There is an old saying that goes something like, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” We all know the principle behind this saying. I can give my children every lesson and benefit this life offers…but I can’t make them use it well. A teacher can provide every piece of knowledge, but this same teacher can’t make a child learn. Ultimately, the horse must choose to drink, the student must choose to learn, and my children my choose to be responsible. We can set someone up for success…but they must choose.
Oh my is this frustrating! Don’t you wish you could make your children choose wisely?!? Don’t you wish you could force your students to learn?!?
As we continue our sermon series on Stumbling Blocks, I’m reminded that for all Jesus offers, we ultimately have the choice. God created us beautiful and wonderful with so much potential. Jesus sacrificed his own life for us that we might intimately know God. The Holy Spirit provides supernatural power and strength. We have God’s Word through Scripture. We have support through the church. God’s deepest desire is that we would use these incredible gifts to be holy, pure, and deeply loved. God wants and has fully provided for our very best. But we have the choice.
We choose to receive grace. We choose to repent. We choose to pursue holiness. Holiness is a loaded term that gets a bad wrap sometimes. Holiness really means “like God.” Whatever God is defines holiness. So to be holy is to be like God in our actions, choices, thoughts, heart, etc. The command of Scripture is “be holy therefore, because God is holy.” The Bible reveals, and Jesus clearly taught, how and why we should pursue holiness. Ultimately, being holy means participating in the most intimate of relationships with God where nothing in us holds us back. Holiness is the very best…because it is just like God, just like Jesus. God deeply desires the very best for us.
But we must choose. I’m not pointing any fingers at anyone but myself here. I must frustrate God so very much. God has provided so much for me, so many opportunities to know God and choose to live in the light of God’s grace through holiness. But I don’t. Here I am, led to the water like that horse, but I don’t drink near as much as I should.
The great news is that God is infinitely patient with us. We can’t exhaust God’s patience. I’ve disappointed and failed so many times…yet God never withdrawals the offer. Grace, forgiveness, and holiness is still available to receive and choose today. We need not settle for less than God’s very best.
My prayer for myself, my family, and for every one of us, is that we would choose God’s best today. May I, may we, choose to pursue holiness. Choose oneness with the God who loves you. Choose intimacy with the God who made you. Choose surrender to the God who sacrificed everything for you. May we choose perfect, beautiful, loving, and gentle holiness today.