Which Way Will We Choose?

“Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death.” Romans 8:6 TLB

It took only a second. One second to choose a path that would indelibly mark his life and future. Just one quick second. In that second lay one decision to turn away from the life which granted him peace and life and make the one decision to choose regret and death.

King David was a man after God’s own heart. Even as a boy he was set apart by the prophet Samuel to eventually lead the people of God. David enjoyed an intimacy with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that few would. He sought the very heart of God in times of blessings and in times of trouble. We have learned how to worship and pray by reading his outpouring in the Psalms. He would lead the people of Israel in a time of victory, unity, and glory unto God.

But even kings, even those who have witnessed the faithfulness and calling of God, at times, will turn away from the Father’s heart and choose ways that lead to regret and death. How could that ever be? Who would ever turn away for a moment from the God who has been so very good to them?

David did. The prophets did. The disciples did. And we do.

The moment David chose to keep his eyes on Bathsheba as she bathed, allowed himself to make choice after choice after choice to sin against this woman, her husband, and the God of Israel. Regret and death followed.

It’s amazingly easy to forget the narrow way and turn away from pursuing godliness to choose the way of sin. It’s sobering how quickly we forget the gift of amazing grace and the cost it required. Opportunities to sin bombard our minds and hearts daily. It’s so easy to be untruthful, give in to anger, or satisfy our human nature through greed, lust, selfishness. It’s hard to walk the narrow way.

Yet, those moments of fleeting sin lead to deep regret and the death of innocence and relationship. A distance is immediately felt between our hearts and our Heavenly Father. We take a step away from the people we were becoming. This pain is not what the Father had planned for us.

Listen to David’s anguish over his sin:

“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;” Ps. 32:3-4a NASB

“Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight.” Ps. 51:2-4 NASB

The regret and brokenness in our relationship with God are the results of those moments when we choose our wants instead of His way for us.

I have been there. And so have you.

However, great is the love of the Father for us. He has not left us in brokenness and pain. He could turn away from us, instead, He made a way for us to overcome the sin of our choices and continues to make a way still. God has never left us. He will allow us to experience the pain of sin BUT then says, “I’m still here.”

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart. O God, You will not despise.” Ps. 51:17 NASB

 When we hide from Him because of the pain of our sin, He is still extending His hand of grace to us.

When we expect the gavel of judgment to fall hard, He says to touch His nail pierced scars.

When we believe that we have reached the limit of His mercy, He asks us how far the East is from the West?

“… the kindness of God leads us to repentance.” Romans 2:4b NASB

God restores life and peace that becomes broken after sin. He restores us that become broken after sin. He restored David. The beautiful, anguish-filled confession in Psalm 51 is the way back to the Father’s heart. Not that ever He left us, but we left Him. Like the Father of the prodigal son, He looks for us, expectantly awaiting our return.

Each day we can choose to not experience the regret of sin. Each day we can choose again to surrender to the Spirit and experience life and peace. The life and peace that is only found in Him. We must choose this life that cost Him so much.

And we can have peace.

His peace.

Peace of a pure conscience.

Peace of whole relationships.

Peace of a close relationship with God.

That is what He wants for us.

Each day we can choose.

Mary Quillin is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She is a city-girl-turned-country-girl in her new life in North Dakota. Mary has been married to her hubby for 16 years and has 3 wonderfully, different kids who have begun their teen years (and she would appreciate all the prayers as possible on that note). After many years in full-time ministry, Mary is learning how to show up and daily discover the journey of being available for whatever Jesus leads her to. She spends her days trying to build a welcoming shabby chic home in the heartland of North Dakota while learning to write and run.