Choosing to Accept God’s Guidance in Your Life

           The world would defines free will as the choice to do anything you want. However, 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV) reads, “’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.” In this life, actions can result in positive conclusions, negative outcomes, or even nothing at all. Spiritually though, actions always have eternal consequences.

            Deuteronomy 30:16-18 says, “If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish.“

            When Jesus was nailed to the cross, there were also two thieves who were crucified with Him. As Jesus was hanging on the cross, the Romans soldiers mocked His authority and the Jewish crowd scoffed at Him saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” Matthew 27:44 reads, “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.” Soon after the thieves began reviling Jesus, however, one of them had a change of heart. Luke 23:39-41 says, “’One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’” The thief who rebuked the other then asked Jesus to remember Him in the next life. Jesus tells him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

            Both crucified thieves seized the opportunity to direct their anger, frustration, pain, and other tense emotions to Jesus. However, this only added to Jesus’ pain on the cross. By the grace of God, one of the thieves recognized the senselessness of His actions and demonstrated the most constructive approach a person can take: growing their relationship with God. Galatians 5:1-13 says, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery…Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” God has the ability to help the world be a better and more loving place for us all to live, but He can only do so if we choose to let Him guide us. Will you choose to accept God’s loving guidance?