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Two ways

Feb 3, 2010, 3:27 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

For much of what we undertake in life, there is one of two ways to go about it. Our actions will influence our decisions. They mould our view and our perspective of life. That we decide to walk or to run in life is an option. That we accept to lose or to win a battle reflects our determination in life; for we were born to win and not to lose. Whether we fail or succeed in life would demonstrate in whom we put our trust. Whether we laugh or cry over our daily trials and tribulations will prove to others what substance we are made of; that also is a choice. We can spend all of our lives groaning and moaning over our circumstances and will never get out of that rut; if we do not do something about it.

We make multiple choices in life whether we are aware of this or not. If I want to be blessed or cursed of God, to obey or to disobey him now or in the future I will be required to do something; to take a position. However you proceed and whatever you choose to call it, you are required to make a move.

Unfortunately we cannot have a foot in each camp. It is a decisive step we have to make and be ready to bear the consequences. In other words, God has clearly set out the way we ought to follow for our own good but oftentimes we think we know better and deliberately detract from God's way to do it our way.

God has never and will never force any of his creatures to do it his way whether they like it or not. He shows the path to follow and guides us on that path. The choice is ours. Some of us would recall the title of a popular song in the late sixties -'My Way' - sung by Frank Sinatra. He said he would do it his way. We did not come into this world by choice; therefore any display of our self-will in determining where we want to go is misleading and fraught with danger.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given a clear choice to touch or not to touch the forbidden fruit. "God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground - trees that are pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." (Genesis 2:9) God put the couple in there to work and take care of it. But he commanded them, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." (Genesis 2:16-17) They chose to disobey God's word and were gladly wrong-footed by Satan, disguised as a serpent.

All along Bible history, we witness scenes of disobedience of God's word by the Children of Israel, his chosen people. They strayed like lost sheep without a shepherd, without a guide to their own detriment. God had delivered them from the Egyptians but their minds and hearts were still in Egypt. They continued to worship idols. "Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living." (Joshua 24:14-15)

Joshua had to call them to order. They were serving the gods of the people they had conquered by the hand of the Almighty Jehovah. What an abomination! Throughout their ordeals in the wilderness God's mighty hand had been with them. He had given them food to eat, 'manna' from heaven, (Exodus 16:35) clothes to wear that were never worn out, (Deuteronomy 8:4) and water to drink in a dry land. Yet in spite of all that they sank into idolatry.

Joshua after drawing their attention to such unacceptable behaviour made a solemn pledge. "As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15) Joshua had made a worthy choice and God was on his side as a leader of his people. By so doing, Joshua had led God's chosen people by example.

Moses had earlier given them such an ultimatum. "I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life so that you and your children may live." (Deuteronomy 30:19) Did they heed Moses' warnings? No! They still turned the other way.

We very often go the way of the world - the easy way; and abandon the way of our God. However, one of these two ways would definitely lead to life the other to death and we may not know it until it is too late. "There is a way which seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 14:12)

Our conviction that the word of God is true should determine the direction we choose in life. As our Lord Jesus struggled with the thought of abandoning the course he and his Father had charted for him after "(he), the Word, became flesh and made his dwelling among us," (John 1:14) he knew he had a choice to make. He resolved therefore to stay on course. "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)

When we stay in the will of God, and operate according to his commandments and teachings, he fortifies us for the mission we have been assigned. There is no doubting whether we would make the right choices or not. However difficult the course may seem for you and me, God will always back his Word. "God is not a man, that he should lie, nor the son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?" (Numbers 23:19)

Nothing could deter young Daniel and his comrades from their vision and mission. No threats could make them budge even when they emanated from the king. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah decided not to partake of the royal food however nourishing it could have been. They pleaded with the guard; "Please give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink." (Daniel 1:12) The test lasted ten days because the guard had feared that their health would have deteriorated and he would have been held responsible. Instead the Bible account tells us that "they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food." (Daniel 1:13-14). It was forbidden to eat food sacrificed to idols or to worship idols and they did what was in their power to obey God's word. Because of their obedience God saved Daniel from the lion's den (Daniel 6) and his colleagues from the burning furnace. (Daniel 3)

Which way have you chosen? Is God backing you by his Word?  Psalmist David declared "…in God I trust, I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?" (Psalm 56:4) May we trust God eternally.