The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. (Romans 13:12 – ESV)
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy 30:19-20 – ESV)
The people of Israel are about to enter the land that had been promised to them after wandering 40 years in the desert. Moses, their intrepid leader throughout, is giving them his last exhortations before they proceeded to take the land of Canaan as their own. The people have a stark choice before them. If they reject their God and succumb to the idols of the nations they will supplant, they will in turn experience God’s rejection, and their time in the land will be short. If they choose life – choose to worship the true God and follow him only – they will know blessing, and they will dwell securely in the land. Their choice was clear, and their subsequent history proved God’s words true. Over generations, they mostly rejected their God and suffered the consequences.
As God’s people of the New Covenant, we too are called daily to choose life. It has struck me lately that we also are faced with clear choices, numerous times each day. We can choose our old ways of darkness, or we can put on the armor of light, as Paul teaches in Romans 13.
As I walk with God each day, I am more convinced that there are old paths (of our Old Nature) that we used to choose before we were believers (could not help choosing, really) that involve numbness, darkness, and death. They are well-worn paths: addictions, sins, and coping mechanisms that become for us deep, dark ruts – like graves with the ends kicked out! God has called us, as New Creations (2 Corinthians 5:17), to new paths of pain (not seeking to escape reality through addictions or sin), light, and life. These new paths are not so well-worn, at first, and it is easier to slip into our old, dark ways. But as we walk by the Spirit we’ll not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). God’s power for us and in us is clear and brilliant! Jesus told us, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
Let us rejoice in and walk in that freedom that Jesus bought for us. Today let’s choose Life!