Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.
The way of human ingenuity and discernment, according to the Bible, leads to death. This verse is often applied to salvation, but it is much farther reaching than that. It applies to all of our choices. We are confronted with constant decisions between self will and God's will. And the choices may be much more subtle than that: the easy way versus the hard way, small compromises versus absolute truth, or any other such confusing fork in the road. We don't realize the gravity of our direction. Man's way leads to death, while God's way leads to.......well, death.
Have you ever considered that? If we serve ourselves and cling to our false values, we will die. If we submit to Jesus, we must die. But the outcome is not as uniform as it seems. This world offers us "life" and then "death"--forever. God offers us "death" and then life--forever. Fools choose the life of this world, the "life" of the party, the "life" of freedom from responsibility. The wise choose God. Yes, it does mean a cross now....a daily cross, a painful cross, a difficult path of aversion to our own wills and submission to God's. But in the end, it leads to LIFE!
God is constantly calling us into His will. But we are afraid of Him. We've been convinced by a hostile world and lying enemy that God's will involves untold sacrifice and pain without a corresponding benefit. We think it's all pain, no gain....or a lot of pain with a very uncertain gain. We just can't see the blessing beyond the cross.
But do you think you have a real alternative? That cross we carry may be painful and sacrificial--It is not the easy way. But it's the only way. The alternative is to live outside the will of God, which equals a thousand deaths, each a thousand times worse than the blessed life of submission to our compassionate Lord. What "life" are we really embracing when we opt for self will? A momentary sense of satisfaction, perhaps. But that won't last. God's Kingdom will. It's where life will live forever!!