No, Actually, We Must Choose
And he said to them, “Follow me”—Matthew 4:19
We confront two mutually exclusive, diametrically opposed if-then statements, each claiming to be true. The first is from the enemy and goes like this: if we chase created things—wealth, status, sex—then our lives will be more full, then we’ll have more peace, joy, security, freedom, fulfillment, significance. The second is from God: if we chase him, our Creator—if we listen to him, if we surrender, if we love, if we serve—our lives will be fuller then, we’ll have more peace, joy, security, freedom, fulfillment, significance then.
The simple question before us, therefore, is which statement we’ll believe and adopt and follow in faith. But, before we can answer, we’ve got to get serious. We’ve got to stop playing around; trying to convince ourselves the statements are not actually mutually exclusive and not actually diametrically opposed. We’ve got to stop trying to convince ourselves we can believe both statements at once that we can prioritize both created things and the Creator— and that it’ll be okay if we try. We can’t and it’s not.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other” (Matthew 6:24).
We must choose. And, it’s a real choice between good and evil. For, while God uses his if-then statement to invite us into “more and better life” than we could “ever dream of,” the enemy uses his to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:6-10 MSG).
Okay, so what do we do?
Spend some time searching for, and meditating upon, those places in the Bible where God offers if-then statements. There are so many. Do any come to mind, right now? Focus most on his promises that, for you, stand out from the rest.