Choices

There is a scene from the movie Freaky Friday that cracks me up every time I watch it. Jamie Lee Curtis is the Mom and Lindsay Lohan is the daughter. As Jamie Lee drops her daughter off for school, she yells out the window of the car door, “Make good choices!” You can see the horror in Lindsay’s face while her fellow classmates nearby hear those words. After watching that movie, my daughters will tell you that I used to love to say those words to them when I dropped them off at school. (Oh yes, I did!)

Every day we live on this earth we make choices. We choose to wake up at a certain time every day. We choose to wear certain clothes, eat certain foods, exercise or not exercise. Basically all day long—every single day—we make choices. The best choice I ever made was to give my heart and my life to Christ. After I made that choice, my life didn’t instantly change. My home environment was still terrible and I still had many issues in my life. But I knew–the only way I was going to be able to survive– was Jesus. And I was right! (Sometimes that happens!)

Here is the thing–we all have problems and issues. There isn’t one person I know who doesn’t have struggles. We can all say that we have experienced good and bad things in our lives. What we need to learn is how to handle those issues and problems. Now, I haven’t been perfect in how I have handled my issues. I have made many mistakes. I have overreacted a lot! But, I think if we could just pause– pray– and think before we react, it might be extremely helpful in all areas of our lives. We need to be willing to admit that we need help and guidance with these issues. And, we just might need to invite God to help us! (Ya think?)

Let me share what Louie Giglio says. “There is no God like Him in this world. He is the God of mercy, kindness, grace, compassion, and love. He is the God who does not hold our sins against us. God is just—and He’s also the Justifier. God both offers His Son as a substitute and a sacrifice so that then He can be just, but then God also justifies all of us who went wrong. No other god is going to do that. No other god is going to enter humanity. No other god will humble Himself and come to earth to be born a baby because He loves us so much. But the God who is the God alone in the heavens will do that.” (Can I get a “Hallelujah?”)

For years, I didn’t believe that I had freedom. I didn’t think I was worthy enough to be set free. I believed so many lies about myself. But, then my eyes slowly (let me emphasize slowly) started to open to the freedom that comes with my salvation. For years, I let my mind go down the wrong road and believe lies! I let Satan win. (I’m about to get fired up here!)

Friends, listen to me!!! Don’t fall for the lies! Don’t listen to them! Run as fast as you can to get away from them. Let me share something Louie says about David when he was getting ready to meet Goliath. “David was motivated by something far greater that compelled him to take action — and we’re invited to climb into this same headspace right now. What motivated David was that this giant was cursing the God of the army of Israel. David said, “Oh, whoa. Wait a minute, Goliath. All that other stuff you’re saying. Maybe. But when you start talking about my God, then we’re not tolerating that today. You’re going to stop taunting my God right here and now and you’re going down. In fact, you must go down because God’s glory is what we’re all about.”

In this world today, that is the headspace all of us need to be in. We need to be saying those words all day—every day and we need to be aware that the enemy wants us to fail. Because God has done so much for us, we simply can’t tolerate Satan discrediting Him any more. Yes, we have problems. Yes, we have issues. God never promised us there wouldn’t be. But, He did promise us He would be right there with us the whole time giving us what we need to deal with them.

If you are anything like me, I have allowed the stupid mistakes I have made in my life define me. I have let them whisper in my ear that I would never change, or I would never be able to handle certain things, or there was no hope, or I was going to lose my mind. I listened to those lies far too long. My mistakes are in the past and that is where they need to stay. I have confessed them and asked God to take them and make something beautiful out of them for His glory and for my good. He promises to do that for us!

Every day there are so many things coming at us that are simply lies. It is becoming harder and harder to discern the truth. We used to be able to rely on the news to tell us the truth, but we can’t any more. We used to be able to rely on people to tell the truth, but sadly people prefer to lie. There are lies all around us. But because God is holy He cannot lie. He is our source of truth. Whether we like what He says or not, we can rely on Him to tell us the truth.

We can’t blame our mistakes on anyone else but ourselves. We need to say, “Yes, I screwed up. Yes, I shouldn’t have said that or done that. It was my fault.” (How often do we hear that today?) “I am sorry” is also a forgotten saying. Claim what you have done and then ask for forgiveness from God and others. Make the choice to change the way you handle things. God will help you! I have asked the Lord to change me in so many areas of my life because I saw the way I was simply wasn’t healthy. We need to be willing to look at ourselves and ask God to change us.

Just imagine what this world would look like if people would quit pointing the finger at others and sit down and look at themselves in the mirror for a change. It’s so much easier to see someone else’s mistakes than our own. But, we all make mistakes and we need to realize that we have a God who can forgive us and make something beautiful out of the messes we make.  And, He actually wants to do that for us!

I hope my words are encouraging you to keep moving forward one day at a time. I pray that you will choose to follow Him and allow Him to work in your life. I want to leave you with some words from Louie Giglio. “But a victor has emerged in our story and He is sitting with you right now. His name is Jesus, and He takes down the giants and announces freedom for us all. He sees the stain and the pain you have endured. He knows the “less” you have grown accustomed to and is still committed to leading you into His best. Jesus isn’t asking you to try harder. He isn’t asking you to make everything new on your own. He is simply asking you to see Him—to see the work He has done for you and to believe again that He can raise any of us from the ashes of defeat. Jesus is inviting us to set our attention on Him and to rest in His grace. Follow Him in this moment with your next step. And keep on doing that step after step today. If you do, His glory will ultimately result.” 

I want to tell you that I have seen Him work in my life. He has made something beautiful out of the messes that I have made. He will continue to bring beauty from my ashes of defeat. Help us Lord to keep our eyes fixed on you and rest in your grace. Amen! Until next time dear friends….

Joshua 24:15 “But if you have no desire to worship the Lord, choose today whom you will worship, whether it be the gods whom your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But I and my family will worship the Lord.”

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