Choices

Everything that we experience in our life is dependent on the choices that we make everyday. The consequences that follow after we make a choice decides whether it’s a good choice or a bad one. But, is it possible to make the right choice every time? Or can we make the right choice when we are aware of the consequences for each of the choice? Eve also faced a similar situation when she was about to eat of the tree of the knowledge of both good and evil.

God took a huge risk by creating man with a free will. And man made a choice to move away from God. That’s why the first step(and the hardest step) to become a good christian is to surrender one’s will. God has placed before us both good and evil and it’s our responsiblity to use our will to choose the right path.

Isaiah 5.1-4 speaks of a situation where all the necessary things for a vineyard to yield good grapes is provided. But the vineyard yielded wild grapes. Choosing to disobey God can make us unfit for God’s purposes. Jesus, when He was in the garden of Gethsemane, prayed three times pleading with the Father:”My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me”. I think Jesus very well knew the consequences of being crucified and not being crucified. But He choose to obey the Father and said:”Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

It’s the nature of man to make a choice that is against the will of God. But we still have the ability to use our will to choose what we want to do.

My prayer is that the Lord may enlighten our minds to understand the will of God and give us the guts to choose to do it.

Jus’ Plug-in!

I’m always fascinated by the word ‘plug-ins’…..whether it’s in software or other electronic equipments. Whenever an electrical or electronic equipment doesn’t work the first thing that I look into is the plugs, to check whether it’s properly connected to the power supply. The equipment might be made of latest sophisticated technology but unless it is plugged-in to the power supply it’s of no use.

Jesus says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”(John15:5).

Here Jesus is the power supply and we all need to plug-in and make a connection. Establishing a connection may be easy but sustaining or abiding or remaining in that connection is sometimes difficult. Bearing much fruit completely depends on remaining in the connection.

Sometimes I find it difficult to be plugged-in. When the road gets rough I pull the plug off from the power supply thinking that I can manage on my own. But it doesn’t work. So I run back again to get plugged-in. I can’t do anything apart from Him.

Being plugged-in always keeps us renewed and burning brightly for His glory as His grace and power flows within us. All our gifts and talents can be used for His glory only when we are plugged-in.

So, just plug-in and remain there.

Is this the time to Sing?

The other day I was reading the book of Habakkuk. The last chapter is a prayer song sung by the prophet. The ‘Shiginoth'(v.1) refers to a song with turbulent lyrics. Surely the lyrics are turbulent especially the last few verses of the 3rd chapter:

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

These verses really trouble me. Was that a good time to sing, rejoice and be joyful? How can one sing and rejoice when there’s nothing favourable and good? I also found similar situations in the Bible. The only time we read that Jesus sang was few hours before his arrest (Matt26:30). And there’s also Paul and Silas singing in a Roman jail (Acts16:25). How could these people react to a grave situation by singing?

If I were to be in such a situation, I will probably react with anger, self-pity and will be murmuring against God. Sometimes, maybe I will accept it with a sigh but the relationship with God will remain unsteady for sometime. But to sing and rejoice seems to be impractical.

But Habakkuk seems to have a completely different perspective about it. Even when the ‘Physical reality’ around him was breaking down, he was finely tuned to the ‘Spiritual reality’. He was able to look beyond the shattered reality to a God who is still in control. Hence, he is able to sing, rejoice and be joyful.

To find meaning in such a situation is to see it from a higher perspective. But such a perspective seems elusive in the midst of a storm. It’s a choice, but it’s still difficult to sing and rejoice.
I’m just praying for the grace to have more faith in God and to sing and rejoice in the midst of a storm.

 

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