Choices vs Decisions
One of the hardest things for me, since I have been saved, is knowing if I am making the right choices. My regular readers know I was not raised in a believer’s home. We knew there was God and we heard about Jesus, that was all. Prayer was never made and fellowship with God was not a possibility when I was growing up.
I had my first real exposure to God in the third grade. Our “public” school allowed students to attend after school programs and ride the late bus home. Local businesses, churches and organizations offered students, 2nd and 3rd graders too, after school programs.
Students would choose an after school program to attend for about 40 minutes and then head back to the school and ride the late bus home. Parents needed to sign approval notices for their children to attend any after school program. The program lasted for that school year. My younger brother and I signed up for the Church School program. I was in 3rd grade meaning I was almost 8 years old, my brother was 7.
We would walk from the school to a local Baptist church about three city blocks away, by ourselves. We walked up to the church, my brother went to one room and I to a different room. Why they separated us I don’t know. We did like to clown around though. The church taught us about God. Our assignment was to memorize the names of the books of the Old Testament each week. I don’t remember what they taught about God, but I never forgot the names of the books in the Bible. But I do know seeds of Light were planted.
Then eight years later, at 16 years old I started going to book sales. I bought Bibles and very few bible study books. I was more interested in the bibles even though I did not read them. I glanced through them. And 11 years later, I read for the first time, the entire New Testament. By then I was 27 and going to turn 28 in one month.
Right after I finished reading the New Testament, and I mean right after, God sent a pastor into the music store I was managing. They were buying an organ for their church. I sold them an organ and they gave me a mini-bible with verses from scripture, then invited me to their church services. I chose to go and visit their church.
I am not going to get into how God worked on me to get through to me here, maybe some other time. But as I look back, at 8 years old I made a choice to sign up for Church School. I made a choice to collect Bibles at 16 while my friends were doing other things. And at 27, I made a choice to read the New Testament for myself. I made a choice and visited the pastor’s church right after New Years in January.
I would write everything down the pastor preached and I would go home and look everything up. That is when I made a decision and told God, “OK God, I’ll give you 30 days. If you can get through to me in 30 days, okay. If not say-la-vee.” After the 30 days of going to church regularly, reading and studying the messages from the pastor, (who just happened to be preaching on hell) I made a decision. I decided I needed to get saved or I was not going to heaven. I got saved.
Choices we make every day. We decide what clothes to wear, what food to eat, what we will listen to or what we will watch. Even scripture tells us choices we have to make:
God or the Devil – Genesis 3:1-11
Life or Death – Deuteronomy 30:19,20
God or Baal – 1 Kings 18:21-40
Wisdom or folly – Proverbs 8:1-21
Christ or antichrist – 1 John 2:18,19
Even Joshua tells us we need to choose whom we will serve. Joshua 24:14-15 KJV “Now therefore fear the Lord , and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord .
 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord , choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .”
Choices we make affect our life. We make choices every day. But decisions we make affect our destiny. Making a decision to get saved will alter your destiny. Decisions we make like changing jobs, getting married, having children, starting a business and living for God or self, affect our destiny.
I started this post with my struggles in making the right choices. I may not know how to do something the right way. And I may not make the right choices all the time. Our choices affect our day to day life. And often, I look to books, family, friends and God to help me make the right choices so my day to day life will be better.
But decisions have lasting impact. When you make a decision you agree to the terms and conditions. Just like if you decide to buy a house, you have terms and conditions. If you decide to get married, there are terms and conditions. If you make a decision to have children, there are terms and conditions. When you decide to get saved, God has terms and conditions, you must get saved God’s way, not your own way.
Choices affect your life.
Decisions affect your destiny.
After Judas hung himself, the disciples wanted to replace Judas. Was this a choice? Or a decision? We know they were making a decision by the scripture text. And how did the disciples make their decision? Let’s read the text.
Acts 1:21-26 KJV ” Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men , shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,
 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
The disciples put their choices before the Lord. Then they prayed. They told God, you know their hearts. Show us which of these two men have you chosen. We can not know the outcome of our decisions and if the truth be told, some of us would like a “do over” of some of our decisions. But God does know the outcome of all things.
Choosing to live for the Lord and follow his guidance and direction is a choice you make and that choice will affect your day to day life. And choosing to disobey God will affect your day to day life too. But making a decision to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ unto salvation affects your destiny. Making a decision to live for the Lord no matter what, affects your destiny (just like Joseph, David, Elijah, John and Paul). Destiny decisions must be prayed about, taken to God just as Acts shows us how.
My prayer is you will consider more closely the choices and decisions you make and line them up with scripture. Until next time.