Different By Choice

You and I make choices every day that have eternal implications for our souls. Once such choice is a choice to love God and his word, the Bible. Indeed, to love God yet not love God’s word is hypocrisy. How is love for someone’s word expressed? There is only one way: Keep it! To say one loves God while refusing to comply with is word makes one a liar. It is one and the same as refusing to love your brother. “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4.20).

The choice to love God involves a yoke. A yoke is an instrument of subjection and the one wearing a yoke is obliged to be obedient to another. For this reason, true service to the Lord is not pleasing to the carnal mind. It requires a surrender of self and selfish desires that few are willing to accept. 

Paul told the Romans that when they acted on their faith in regard to Jesus being the Messiah, they were then set free from sin; but they were told that they were set free to bear a yoke of righteousness (Romans 6.17-18 — “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.”).

God condemned his people through the prophet Jeremiah because they had rebelliously “broken the yoke and burst the bonds” (Jeremiah 5.5). Years earlier, Joshua challenged the Israelites: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve” (Joshua 24.15).

All people of accountability chooses whom they will serve with their life. We will choose to do (i.e., serve) the will of God or of Satan. We cannot serve both, but we all serve one or the other. Our lives tell the story plainly. We are the servants of the one whom we choose to obey (Romans 6.16). How foolish it is to declare how much we love Jesus while our lives are lived in rebellion to him!

Millions who profess his name reject his right (authority) to govern their lives regarding the sanctity of marriage, how they dress, talk, or play, issues of sexual conduct and gender choice, and even the very lives of their unborn babies. Truly the yoke has been broken.

This is “justified” by appealing to “freedom of choice.” How ironic! Yes, it is a choice — yet often it simply means choosing to serve Satan. “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3.19).

What is your choice today? Jesus promises that those who come to him will have rest for their souls because “his yoke is easy and his burden is light.” Will you accept the yoke of Jesus by choosing him as your master? That is truly the choice that makes all the difference.