Four Choices, Four Results, Four Consequences…which one are you making?
1 Peter 5:8-9a – Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.
Last night I sat in the arena of life watching a dramatic event unfold, one that happens everyday if we only had eyes to see the supernatural spiritual warfare of God. It was my desire to step into the arena but God had me watch for purpose. Four souls in this arena stood against the roaring lion and what happened took my breath away. Each one had a decision to make tht would affect the hours and days and years to come. All of them had the same vantage point, for each of them came from the same background, a life of selfishness, addiciton, pride, rebellion, strife, and dissatisfaction that nearly led them all to death, each one previously bound by shame, regret, and guilt for the times before when they had faced this very same lion and failed in their past mistakes. Last night, the decision of one of these four set in motion a chain of events that would call on each of them to stand on the edge of decision surrounding life abundant or death to the spirit. It’s amazing that CHOICE in each moment of decision can define the outcome within only a matter of time. Which one are you?
Deuteronomy 30:15-19 – 15 “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. 16 For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy. 17 “But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, 18 then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live a long, good life in the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. 19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
- The Sideliner – The one in the arena who everyone assumes is the leader, but the one who thinks more highly of himself than he ought and complains more about circumstances each day instead of actually doing something about it. This is the one who sees the train wreck happening and decides to bow down from it and walk away acting as if it never happened. This person barks orders and makes others around him feel bad and watches from the sideliness while taking credit for the battle on the arena floor. This decision will keep this one a spectator forever, always watching as the one in the arena fights for her life while he chooses excuse and justification for not stepping into battle.
- The Courageous – This one was one decision away from calamity and one decision away from possible death as she watched others laugh in the face of opportunity and instead they chose to run toward the direction from which they just came, into the mouth of the waiting lion. As the Courageous watched in anguish, having every reason to pick back up where she had left off, she instead chose life and liberty and spoke against the very thing that was trying to kill her. She grabbed her sword and even though she wasn’t strong enough yet to carry it herself, she handed it to the Brave and watched and learned for her time to do battle would come again.
- The Blame Thrower – What a heartbreaking thing to watch for those who dared to see, someone be overtaken by the roaring lion in the arena of life. The saddest part is that the Blame Thrower spewed insult and accusation toward anyone and everyone while laughing in the faces of those trying to help. She forgot momentarily what is was actually like to be in the jaws of the lion as she stepped right into his path…willingly.
- The Brave – She was just handed her sword by the Courageous while the Sideliner decided to step out of the arena altogether to complain to anyone who would listen. The Brave…her heart is pounding and her hands shaking as she looks upon her sword which is truth and light and she holds it high and proud, unwilling to move or be shaken. This battle weary princess realizes that this life is no longer about her but that she is called to greater service. As she watches, time and again from her vantage point in the arena, close enough to the lion to hear him breathe, people succomb to their death by CHOICE and her heart breaks and her tears smear her face because she knows this fate all too well. She stands, though, ready to take on the unseen enemy with an air of love and compassion, taking one hit after another but still setting an example for those to follow down this road she is forging. She will NEVER give up because she sees the path from which she just came and there is no turning back now. It doesn’t matter what the Blame Thrower says; it doesn’t matter that the Sideliner doesn’t seem to care. All that matters is that God is preparing her for a hope and a future that she cannot see or fathom, and she will fight to the end!
Four similar pasts, four vantage points, four opportunities to make the best decision, FOUR choices…which one are YOU?