The Lord has gifted each of us with free will and our choice has incredible power. While we may feel we are at times powerless, when it comes to making decisions, we not only have the power but also the responsibility to exercise our choice. Choice is a must, because not choosing often becomes a negative choice in itself. To not choose is in fact saying “NO,” and we are held accountable for the outcome of that “NO.”
But I WANT It
Now just because I have the power to choose doesn’t mean I get everything I want or that everything will work out perfectly. Early in my life, I believed my choice had little to no effect, and I often struggled with that. This is easy to do as a child when so many of our choices are made for us. But what I have found is that my choice has the ability to direct my actions and responses whether or not my living circumstances are made for me. As a child, I had more “want” than actual choice. I wanted to be a good boy, but I didn’t choose that way. I wanted to do well in school, but I didn’t take the path that would lead to that end. To want is the step prior to actual choosing, and many remain stuck in this limbo of wanting and not choosing.
There are many factors that can work to keep us in that limbo. Being overwhelmed or put upon as a child makes you feel powerless—abuse happens. And some of the generational sins we inherit make us feel incapable of making choices that matter, so we get stuck in the rut of those sins. Even the unchangeable circumstances of our lives can make us feel helpless. But regardless of all or any of these factors, your choice has power because it is God-given.
Want vs. Choose
So back to wanting and still not effecting change. Wanting comes before choosing. I can come to the table with a whole list of wants yet never choose. All my best intentions only paint an ideal rather than deliver results. If we find ourselves in the continual loop of “but I want to”, maybe it is time to change our verbiage from “I want” to “I choose.” Seems like semantics, but it is the difference between life and death. The proclamation of our choice has incredible power and can be the activation of our choosing.
Is going from “want” to “choose” easy? No, it’s simple, but our choices aren’t made without pain. Often when we make a choice, we have to die to other things we want. Like working a muscle, exercise is painful in the moment but the action bears the fruit of gaining strength. Oddly, exercising your choice functions in exactly the same way. The more you choose, the stronger your choice becomes.
What Are We Choosing?
My yes is a choice, and my yes to Christ engages His Life. I always have to remember that Jesus’ Life performs God’s Will – not mine. But my yes to His Will is where His path and mine merge. He looks for my choice to engage His Life. Imagine, the Creator of the Universe waits for me to choose! My yes to His Will is the union of my will to His. This is simply outstanding.
So now we see why our “want” to see something happen falls short of actual life-altering effects. I want to dispel this lie, because it is a crafty deception of the devil. As long as he can keep us circling the drain of “want to,” he has nothing to fear from our choice. Wanting makes us feel we are setting a direction without actually doing anything. It engages our heart without activating Christ’s Life. Let’s cast off the limiting restraints of “want to” and start choosing.