Life’s greatest victories and worst failures are often the result of personal choices, the crossroad catalysts of life. In making these momentous decisions, you reveal where your trust is placed . . . either in yourself or in God.
According to the Bible, there are significant consequences that result from choosing your own way instead of God’s way. For example, you are guaranteed foolishness when you choose your own natural wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:19), which inherently gravitates toward pride, coveting, and gratifying fleshly desires (1 John 2:16). You can expect deficiency when you ignore God’s ways and thoughts and, instead, choose your own perspective (Isaiah 55:8-9).
On the other hand, you can have God’s wisdom in any of life’s challenges (James 3:13-18). Divine wisdom is available through Jesus (Colossians 2:3), the Bible (Psalm 19:7), the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13), and prayer (James 1:5). Because these sources are Truth, they will never contradict each other.
Since it is beneficial to follow God instead of self-oriented desires, why would anyone choose one’s own way over God’s way? Basically, this occurs because of two reasons . . . spiritual ignorance and willful disobedience.
Spiritual ignorance dominates the life of an unbeliever, a person who does not have eternal life through faith in Christ. An unbeliever is unable to understand the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14), so following self-oriented desires is a way of life.
A believer, on the other hand, has God’s sources of Divine Truth (Jesus, Holy Spirit, and the Bible) and, as a result, can know God’s ways. Having these Sources available and following them, however, are two different things. A believer may choose to disregard God’s truth for a time, choosing to follow one’s own way instead of following the Lord. When this occurs, one of the consequences is incomplete knowledge, or spiritual ignorance. In this condition, a believer will remain stunted spiritually unless God’s truth is diligently sought and obeyed.
The second reason that a believer chooses one’s own way instead of God’s way is willful disobedience. A believer who is aware of scriptural truth, but has a greater desire to live by feelings instead of by faith, will choose to sin (James 4:17). For a disobedient believer, knowing what to do in order to follow God’s way is not the issue . . . doing it certainly is.
Every person, at one time or another, has been ignorant of God’s ways or has willfully disobeyed God’s Truth. By God’s abundant grace and mercy, however, one can change by confessing one’s own sinfulness in order to follow the Lord. This can happen for an unbeliever (Romans 10:9-10) to begin a life of faith or a believer (1 John 1:9), to continue in a walk of faith. In every situation of life, God’s way is designed to bring Him glory and bring His followers the ultimate good (Romans 8:28). Will you choose your way or God’s way? It’s your choice.
1 Corinthians 3:19, For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness”
1 John 2:16, For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.
Isaiah 55:8-9, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
James 3:13-18, Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Colossians 2:3, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Psalm 19:7, The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple-
1 Corinthians 2:13, And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
James 1:5, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
1 Corinthians 2:14, The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
James 4:17, whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Romans 10:9-10, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
1 John 1:9, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Romans 8:28, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Your Way or God’s Way © 2008 WordTruth, Inc—http://www.wordtruth.net
Verses from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version © 2001Version by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers