the Holy Spirit said I didn't need to. But my mind said I did, because I could not see that any were included with the chain. But He spoke firmly to me not to get the connectors. Well, I argued to myself, "they are only a couple dollars, what's the big deal." Well, the big deal was that I was not trusting the Lord. Needless to say, when I got home, the chains had the connectors already on them—the Holy Spirit was right.
But this was not about if He was right or not (He always is). This was about hearing Him—which I was—and obeying Him—which I did not. I learned a lesson here...that He wants my obedience, even in the smallest of things. Why? Because when I hear Him in the little things, I hear Him in all the other things.
Little things can add up to larger troubles; so let Him Chris rule in the little things. Give Him the Choice, and chose to allow Him that choice.
He asks us to seek first the Kingdom of God:
Matthew 6:25, 31-34
Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? … Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Seeking first Him, is letting Him make the choices for us. He wants to; and He has taken that responsibility for us. Seeking first the Kingdom of God is seeking His choice, ability, guidance—letting go of the "tree of knowledge" and grabbing ahold of the "tree of Life" (His Cross). And when we are able to do that, we live in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit: the Kingdom of Heaven (Romans 14:17).
This is the Blessed Joy and Peace that the Holy Spirit can bring to us. Since He does know the outcomes to all choices, He can and will always make the best choice for us—righteous choices--even when we don't think it is the best choice. And the only reason we don't think it's the best, is because we don't know everything (all the other perspectives, all the other people involved, all the various outcomes, and every little detail). And when we let Him, we can experience His Peace and Joy through those choices.
What is our choice now in life? Simply to choose either to let the Holy Spirit chose for us or not. This is the same choice Adam and Eve faced: to let the Lord chose for them or make the choice themselves. One choice leads to Life, the other to death.
The Lord never wanted us to bear the burden of making choices ourselves. He wants us to live life in His ease:
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Does that mean I'm always letting the Holy Spirit make those choices for me? No. But I'm learning to listen, and learning to trust—for letting go of control is the hardest thing to do in one's life. And letting go of control by faith is the toughest, because it goes against every aspect of our flesh.
Our flesh learned to take control in eating the forbidden fruit—this has been our reality our whole life coming to the Lord. And now it has to let go of that because it died at the Cross with Jesus, and the life I now live is by faith in the Spirit:
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me