A tiny seed fell years ago and grew into a pine tree. But alas she rose in a place surrounded by firs and a healthy maple. The earth rotated and the sun shone but other more mature trees absorbed the light the struggling pine craved. Slowly, her lower limbs died. Her meager green needles only accentuated her brown gnarled plight. So with the help of Gary and Jim the sickly pine in the corner of my yard came down.
A tree’s destiny is determined by the place in which its seed falls. A man’s destiny is determined by his ability to choose. If he chooses to surround himself with those who disdain the Light he will decay inside with the sure disease of moral rot. If he hardens his heart against the voice of God and sets his face like steel, he will weather the seasons of life in coldness, rusting, growing brittle, ‘til the breath of Life disdained becomes the icy blast of judgment. If he feeds for a time on God’s good word but turns away--forgoing the nutritious Bread of Life and Living Water, preferring his own buffet of self-pleasing items, his plate of lust and cup of pleasure will quench his spiritual appetite. He will not grow in righteousness because he chose to bloat in covetousness.
We cannot choose our race, our color or the place of our birth. A seed has no say in such matters. But in matters of destiny we are not helpless. What right have we to accuse God of being unjust because He damns those who refuse Him. Where does the created find the audacity to condemn the Creator? He offers Son-sacrificing love to reach us. He extends heaven to those who wonder how hell could be much worse than earth. He demands obedience knowing the grave consequences of sin. He flies the banner of Sovereignty yet extends the scepter of free will. If we experience fruitless branches and wither it is not because we are the victims of a prefabricated destiny, it is the evidence that we ignored grace, forsook truth and abandoned the fear of God. Jesus Christ offers each and every person life-fulfilling grace. It is not a force-fed grace. We must elect who our Savior will be. Our destiny is determined by our choice. Choose this day whom you will serve . . .
Joshua 24:15--But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.
Our destiny is not determined for us, but it is determined by us. Man’s free will is part of God’s sovereign will. We have freedom to take which course we choose but not freedom to determine the end of that choice. God makes clear what He desires, we must choose, and the result of the choice is not the inevitability of law, but the inevitability of God.—Oswald Chambers in Conformed to His Image
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)