Summary: We have two choices to choose from - God’s way or the alternative. Which pill will you swallow?

DVD – Matrix – scene where Neo has to choose the blue pill or the red pill…

God calls us everyday to make a choice – for him or for the alternative. If we choose him we move into a world of mystery and adventure, and we experience real life! If we choose the alternative, we are promised only a mundane, purposeless existence that end at the grave.

I believe, given the choice, most of us would rather the adventure of following hard after God than the alternative.

Jean Luc Picard of the Starship USS Enterprise, was given a second chance to undo some of the choices he had made earlier in his life. When he made those of course his later years were very different from what he had known. The infinite being, “Que” reminded Picard that he got what he asked for. Picard admitted to error and wanted things to be the way they were. “Even if it means you will die and the heart you will have will not be your own?” challenged Que. Picard accepted saying, “The Picard I just experienced was bereft of life and passion. I would rather be dead than live one more moment in the life I just saw!”

Would we rather be dead than live any life other than the life of God’s design for us?

If we would choose him:

1. Avoid bad company

Psalm 1:1

• Who to avoid

• Progression of moving away from God (counsel, stand, sit):

◦ “…walk in the counsel of the wicked” – the slightest deviation from the truth, from God’s way, begins by merely listening to the suggestions of wickedness. E.g. Genesis 3:1 – the serpent SAID to the woman… It began with the counsel of the wicked…

◦ If we risk listening to the counsel of the wicked the next step leads us to “Stand in the way of sinners”— represents joining company with – straying away from God.

◦ Leads to the unavoidable – “Sit in the seat of mockers” speaks of adopting the beliefs and behaviours of the company we keep so that we reject God and his life-design completely. Not only that, this person now mocks any others who walk in God’s way.

To find ourselves in the company of the wicked, sinners or mockers is to begin a downward spiral of spiritual prostitution. It begins with hanging out a little with apparently nice people. They can wear a guise that appears to befriend and have only your best interests at heart. Yet there are ulterior motives that drive their contribution to their supposed interest in people. The socializing leads to a relationship where they begin to plant their seeds of wickedness. Over time the innocent become the property of the deceptive wicked, sinners, and mockers – manipulated for profits to the owners. The only wages earned are the promises of increased emotional slavery and destitution in the cage of hopelessness and spiritual prostitution that slips further away from God in a quest to find a way out.

This company of wickedness, sinners and mockers are like a plague that eats you from the inside out. Like a disease of the soul it first seems innocent enough but progressively it eats away the life and glory of God until you become a grotesque picture of spiritual leprosy bearing the evidence of spiritual sores, scabs, pain and absolute death from God, and His life.

Avoid this company of people – Romans 16:17, “Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things that are contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them.”

• The best way to avoid bad company is intentionally keep good company - gather around you people who encourage, build you up – may have to choose new friends

Remez Sasson –

“Positive and negative thinking are both contagious. All of us affect, in one way or another, the people we meet. This happens instinctively and on a subconscious level, through thoughts and feelings transference and through body language. People sense our aura and are affected by our thoughts. Is it any wonder that we want to be around positive persons and shun negative ones? People are more disposed to help us if we are positive. They dislike and avoid anyone broadcasting negativity.”

(The Speaker’s Bible): “If you look at things through a soured disposition you will not see anything that is lovely or sweet. The cynical heart has a charm-less world.”

To use a farm metaphor: “You cannot keep your milk sweet and yet let anything into your dairy; one dirty germ can sour an entire milking.” (Speaker’s)

2. Be intentionally positive

Psalm 1:2a – “he delights in”

The Message: “you thrill to GOD’s Word”

• Actively choosing a course

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James Merlo

commented on Oct 14, 2006

This is a very rich and confronting passage. You provided a fairly good outline except for the positive thinking portion. I do not know where you got, "be intentionally positive", from verse 2, which says, "But his delight is in the Law of the Lord". I have to admit I am totally opposed to the positive thinking movement, and using verses totally out of context to promote, just rubs me the wrong way.

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