Choose Life, Not Death

Psalm 95:1-5 ESV

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the Lord is a great God,
and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth;
the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.”

God is in control. No matter what happens next, God is still on the throne. He is still completely sovereign over all that he has made. We can trust him. We do not have to be afraid of what is going on or of all the projections of what might yet take place. We have to take God at his Word and not let Satan instill fear into our hearts and minds.

One of the best antidotes I know to Satan’s attacks of fear on our minds and hearts is to sing praises to God, and to sing them out loud. And, it is to rejoice in God even in the direst of circumstances. And, it is to be thankful to God in all things, whether we have plenty, or whether we are in want. For, God has all things in his hands. So, don’t let fear overtake you! Praise God!

Psalm 95:6-7 ESV

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.”

The only way, though, that we are going to be able to sing genuine praises to God, thank him in all things, trust him for all things, and rejoice in him in all circumstances is if we first of all bow down and kneel before our God.

And, this bowing and kneeling is done with our hearts and with our minds, for it is us submitting to the Lord’s rulership over our lives, and it is surrendering to God’s will for our lives. It is us leaving our sinful lifestyles behind us to now follow our Lord Jesus in obedience to his commands. And, it is trusting God with our lives in all circumstances, too.

And, worship of God is not just something done in a “worship service.” And, it is not just singing praise and worship songs, either. For, we can sing all kinds of Christian songs and not be worshiping God with our lives at all.

True worship of God, thus, is surrendering our lives to Jesus, holy and pleasing to God. And, holy means to live separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Christ. And, what is pleasing to God is that we walk (in conduct, in lifestyle) according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God, and that we no longer walk (in practice) according to our flesh (Rom. 12:1-2; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17).

Also, as his sheep, we listen to him, not just with our ears, but with our hearts and minds, and with the full intention of doing what he says to do. For, his sheep listen to him, and they follow (obey) him (Jn. 10:27-30).

Psalm 95:7-11 ESV

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah,
as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,
when your fathers put me to the test
and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation
and said, ‘They are a people who go astray in their heart,
and they have not known my ways.’
Therefore I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”

When we go through difficult times, like what the world is experiencing right now, there is a tendency to want to self-medicate, or at least that seems to be what is being promoted.

I don’t know how many countries right now are going through what we are going through, and I don’t know if all of you are getting the same kinds of messages in your nations, but here in America this whole thing is being turned into a big picnic/party. They are encouraging people to drink alcohol, to play games, to watch movies, and even to look at sexual images for self-gratification, since we are all supposed to be staying apart from each other.

But, these messages about “party time” are also mixed in with confusing and rapidly changing messages which instill fear, cause panic, create chaos, and lead people to live in constant fear of everything and everyone, to where people are literally afraid to be with other people or to step outside their doors. So, the antidote they are promoting to combat the fear is to just have fun, but to stay at home, and to do all your socializing over the internet.

So, with all these mixed messages of “party time” and “fear mongering,” many people are following their emotions and their flesh, and if they are afraid, then they are self-medicating to mask the fear and to try to drown out the fear and confusion they are feeling inside.

Listen to God

I am not hearing many messages that tell us that this is the time when we should be drawing closer to our Lord, when we should be bathing our minds and hearts in the Word of God, when we should be calling out to the Lord in prayer, seeking his face, seeking his counsel, and asking for his guidance.

So, we must be so careful that we don’t get caught up in all the frenzy over what is going on in the world, and we must also guard against getting caught up in self-medicating with drugs, alcohol, game playing (excessive), sexual immorality, and/or vegging out on fantasy to escape the realities all around us. For, living in fear or escaping into fantasy solves nothing.

God has allowed all this that we are going through for a reason, and it is to get us to listen to him and to follow him in obedience.

So, don’t listen to the messages that try to get you to live in fear, and don’t listen to the messages that tell you to feed your flesh, and that tell you to escape into a fantasy world, or that tell you that it is ok to look at porn or to self-medicate during this time of global crisis, for those messages are from Satan.

Use this time to develop a close walk with the Lord. He has things he wants to say to us right now if we will have ears to hear and if we will not shut him out. But, we are not going to hear him if we are filling our time and our minds and ears with all the details of all the news stories and all the chats on social media and all the YouTube videos that are out there, too, or all the memes on social media, too, telling us what to feel and what to think.

Get alone with God. Ask him what is going on. Ask him to open your eyes to the truth behind all the lies. Ask him to show you what is truth and what are lies, for deception is rampant. And, many are being deceived. So, let the Lord open your hearts and minds to hear from him right now, and then follow him in his ways. Turn from your sins, and turn to follow God.

For, if we rebel, and if we go the way of our flesh, and we don’t take this opportunity to draw near to God in full assurance of faith, he is warning us that those who live by the flesh will reap destruction. But, he is also encouraging us that those who live by the Spirit will reap eternal life. So, choose life, not death (Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

Have Thine Own Way, Lord

Words by Adelaide A. Pollard, 1907
Music by George C. Stebbins, 1907

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Wounded and weary, help me I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
Touch me and heal me, Savior divine!

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Hold o’er my being absolute sway.
Fill with Thy Spirit till all shall see
Christ only, always, living in me!

*copyright status is public domain

5 thoughts on “Choose Life, Not Death

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