Choices, Choices, Choices...
by Peggy Fry
We hear so much these days about the concept of “choice,” and how precious a thing it is that we have the opportunity to make choices in our lives.
So I’d like to start by offering to you, dear ones, some quick thoughts on a very important choice that we all have to make — continually — between two distinct things; that is, between charis or chaos.
Webster’s New World Dictionary provides us with some important descriptions of these two words:
Charis is a divine gift or something that is divinely inspired.
Chaos is a confused or disordered condition.
Chaos seems to be the menu of the day in our nation right now. In seemingly every area of business, politics and everyday life, nothing seems to be in order! But everything that God allows us to go through in life is intended to be a divine gift and blessing (charis) meant to mature our faith, fortify our principles, shape our character, and cement our commitment to His will and His ways. In the midst of everything we experience, we can have faith and confidence about this blessed fact.
I have recently had the chance to go through a Bible study on Elijah, and have learned so much. “Cherith” was the name of the brook where Yahweh instructed Elijah in 1 Kings 17 to hide himself for a time in order to gain spiritual maturity. The word cherith (pronounced “keerith”) means “cutting” (letting go) or “ditch” (a channel typically used for drainage). The one who desires to live honorably before God and man must take a low place — a place of separation, humility, brokenness and consecration — before that same God. Like Elijah did.
The idea of “hiding away” is so important for us because, by doing this, we are able to better know and understand the seasons that God has for us, whether in the past, present or future. It allows us to:
• hear what He says to us (Ps. 119:105);
• receive what He has for us (Matt. 19:21); and
• obey what He tells us to do (Hebr. 4:7-11)
And here are a few more thoughts to encourage you about finding a place of refuge in Him:
• When you are lonely, God is your friend.
• When you are tired, God is your strength.
• When you are needy, God is your source and resource.
• When you are dry in your spirit, God is your living water, and is with you
to encourage you, sustain you and give you hope.
• When you are insecure, God is your confidence.
• When you seem empty of purpose, HE is your fulfillment.
Like Elijah, as you drink from the “brook” of God’s Word, He will give you strength and security (1 Kings 17:3-4). So look to the Father. Remember His promises. Live in His light. He has assured us that He is not a man that He should lie (Num. 23:19). You can have peace!
I have to admit that lately I have not been looking up like I need to. Too much of the time, I have been looking around at my circumstances, including the why, when, where and how of my daily life. And I have had to ask the Lord to show me in what ways I have not been walking in complete dependence on Him; as in,
• leaning on my own natural mind and human understanding
• relying on my own efforts to walk in peace and security
• not placing my total trust in Him — since I clearly can’t fix things myself
I was just recently reminded of the preciousness of His promises. During my daily reading at one point in 2012, I had come across this verse in Isaiah 46:4: “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” It was His promise to sustain us and care for us, even as we advance in years. At that time, the Lord had spoken into my spirit, “Underline this and date it. You will need it.” Who knew that, ten years later, it would be a word that would undergird me on a daily basis! Now, at 87, it is music to my ears!
Obedience is doing God’s work God’s way. In fact, the widow in 1 Kings 17:12-13 gave before she received. It is our firstfruits that bring the blessing, not what we have left over!
Those amazing words spoken from the cross — “It is finished!” — are so profound. He is complete in Himself and has already completed His task. He put the word “finished” on our lives that day on the cross. Through His perfect work, He finished:
• securing our salvation;
• meeting us in our disappointments;
• answering our doubts;
• allaying our fears; and
• taking upon Himself the emotional, spiritual and physical pain of our life
Every drop of blood that dripped from His broken body redeemed every area of our lives for all eternity. In light of that truth, all I can say is, Hallelujah! Glory! So just think about this:
• If you are in doubt in your circumstances…IT IS FINISHED!
• If you have unbelief that He will do what He has promised…IT IS FINISHED!
• If you are living with disappointment…IT IS FINISHED!
• If you have been wounded through life’s experiences….IT IS FINISHED!
Even before Jesus’ work on this planet was fully accomplished, His earthly mother anticipated the completion of His total redemptive plan: “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of the things that were spoken to her. And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies and exalts the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior’ ” (Luke 1:45-47). Mary didn't magnify her challenges and the impulses of her soul; instead, her soul magnified the Lord — making her circumstances small by comparison — and those same situations came into alignment with the perfect plan and will of God!
And yes, the hymn we sing every year at Easter is so true — and so powerful in its truth:
Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose, a Victor, from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to reign
He has truly “been there and done that” — having experienced all that we have gone through and will ever go through — for He is truly Immanuel. Yes, we may stumble, but we will not fall. We may feel doubt in some areas of life, but He said that today He is with us. We may face unbelief because He has not answered yet, but we can agree with the prophet as he declares,
…as for me, I will look expectantly for the LORD and with confidence in Him I will keep watch; I will wait
[with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me” (Micah 7:7, Amplified).
As God promised to Jacob at Bethel, so He promises to us that same attention, affection and care: “Behold, I am with you… (Genesis 28:15).
So what is your choice today? Charis or chaos?