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  • Writer's pictureChris Hedges

The Most Important Choice

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD” (Jeremiah 29:13–14a, ESV).

The most important choice you will ever make in your life is to choose God. To choose to connect with the God who made you and me and everything in this twisted universe. Not that He made it twisted—He did not. He made it perfect, and we brought brokenness into the world when we made the choice to not trust His leadership. But we can still have most of what we have lost just by choosing God again, on His terms.

To some people, God is just some vague, foggy notion. Have you bought into the idea that either you believe in God or you don’t and that nothing can alter your current condition? Maybe you’ve thought, I have never had faith, not genuine faith, not like my sister/friend/dad/other. Sometimes I'm drawn to a bit of the vertical in a crisis: “Oh God, save me from that truck that just swerved into my lane!” Then He does, and the feeling passes, and the spark of faith fades into numbness. Is that your experience—crisis faith for a moment and then nothing?

Perhaps you suspect that the faith-in-God thing is a trait you’re born with (or without), like blue eyes, brown hair, or a family membership at the country club. Have you concluded that belief is a characteristic you may or may not have, and that’s out of your control? God is most assuredly someone you choose, and choosing Him makes all the difference. Choosing God is less like the options on a new car and more like selecting a person to marry. Faith is for people who want it and are willing to go for it with passion. In fact, God only shows up for people who are looking, and He chooses to reveal Himself exclusively to people who really want to know Him. “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD.”

God advertises! “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Psalm 19:1–2). God’s Word and God’s world are full of advertisements about Him, but as with even the best-marketed product, you still have to choose what God is offering.

Yes, you can choose God. Don’t let some stale seminarian talk you out of it. We’ve all heard the well-worn argument that we don’t choose God but that He chooses us. So which is true—do we choose God, or does He choose us? Both! Just as I chose my wife, and she chose me. There’s little point in arguing over who chooses first. Let’s go at this from the only angle we actually experience: our own. We choose God. That’s the way it feels, and that’s the way it functions, and until you climb out of your armchair or descend from your ivory tower and choose God for your own life, you will always be missing the main ingredient for human happiness.

Of course God is completely in charge. But let’s not use His original choice as an excuse for human apathy. We must not lose our sense of responsibility in the ocean of God’s sovereignty. When God planted our ancestors in the Garden of Eden, He gave them the capacity to make significant choices. Adam and Eve got to choose names for the animals and pick which of a wild assortment of fruit to eat, save one. The rest, as they say, is history. Constant choices.

So what will you choose? Will you choose to believe with your whole heart that there is a God who knows you perfectly yet loves you unconditionally? You can put your whole weight down on God’s love as your identity.

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