Draw Close to God
Jehovah Gives Us a Choice
“I HAVE often had the unreasoning fear that I would prove unfaithful to Jehovah.” So stated one Christian woman who felt that her bad experiences as a child doomed her to failure. Is that the case? Are we really helpless victims of circumstance? No. Jehovah God has given us the gift of free will, so we can make our own choices about how we will live. Jehovah wants us to make the right choices, and his Word, the Bible, tells us how we can do that. Consider the words of Moses, as found in Deuteronomy chapter 30.
Is it difficult to know what God requires of us and then to do it?* Moses states: “This commandment that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far away.” (Verse 11) Jehovah does not ask the impossible. His requirements are reasonable and reachable. They are also knowable. We do not have to ascend “into the heavens” or journey “to the other side of the sea” in order to learn what God expects of us. (Verses 12, 13) The Bible plainly tells us how we should live.—Micah 6:8.
Jehovah, however, does not force us to obey him. Moses says: “I do put before you today life and good, and death and bad.” (Verse 15) We are free to choose between life and death, good and bad. We can choose to worship and obey God with blessings in view, or we can choose to disobey him and suffer the consequences. Either way, the choice is ours.—Verses 16-18; Galatians 6:7, 8.
Does it matter to Jehovah which course we choose? Of course it does! Inspired by God, Moses said: “Choose life.” (Verse 19) How, though, do we choose life? Moses explained: “By loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him.” (Verse 20) If we come to love Jehovah, we will want to listen obediently to him and stick loyally to him, come what may. By means of such a course, we choose life—the best way of life now with the prospect of life everlasting in God’s coming new world.—2 Peter 3:11-13; 1 John 5:3.
The words of Moses teach a reassuring truth. No matter what you may have experienced in this wicked world, you are not a helpless victim; neither are you doomed to failure. Jehovah has dignified you with the gift of free will. Yes, you can choose to love Jehovah, to listen to him, and to remain loyal to him. If you make such a choice, Jehovah will bless your efforts.
This truth—that we are free to make our own choice to love and serve Jehovah—brought comfort to the woman quoted at the outset. She says: “I do love Jehovah. At times, I have forgotten that what is most important is the fact that I love Jehovah. So I can be faithful.” With Jehovah’s help, so can you.
See the article “Draw Close to God—What Does Jehovah Ask of Us?” in the October 1, 2009, issue of The Watchtower.