The inspiration to choose right

Lunminthang Haokip *

CHOICE OF FAITH: In life, there were key turning points when you had to choose either of two paths. Many mortals took vital decisions without divine inspiration. So they ended up taking the wrong decision. The spiritually discerned movers and shakers in life's soccer game score encore because they give more weightage to prompting of the Spirit.

Reading the Word of God makes you stay close to the Almighty God. In Isaiah 46:9 & 10, the Lord stated, "For I am God and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning." We trust more on our hunches, rely on own experiences, and make the wrong choices. Lot was motivated by greed and covetousness when he chose the plain of Jordan (Genesis 13:10).

The seemingly 'well-watered' fertile land became horrible Sodom and Gomorrah which God destroyed. Lot lost his family in the cursed mayhem. Abraham walked by faith, faith in the living Jehovah. The man who walked with God chose the less-attractive hills of canaan which became the action-station of the people of God, the Israelites. Jehovah was the patriarch's 'shield and exceeding great reward (Gen. 15:1).'

Some guys, in Lot mode, choose their partners by sight, to become unhappy for the rest of their life. Some learn from Abraham, and choose future spouse by faith, and create a happy home ever after. In every turn of life, making the right choice determines the right decision.

TEMPTATION VS. INSPIRATION: Decades back, I was good from far but far from good. Even in my College days, I heard many sermons of anointed preachers. But nothing got registered in my mind. In 1993, fear of death drove me close the bold and piercing preaching of God's servant, Late Joshua Daniel. His pulpit appeal to come out clean from the shackles of tribal entanglements clicked with me in a big way.

He prayed for me. The Lord made me whole (John 5:14). Yet, I was raw and fickle like a KTP - Keen type Probationer. Late Dr SV Job mentored me to spiritual maturity. Having tasted 'holy blood,' I wanted to throw my lot with LEF. I left no stone unturned to prove that I was taking the right step. My detractors left no turn of mine unstoned ! I was tempted to go back to my previous Church.

Left alone on the crossroad of indecision, in prayer I went to God. He showed me Jeremiah 15:19, "Therefore thus saith the LORD, if thou return, then will I bring thee again, and thou shalt stand before Me: and if thou take forth the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as my mouth." That verse was my inspiration. The Spirit nudged my spirit that what I did was precious.

Following divine guiding at the expense of worldly counsel invited many troubles in my personal life. But the Word of God in Jeremiah 15:20 strengthened me a great deal. "And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the LORD." What a promise?

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM: A believer has to be alert always. It's pardonable human weakness to go slow and take things lightly after a spiritual victory. It was really tough to swim against the current of standard societal norms. In our Church-folds, a person's spiritual fouls are ignored as long as he remains loyal to community affiliation.

But when an inspired member joins another fold, all his faults, real or imagined, come out in the fore for free-for-all slander. At such junctures, the target member should pray much, hold his peace and bank on God's promise. But being human, when tongues wag beyond the limits of tolerance, molten feelings erupt in verbal spats. A person who has endured unfair fiery darts thus far, finally loses his cool.

The adversary makes capital of the victim's Achilles' heel. The devil lurches, in the shade of moments, to make the triumphant Christian of the previous 'battle' fall flat in the next. After my sins were forgiven, post repentance and confession, temptation came my way in the form of a desire to send my children for outside studies. It being my own will, I didn't seek God's will in this matter.

I paid a heavy price for this blunder later. I thought my kids would find out their own line of study. Some of them did; some came back enabled only to handle upmarket items online. The moral lesson I learnt later much to my chagrin was that youngsters can go berserk when they are out of touch with praying men of God. There's no joy in a son returning home with a Ph.D degree - 'Passed Higher Secondary with Difficulty!'

WRONG CHOICE RESULTS IN EARLY GRAVE: Shakespeare wrote, "There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries." To succeed in life, you need to take the right decision at the right time. If an opportunity is not seized in time, the favoured slot will never come back.

A miss is as good as a mile, the saying goes. A wrong choice has a bearing on the fate of your future. Deut. 30:19 says, "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live." Many guys don't have the wisdom to choose a good friend. David's intimate friendship with Jonathan was covenanted.

It was a spiritual bond good for both of them. 1 Samuel 18:3, "Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul." A good friend impacts a great deal. So does a bad companion. Both of my younger brothers did not have the tact in choosing a friend. Their inability to say `no' when they ought to have said led to their early graves.

I had to carry the burden of their folly as an unfortunate elder brother. Proverbs 13:20 should be underlined, "Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm." The choice of the wife of Zebedee for her two sons was over the top. She said in to Jesus in Matthew 20:21, "Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on the right hand, and the other on the left in thy kingdom."

James was the first to be martyred among the disciples. In a heavenly semi-circle sitting arrangement, he would have sat on the left side of Christ. And John who died last, on his Lord's right side. Salome's brilliant wish was fulfilled.

MISTAKING TEMPTATION WITH INSPIRATION: More often than not, we mistake temptation for inspiration. Eve was vulnerable to the devil's allurement because she was nursing an impulse to taste what God forbade. That's why she couldn' t resist the bait when Satan offered it in style. The lie did the trick more than the truth.

Genesis 3:5, "For God doth know that the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil." The first couple ate and came to the knowledge of good and evil. But it brought forth a tragedy to the succeeding generation. The good they knew they could not do and the evil they hated they could not spew. That's the heavy levy on man's fallen nature.

In contrast, Moses was brought up in the palace oftheking ofEgypt. He had all the comforts and privileges ofbeing the son of the daughter of Pharoah. But all those perks men craved for, like St. Paul, 'he counted them as loss and dung that he may gain Christ (Phil. 3:8)2 The man who took the 10 Commandments from God could not be tempted by power and royalty. He never forgot his calling.

Hebrews 11:24 & 25 say, "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son ofPharaoh' s daughter; choosingrather to suffer afflictionwith the people of God, than to enjoy thepleasures of sin fora season."

The choice of Moses distinguished a lead. from a ' misleader.' A misleader would have done the opposite. ' Choosing rather to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season than to suff. affliction with the people of God. ' Such a man was chosen by God to write the first five Books ofthe Bible many years after the key players died. It' s a flashback wonder.

GOD INSPIRES HIS OWN WITH HIS WORD: Till 1492, the confinents were oblivious of the existence of other confine.. Europe did not know that the Americas were there on the other shore of the Atlantic ocean. Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) was a God-fearing Italian maritime explorer. In his days, no one knew whether the earth was round or flat.

Christopher was inspired by the Spirit to find out the shape of the earth. He wanted to know that if he started from Spain, and sail west, could he come back to the place of his departure. He knocked heaven's door in pray.. The Lord showed him Isaiah 40:22, "It is He that sitteth upon the circle of the earth." Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand II of Spain sponsored the sea voyage to the west.

In 1492, Columbus discovered the Americas. Initial inspiration came from the Scriptures. Hebrews 4:12 says, "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit." In 1995, when I was SDO/Saikul, a cross-community pulpit exchange programme was announced by MBC to be held on 19 November.

A lethal incident on 18 November caused the leaders to cancel the exchange Prog. I was invited by a T.glchul Church in my Sub-Division. Many dissuaded me. To go or not to go? But I prayed.

The Lord answered me from Esther 4:16, "Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan and fast ye for me, neither eat or drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish."

Inspired, I went to preach at Laikoiching on the strength of Jehovah's promise. God blessed the step of faith in more ways than one. Our God is real and alive.

* Lunminthang Haokip wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is an IAS (Retd)
This article was webcasted on January 31 2023 .

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