We make decisions every day that impact us either in a positive or negative way. And while we are personally responsible for our decisions, when it comes to decision-making we are always in danger of the folly of quickly blaming other people when things go wrong. The Father has given us the power to choose; the freedom to make decisions. He has not made us robotic so that our decisions always go a certain way. He also, however, has given us the option to “consider our ways.”
He does not come just one time, but many times and in many ways to remind us of who He is in our lives. When misleading thoughts and imaginations form in our minds, they cause a separation between us and God. When we are separated from God, we fall under the inescapable influence of evil. Disobedience is a key temptation that the enemy uses to entice us to go against God. It causes us to sin and become focused on ourselves. Deluded into thinking that we know best, we take matters into our own hands, which causes us to depart from our true source—the Father. We start diluting truth and become convinced that we are right about everything we do, even conjuring our own reasons why we must be right in order to bolster our confidence. If we take a step back, we can observe this in every person we see. The big challenge is observing it in ourselves because none of us like facing up to our own imperfections.
This “self-made” mindset is actually the snare of deception. It is the very same mindset that ensnared the religious leaders of Jesus’ day who prayed daily for the Messiah to come and who lived by the strict standard of the law, yet became the very ones who crucified Christ. Undetected or ignored, deception can reach the boiling point in the human heart, causing a person to act according to the evil fruit that deception has brought forth in his or her life.
Although the Father sends many warnings, He eventually allows those who continually refuse to listen to Him fall into their own delusions, opening them up to troubles, afflictions, and difficulties of all kinds that are enemy-driven. Fear seizes control of their thinking and quickly becomes their daily reality. Trapped in their own deception, they try all sorts of man-made “solutions” that solve nothing, but serve only to increase their stubbornness and resistance to change. The end result is that many people start losing their minds.
Those who choose deliberately to walk with the Father come to understand His nature and character, which leads them to make a solid decision to walk away from anything and everything that the Father despises; in a word, sin. They become adamant about hearing the Father’s voice and will be swayed by no other voice. They live only for Him and freely admit that He is the ultimate source of life itself and of the wisdom for how to live. They choose Him on a daily basis and present themselves to Him continually. As He assesses their hearts, He pours out His oil of joy, gladness, love, peace, righteousness, justice, truth, mercy, and grace.