Our God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases! I am so thankful that God alone orders all things and always chooses the very best thing in the universe to glory in, namely, Himself.
I want the wisdom and grace to choose so well.
I was pondering: Why does a young man choose the temporary applause of some peers in a gang over the pleasure of an eternal relationship with Jesus? Why do fathers choose the advancement of their sons in sports over their knowing God? Why do people value a TV show over gathering with the people of God to study His Word? Why do people value fun over holiness? Why does a middle aged man choose to pursue the fleeting pleasure of an affair over faithfulness to His promise? Why would a teenage girl choose to risk her purity for the momentary approval of a young man when she can give herself to the Lord Jesus, who will be her forever bridegroom?
Then I pondered: Why does anyone choose wisely when by nature we are bent towards selfishness and temporal pleasure? Why does any blind man see the beauty of the glory of God shining in the face of Jesus Christ? Why would any dead man hear the voice of the Lord and live?
I understand that God always chooses well and I know that I need Him or I will not choose well – I just wonder how it works.
The apostle Paul helps model this for me in Philippians 3:12,
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Paul’s pressing on to lay hold of the resurrection from the dead (v. 11) is rooted in Jesus’ decisively laying hold of him for the resurrection from the dead. In other words, all Paul’s striving is real, and it is certain because Jesus makes it certain.
You see the same thing in 1 Corinthians 15:10, “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
God is sovereign over my choosing or my willing. Philippians 2:12-13.
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
So my working and willing are necessary. They are real. But they are not first or ultimately decisive. God’s willing and working is decisively under and in my willing and working. The word “for” is crucial. I work because he is working in me. I will, because he is willing in me.
Believing this precedes understanding how it works. God says it. I believe it.
Lord, I am striving with all my might to choose your worth, your glory, and eternity in all the moments of life today and I am banking on it happening because YOU are striving in me.