by Pastor Tim Burt
Funny story about my wife! She is beautiful, smart, organized, loving and caring, and sweet beyond imagination. And I’m not kidding or writing this because she’s going to read it! 😂 She’s the whole package and I praise God for giving me such a wonderful gift in this life! But, if I bring her in a restaurant we haven’t eaten at before, “Oh oh!” She will look at the menu and ask questions from the person taking her order for ten minutes figuring out what she wants to eat. She’s always been that way when it’s a new menu. She’s like many people who are faced with too many options!
Think about it! Having options can be such a blessing. It gives you more to choose from and to tailor to your desires. Who doesn’t love that? But if you are fortunate enough to live in a world where you have many options, it can also be a curse. So many questions. So many decisions. What do I want to do? What do I want? Which way should I go? Actually, whether you have a little or a lot in life, you still have many options! And it’s for that reason that God laid out His ways for us to live life, so that we’d choose the right options. He called those options, blessings and cursings as we see in Deuteronomy 30:1 (TLB). “…the blessings and the curses I have listed—you will meditate upon them as you are living among the nations where the Lord your God will have driven you.”
I think we all grasp blessings, but the word cursings can conjure up some crazy thoughts of voodoo or God placing curses upon us. It doesn’t mean that at all. It simply means that choosing things outside of God’s ways will produce bad or disastrous results that could lead to harm, sickness, disease, and destruction.
To keep this simple, let me put it like this. Electricity is a great blessing that enhances our life in so many ways. And yet, if not properly handled, has the power to harm or kill you quickly. I was one of those little boys who stuck a knife in a socket and got knocked to the floor. Point being is that God created everything in this world to work a certain way and that way would always lead to blessing. But, the second things God created are misused, they begin to form and unwanted desire―physically, mentally, spiritually, and more. Until Adam and Eve sinned, they had obeyed God and followed His instructions. When they disobeyed Him and sinned, things deteriorated quickly. Eventually we learned of Abel’s jealousy driving him to the world’s first murder, the murdering of his brother. From there sin continued to spread to all of creation and mankind until this entire world became tainted by sin as we see in Romans 5:12 (NIV). “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–” And that is what Satan has always wanted―disobedience to God with the consequence of sin. He lied to Eve in the garden and has been lying ever since. Destruction of all God created is his plan and you can see it through all of society in all the earth.
God only wanted us to obey so that He could lead us into blessing and protect us from the enemie’s destruction through greed, sexual impropriety, confusion, lust, jealousy and all that’s wrong with life. And so, we read this in Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV), “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.”
There may be countless options available in our life if you think anything goes and go for the gusto. But if you want to experience greater blessings in your life, then make this change immediately in your life and in this new year by limiting your options! Learn to say the words, That’s not an option and take it off the table of our life’s choices!
Limit your options in what you eat, in how you spend your free time, and how you manage your thoughts, emotions, and words.
Don’t give yourself options that you know are contrary to God’s way. Sex is not an option outside of marriage. Junk food is not an option except in the most rare occasions. Take anger and rage, and vomiting inappropriate words and emotion off the options table. And on and on. Pray and ask God to help you make your Not An Option List and then ask Him to help you execute it. Then pray and ask God to help you make your Disciplines/Option list and begin to walk out those options of doing and saying things you know are pleasing to God and that will help and bless you in the long run.
Life is filled with people who have testimonies and before/after photos of astounding changes they made when they limited their options and began to make disciplined choices. They changed how they made choices by eliminating bad options and choosing healthy choices. They changed their lifestyle. They changed their attitude. And they are living a new life of blessing today. When God, out of His love, gave us free will and freedom, it never meant options of choosing death and destruction. He wanted us to choose things that were in harmony with His Word, and that led to blessing! So today and going forward―choose options leading to blessing and a better life so that you and your children may live in His blessing!
Deuteronomy 28:1 (NIV) “If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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