To Want To or To Choose

To Want To or To Choose

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.”


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

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?

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.

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    • Lynn

      So be it! I’m so grateful for this word this morning, John! With everything going on right now, I forget that I have the power to set the course of my life with my God-given choice: Life or death, God or self, fear or faith, trust or unbelief. I’m casting off my ‘want to’ and CHOOSING. It’s a new day and God is glorious! Thank you for hearing the Lord’s heart and sharing it, John. Bless you!

      • Like I said to Sandy above, I believe this is a game changer for any who will take it and run. So grateful you are one of them Lynn. It is a choose this day moment in time, huh?! Blessing you right back.

    • David Denlinger

      This is so so helpful and so good.
      This is where I’m at.
      Reading about Samson this morning and wondering some of these very same questions!!!
      do you have any insight on Samson’s wants and choices?

      • David Denlinger

        As soon as I read this John my heart started to sing that old song “I’ll say yes Lord yes to your will and to your way!”

        • That is brilliant Dave, So grateful this has spoken to you! I haven’t looked at the Samson connection but I will go and reach that and let you know what I find. If you have any insights please send them on. Love you buddy!

    • Helen

      Isn’t it humility that chooses in an engaged way, & there His Life is Ready Response. YOU are my food & my drink Oh Will of God in the Lamb. All desire, all supply, all Life giving place…all knowing God & being knowingly known by Him…all honoring God as God, in choice. You’ve so highlighted the God-given power of choice, & how we aren’t left powerless by surrounding hindrance of any kind..thank you John! I want, is wishful thinking wrapped around me; there’s a separateness to it. To choose in my yes to Him, wraps my utter need & dependence in Christ, the One Who Lives it in us. He’s the Enthroned Will of God…in the nitty-gritty of life & the Glories of the Kingdom. Jesus Lived all of that! What a picture that is!

      • “To choose in my yes to Him, wraps my utter need & dependence in Christ, the One Who Lives it in us.” This is exactly it Helen. For years I didn’t believe in the power of my choice. The liberty and freedom of it outstanding! Thank you for your comment and insights.

    • Sandy

      John, you just opened a door I’ve been staring at for as long as I can remember, and showed me inside…

      • You and I both. Since writing this I have been catching myself in prayer rolling into “WANT” and reel it back in and make the choice. I think this could really be a game changer for a lot of people. Love you Sandy!

    • Don Hartness

      It IS a game-changer. Our freedom in Christ is awe-inspiring when first recognized, and that recognition often comes when making a choice we never made before. In my experience at least, the choices become bigger, leading to bigger game-changers. Today I made a huge choice, perhaps the biggest yet. And what do I see afterwards? Your post, as a reminder. Thanks for being a sharpening iron John.

      • Hey Don, always great to hear from you! I always love the Lord’s divine confirmations. It just makes me know so deeply that there is a whole world behind what I see, in which He is in complete control. I wish all these posts would meet the Lord’s preparatory work and function and a deep confirmation of what He is already saying. Bless you brother, and again thank you for you.

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