My devotional reading this past week contained some quotes from George MacDonald where he indicates that every day we make choices that place us in the pathway God desires or in opposition to God’s will for us. My first reaction was to reject his position for fear it would lead toward the assumption that we earn our salvation by the choices we make each day.
The biblical and Wesleyan understanding of salvation abhors such nonsense. Salvation is a gift from God, a gift that we can never earn or deserve. Salvation begins in God as God’s prevenient grace is lavished upon us and urges us to return to the source of life and love.
Pondering the MacDonald statements, it slowly pried its way into my hardened heart. Salvation is a gift from God that is free and undeserved. Living this new life requires that I make choices every day. God will not force me to follow and live in this glorious kingdom Jesus ushered in. Each decision leads me closer to Jesus and his way or away from him. Jesus made those same types of decisions. He was never forced to go to the cross. He was never forced to wash the disciples’ feet. He was never forced to go to Jerusalem. Jesus chose to follow the guidance of his Heavenly Father. Jesus spent many hours in prayer to guide his decision making process.
Several individuals have posted on Facebook this quote:
An old Cherokee told his grandson, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lives, and ego. The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy, and truth.”
The boy thought about it and asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”
The old man quietly replied, “The one you feed.”
The choices we make in the normal, everyday events of life lead us to our destinations. We usually do not have the option of only making the big decisions that determine our destinations. Those choices are made in our daily devotional practices, the way we respond to our co-workers, the tone of our voice and words spoken to the persons sacking our groceries, and the way we pray for our enemies. This is reflected in Jesus’ parable of the separation of the sheep from the goats where both groups were surprised because they discounted the importance of the choices they made every day as they went about their normal routines.
Self examination reveals whether I am living in the Kingdom of God. Which wolf am I feeding; one is Evil and the other Good. One leads to life and the other to death. My heart is divided. I must choose the one that I will feed.
Grace & Peace