In this message, you will learn to consciously and deliberately choose the Lord Almighty as your own personal God. God loves you, and has chosen you to be His very own. However, until you too choose Him – from among, and above all other gods, and conflicting interests – you will not be able to manifest His glory on the earth.
The men who manifested exceptional glory on the earth – men like Abraham, Jacob, and even our Saviour Jesus Christ – did so as a direct consequence of choosing their own God. Unlike the way most of us claim to worship God today, men of Abraham’s day decided on who to worship based on how much such deity could solve their problems. In those days, people decided on whom to worship based on the performance of the deity.
In Genesis 15, God appeared to Abraham – then known as Abram – and told him not to be afraid. God promised Abraham that He would be his shield and his very great reward. This did not impress Abraham in any way. Instead of getting excited over the promise of God, Abraham responded, “O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” Abraham continued, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
Let me rephrase Abraham’s response to God: “Dear Lord, do not bother to give me stuff I have no value for. Why give me something I’m not interested in, whereas that which I really want you haven’t even given me?”
You see, what Abraham really wanted was a child, a family, his own tribe or community. So, when God invited him to worship him, Abraham basically said, "Hold it God. I’d like to know what’s in this for me. For starters, I’ve got no kids." The man knew exactly what he wanted, and he laid it out before God. Unlike today’s religious folks, Abraham did not pretend about his needs and desires. The man wanted a child, and he let God know that mattered to him.
It is also interesting to observe that God did not rebuke Abraham for keeping things real. I just don’t get today’s religious folks. People often pretend as though all they want is God, and they don’t want anything else. Well, just stop fooling around and get real with God. It is impossible to walk with God if you do not have a crystal clear knowledge of what you want. This might sound strange, but knowing what you want in life is fundamental to having a successful relationship with God – and with any other person for that matter.
How did God respond to Abraham? He struck a deal with Abraham! “This man will not be your heir,” God said to him. “A son coming from your own body will be your heir.” God basically said, “You give me what I want and I’ll give you what you want.”
Listen, if you want to have a powerful relationship with God – one that is marked with phenomenal results, you must go beyond religion and make your own deal with Him.
Jacob – later known as Israel – is my perfect model of what it means to strike a deal with God. He was about 15 years old when his grandpa, Abraham, died. So, he must have heard stories of Abraham’s walk with God, and how his own dad, Isaac was miraculously born. He grew up in a religious home and was definitely impressed with the worship of God by his grandpa, and dad. Yet, after an encounter with God as he fled from the wrath of Esau, Jacob made a vow, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that i have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me i will give you a tenth.” ~ Genesis 28:20-22 Wrap your mind around that for a while.
Jehovah was Abraham’s God. He was Isaac’s God. But, Jacob implied, if Jehovah wanted to also become Jacob’s God, He will have to earn that right! That’s my point. Choose your own God. He has chosen you; now, choose Him. The stories of others that you hear in church is not enough. The stuff you read in the bible is not enough. I know this might sound crazy to religious minds, nevertheless, you’ve got to get God to give you your own stories. Like Jacob, its time you struck a deal with God. All this lily-livered powerless religious rituals and empty idolatries must stop. Either its working or its not. Either God is who He says He is and can do what He says He can do, or He is not.
What do you want from God? If you don’t know what you want from God, from others, and from life in general, you are setting yourself up for disillusionment, and self deception. Furthermore, whatever you want comes with a price tag. What do you want from your God? Name it; but be ready to pay for it. If you fail to understand the consequences of what you want, and the cost, you are also setting yourself up for disillusionment and self deception.
Jesus Christ definitely knew what He wanted. “And now, Father,” He said in John 17:5 “glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” Jesus wanted a certain glory. Whatever that was, He definitely knew what He wanted. But He also understood the price tag. In John 10:17 He says, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again.” God’s love for Jesus was based on a certain condition – death. Jesus understood that and was willing to give God what God wanted – His sinless blood – in exchange for what He wanted – glory. Referring to this transaction, the writer of Hebrews notes that “Jesus, for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~ Hebrews 12:12. The Apostle Paul, writing to the Philippian church tells us that as a result of Jesus death, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.” ~ Philippians 2:9
To want something and not be willing to pay for it is wickedness, deception, witchcraft. You are deceived only to the extent that you have deceived yourself and are attempting to deceive others. Nobody can deceive you without your permission. No one can deceive you until you first deceive yourself and attempt to deceive others. The reason many claim to have been deceived by God is because of their own ignorance and insincerity with God. They come to God without a clear understanding of what they want, or their religious insincerity leads them to live in perpetual denial of what they really want. Then, when they get nothing out of their religion, because they really asked for nothing, they get disillusioned and feel deceived.
Settle down and understand exactly what you want. Then get into a deal – a kind of contractual arrangement – with God. Get to understand His demands, His dreams, His expectations, and whatever He may want from you. Then, make your demands, dreams, expectations, and so on known to Him. Like Jacob, let Him know you are ready to keep your own part of the deal, and that you expect Him to keep His. Do not be brainwashed into following a God you have not personally proven.
Do not follow God if it’s not borne out of a personal conviction. Do not give if its not your sincere choice based on proven results. Why do you give, for instance? To be noticed by others? To make God happy? To create a harvest? You must be clear about your motives. Do not pray if it’s not relevant to your life. Do not go to church to please anyone. Never do anything unless it’s your authentic choice. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourself and those around you. Do not make promises you can’t keep. Do not say things you don’t mean. Choose your own freedoms and bondages.
Make your own choice, but be willing and ready to pay for the choices that you make in this life. Mind the ultimate implications and outcomes of your choices. Don’t be under any illusions. Pay for your choices. Do not blame anyone for the consequences of your choices.
In the words of Elijah the prophet: “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” ~ 1 Kings 18:21
As Joshua said, “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, will serve the Lord.” ~ Joshua 24:15
Based on verifiable results, I have chosen my own God. Now, choose yours.