Choosing God or Self

In early Israelite days, God chose for the people to have judges. These judges would direct the people in the ways of God. But the people were unhappy with this system of rule. They looked around at the other nations and saw how all the nations around them had a king. They said to Samuel, “‘Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations'” (I Samuel 8:5). They rejected the will of God. “The LORD said to Samuel, ‘Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them'” (I Samuel 8:7). They went by their gut-feeling rather than trusting in God.

In many, many churches today, we see a lot of gut-feeling decisions. They’re not based on the Word of God, but rather, what they feel should be done. God does have a will, and even though people may believe that the Bible is a guide for us to pick and choose what to follow, there is no foundation in that belief. “…Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2). The will of God, as stated here is “good”, “acceptable”, and “perfect.” Divisions in the Church were created by people who pick and choose what they want to follow. A verse here, a verse there, and they’ve created a new Church.

Sin in our personal lives occurs because of our own selfish desires. We look around, and are jealous of others living in sin. It’s appealing on the outside. But in Romans 12:23, it tells us that “the wages of sin is death.” But we have hope in Jesus Christ, because “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We cannot live in sin and be in Christ Jesus.

God is a forgiving God, and if it were not for that, we would have no hope. After the Israelites had chosen a king, Samuel confronted the people, and they repented.“Then all the people said to Samuel, ‘Pray for your servants to the LORD your God, so that we may not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil by asking for ourselves a king.’ Samuel said to the people, ‘Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart. You must not turn aside, for then you would go after futile things which can not profit or deliver, because they are futile'” (I Samuel 12:19-21).