“For this commandment which I command you today is not too mysterious for you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it” (Deuteronomy 30:11–14).
IF WE’RE STILL ALIVE, THEN IT’S WITHIN OUR POWER TO MAKE WHATEVER CHOICE GOD WOULD WANT US TO MAKE. No matter how many wrong choices we’ve made in the past, we have the freedom to make the right choice now. Outwardly, it may take time to reverse the damage our past choices have wrought, but inwardly, we can at this very moment begin being the person that we know God wants us to be. The positive choice is possible!
Sometimes we feel we’ve done so badly for so long that there is no hope for us. But this sinking sense of hopelessness comes from hell, not from heaven. It’s only our enemy who wants us to give up. Our Father wants us to live. He wants us to take the simple, honest step that it’s always possible to take: the one immediately before us. If we choose to take that step, there is nothing the devil can do to stop us, although he’d surely like to do so.
But it does us little good to have the power of choice if we don’t use it. We shouldn’t waste the marvelous dignity and honor God conferred on us when He gave us our freedom of will. His grace toward us should not be “in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
One encouraging thing to keep in mind is that each positive choice creates strength. If we choose in the present moment to do what is right, we’ll find the next moment much easier to deal with. Every good decision leads to another. We’ll be helped by a favorable momentum that makes our forward progress less difficult.
Whatever our choices may be, God is not neutral about them. Having gone to great lengths to save us, He wants us to choose life. If we fail to choose it, He’ll have to let justice be carried out, of course. But that will break His heart. “ ‘For why should you die, O Israel? For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,’ says the Lord God. ‘Therefore turn and live!’ ” (Ezekiel 18:31,32). Today, we can turn. This very instant, we can say yes to life.
“At any moment in life we have the option to choose an attitude of gratitude, a posture of grace, a commitment to joy” (Tim Hansel).