Choosing God

Blog #50 February 24, 2023
When we first come to God to learn of His ways, we possess only the wisdom of the world. As we are exposed to the wisdom of God, our whole concept of how we live our life is challenged. Once we understand the true loving nature of the Father, we realize that His wisdom is not offered as a set of rules and laws we are to be burdened with. Instead, they are a system of logic with truth and virtue at its center and righteousness as its purpose. He offers them that we might accept them as our own and apply their specific purpose to our very individual lives. Allowing God’s righteousness to grow within us frees us from our bondage to the lust of the world. God seeks for us to grow in His righteousness that our hearts will be forever changed, and in that, there will be nowhere within us for the lust of man to grow. Because of this change, we are truly able to allow the natural man within us to die, and the wisdom of God to live instead. What we were is gone and not mourned. What we are now is celebrated.

Alma 16:152-154 
16:152 Now we will compare the word unto a seed.
16:153 Now if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts
16:154 And when you feel those swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves, It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding; yea, and is delicious to me.  

As we grow in our several abilities to reach out to the world for the purpose of God, we will be tried. We will be faced with the adversary and realize the fullness of power he possesses. God creates with words; Satan creates with situations that cause us to doubt the words of God. 

1Timothy 6:6-8 
6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 
6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 
6:8 And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.

These words of God given to us through Timothy are truth, which Satan will dispute by creating a situation that will cause us to doubt. Out of this situation will grow words in our own minds that cause us to question in our hearts the very truth of God. 

1 Timothy 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

The God given wisdom within us is above reproach, but it is not above temptation. Satan cannot refuse God’s wisdom for us, but he can tempt us to refuse it for ourselves. Eve was caught in just such a trap. 

Genesis 3: 8-11 
3:8 And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden. And he spake by the mouth of the serpent.
3:9 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which thou beholdest in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
3:10 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die; for God doth know, that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
3:11 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it became pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make her wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.

Eve knew that what she was doing was against all that God had taught Adam and in turn had offered to her. Curiosity is a blessing that comes with our God-given ability to choose, but like everything in God's creation; it can be used for both good and evil. God gave them all the wisdom they needed, but their curiosity caused them to ignore Him. 

Genesis 2:19-22 
2:19 And I, the Lord God, commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; 
2:20 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it; 
2:21 Nevertheless, thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee; but remember that I forbid it; 
2:22 For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Alone and filled with childish envy at the power of God, Eve turned away from the wisdom she had been given, and ate of the fruit. By this action, she helped Satan create a situation that caused Adam to turn away from His own God given wisdom, and he ate, too. Understand though, no one forced them to rebel against God. Both Eve and Adam chose to eat.  

Brothers and sisters, this point cannot be overstated: Because God loves us and trusts us, He gives us many gifts, but it is we that decide how the gift is used. We are given the breath in our lungs. Do we use it to praise God and speak words of compassion and redemption? God forgave all our sins. Do we forgive others? He gave us prayer that we might have deep and abiding communion together. Do we use it? In baptism we receive His Holy Spirit. Do we allow it to lead us to all righteousness? We share scriptures that can teach us how to gain an understanding of His Kingdom that is common to all. Do we allow these texts to lift us up and strengthen the oneness that is the Kingdom, or do use our various interpretations to build walls between us? 

The wisdom God gives us is ours to use, however we please. Satan cannot force us to turn away from this wisdom, and God will not force us to use it wisely. If we seek to attempt living an eternity with God using the wisdom of man, we place our faith in that which is corrupt. In the end we will be disappointed. Trust in God’s wisdom. Use it and make it your own. As we share it with others we bring hope to the world that all might come to the truth of God. 

Jeremiah 9:23-24
9:23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches;
9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord.

We face a world that that thinks, acts, and reacts in the wisdom of man. We must remember that to those unschooled in the ways of God, what we see as foolishness is not only their wisdom; it is their belief and foundation of truth on which all things are built. If we are to dispute their wisdom, words alone are not sufficient. We must testify with the life we live and the brethren we live it with. We must allow the Spirit to teach us how to be one in the ways of God, and become an oasis of righteousness within this wilderness of corruption. We must realize that the words, “For as he thinketh in heart, so is he”, applies to both virtue and evil.  

Proverbs 5:21-23 
5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings. 
5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. 
5:23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Our labor is not to create mandates of sacrificial obedience among the people. It is to show the people the wisdom of God. It is to create a testimony in the world that all might see how God’s ways create joy among the people. We seek to cause within their own hearts the need to know God’s ways. 

2 Nephi 8:1 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

We are to share with the world the same blessings of hope and a choice that we were given in our covenant with God. 

Proverbs 23:12 Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. 

In God we are given both the way and the means to create a testimony of God working in the world of man. Some would call us warriors for God. I am not so bold. I am a one who seeks to labor with the Father to fulfill His purpose. If we are to battle at His side against the forces of evil, it is His armor that will keep us safe.

Ephesians 6:13-17
6:17 Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand. 
6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 
6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 
6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;

Examine the various provisions and implements in God's armor, you will find that they are by and large defensive in nature. The breastplate protects. The shoes protect. The helmet protects. This seems to imply that our efforts, by God’s design, are to be humble and nonaggressive. Our only tool of aggression is the word of God. As a weapon, it challenges and can destroy the lust of the world that controls our life, but it is meant to do so much more. It is the power of creation.

Jacob 3:12 For behold, by the power of his word, man came upon the face of the earth; which earth was created by the power of his word.

By the word, we spread the good news of the Gospel to all who will listen-

Alma 3:25 And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a mighty change was also wrought in their hearts; and they humbled themselves, and put their trust in the true and living God.

-and for those that will believe, it opens for them a path we will walk with them as we return together to our Lord, our God, and our Father

2 Corinthians 5:18-20
5:18 And receiveth all the things of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
5:19 To wit, that God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

We do not seek to destroy the world of man; we seek to free its people from their bondage to fear and doubt. We seek to make them aware of the lies they have believed and let them choose a better way to live their life. We have no need to chastise them for the doctrines that guide their lives. By these doctrines, they have attempted to live life as righteously as they know how. Even in the sinful world, we see acts of great concern and compassion attempted only to fail in their ultimate goals. It is clearly evident that the people of this world seek everyday for a better way to live and grow together. 

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Brethren, I realize that only a chosen few have the ability to stand before a multitude of people and bring about the conversion of thousands. But, each of us can be a part of all God seeks to achieve if only we will allow it to happen.

In the world of man the brain controls the heart, but when we allow the ways of God to open our hearts to a better way, amazing things can happen. The heart can lead the brain to cause the ears to hear the words of someone in need. It can cause the eyes to see not only suffering of another, but also a way by which they might find relief. When we allow God to lead us our feet will take us to those who need and our hands will reach out to lift them up and recognize the One who sends us reaches out to them, also. The power of the Gospel can cause within us a compassion for the needs of another, and turn that feeling of compassion into deeds of charity. This is what can take place, but we must choose to allow it to happen. 

1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue only; but in deed and in truth

Brethren, in the ways of God there are no greater or lesser deeds of charity. All that is of God, is in God, and is for God. Reach out today and share what is in you with someone in need. What, where, when you ask? Pray to God and He will guide you.

Mosiah 3:3 And also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.

Praise God for the blessings He has given us this day.
Praise Him more for those yet to come. 

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