God’s got a plan for our lives…but God didn’t create us to be robots. He allows us all to make our own choices! And those choices carry powerful consequences –– good and not-so-good ones. How do we know the difference between good choices and better choices? How do we make the best choices? As we continue on our journey toward God’s definition of happiness, we all have some important choices to make.
1. The choice is yours
- Happiness is a divine paradox: it’s the result of God pouring out his joy in our lives and the result of our choices. We can create a lot of pain for ourselves if we don’t choose to walk righteously.
- Once you make certain choices in the Lord, they make other choices for you. It’s like when you get married: if you choose one person for life, you are automatically choosing to not pursue romantic relationships with others. The same is true for our lives with Jesus.
Have you chosen Jesus in every sphere of your life? Is there any part of your life you still need to give over to Jesus to rule and reign within?
2. Our normal choices are destructive
- Left up to our own devices, we will choose to pursue what Paul calls “the lusts of the flesh.” Outside of the influence of the Spirit of Jesus, we will almost always choose to satisfy our longings on our own terms.
- Even if we don’t see the consequences of our choices immediately, we will see them eventually in emotional trauma, relational brokenness or physical injury.
Describe a time you saw the destructive nature of your own choices. What happened? How did you respond? What kinds of choices are you making today?
3. Let the Spirit bear fruit in your life
- We need to let the Spirit of God bear fruit in our lives. When we allow ourselves to be led by Jesus in this way, we not only experience his joy, but we get to be sources of joy for others too.
- The question we have to ask ourselves isn’t, do we have the Spirit? We have to ask ourselves, does the Spirit have us?
Reflect on the life of someone that is clearly bearing spiritual fruit. What do they do to open themselves up the Spirit of Jesus? What can you learn from them?
4. Live and walk in the Spirit
- “Walking” in the Spirit is helpful language for us to know how to live life in the Spirit––it’s step-by-step, moment-by-moment! It’s a daily choice. It takes intentionality. But it shouldn’t be grueling.
- When we’re walking in the Spirit, we don’t have to stress over decisions. God leads us, down to the smallest details, for our good and his glory.
Pray and ask God to fill you with his Spirit. How can you intentionally walk in the Spirit today?
Optional Follow-Up Questions:
- What makes you say that?
- How do you feel about that?
- How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
- Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
- What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
- Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?