A few years back, well, more than a few years by now, I picked up this book at what I can best describe as an antique mall in Louisiana. The first thing that struck me was the cover. I still love it. The vibrant yellows, oranges, and pinks pop off the page. And the robot. Oh, I love the painting of this robot. The metallic silver and the reflection of all those colors on the robot. The cover of this book, it just speaks to me.
This beautiful painting was done by artist Michael Hinge. Well done, sir, well done.
Of course, I must say, the title of this book was very intriguing as well. A Choice of Gods. First of all, as a Christian, and a pastor, this title made me very curious. Second, this claims to be a science fiction novel, and I’m a lover of the sci-fi genre. But the title. What could it mean? I had a few ideas, but really there was only one way to find out. I had to get it, and I had to read it.
And read I did. I got a couple dozen pages in and then stopped. Not because it was bad (it isn’t) but partially because I ‘m an expert in starting something and not finishing it. If there’s a college course on how to start something, anything, and not finish it, I should be teaching it. But also, not long after buying this book I moved halfway across country and books started getting put in boxes instead of being read.
After the move this book found its way to a bookshelf where it’s sat until a few days ago when I started reading it. I’m just over halfway through it and could tell you a lot about it, but I’m not going to. Not right now. You’ll have to stay tuned for that. I’ve got an exciting project I’m working on (and am determined to see to completion) and this book will be the main focus of part of that project. Stay tuned, it’s going to be good and it’s going to be awesome. I hope.
But tonight, March 15, 2018, (I planned on publishing this yesterday March 16, but didn’t have time to properly review and edit – thank you leaky basement sink!), I looked at the cover of this book and it spoke to me in a way it never had before. I’d always thought that in this book the characters would be able to have their Choice of Gods, as the title clearly indicated. I expected it to be a fictional writing on the belief that many people have in real life that all religions lead to the same God. Just pick a God, any God, and you’ll be fine. Just like all roads lead to Rome, all religions lead to God! That’s what I expected the tag line of this book to be.
So far, I don’t know if I’m right or not. We shall find out.
Let me clarify here, the belief that all religions lead to God is wrong. I’m not supporting that view. I don’t hold to that view. I thought this book would though.
Jesus makes it unmistakably clear that he is the only way, the only road, the only path to God.
In John 14 Jesus tells his disciples that he is going away to prepare a place for them (Heaven). This place is in his Father’s house, where there is room for all. Even you. Especially you!
Jesus tells them he will return and take them there with him. And he tells them that they know the way to the place where he’s going.
Then, in John 14:5-6 we read this:
5 Thomas asked, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. How can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Jesus is the only way to God, the only way to salvation and eternal life. Now that we have cleared that up, let me get back to this book.
The title, A Choice of Gods, spoke to me in a whole new way tonight, and these following days. It was no longer a title to a sci-fi book written by someone who’s considered to be one of the best of the genre. It was no longer ambiguous. It was no longer just ink on a page. It was no longer about the characters written on the pages.
For me, tonight, for some reason, it became personal.
The title of this book is true, each and every day, every one of us, myself included, have a choice of Gods.
Some days I have chosen myself to be my own God. I have chosen my desires over the desires of the one, real God. I’ve put myself on the throne of my soul, where Jesus, the Son of the true God belongs.
And understand me, dear reader, we all have something that is sitting on the throne of our soul that is our God. We all have something we serve. We all have something we bow down to. We all have something we worship.
For some it’s money. For others it’s recognition and status. Some it’s a relationship with another person. For some it’s drugs or alcohol. For others it’s pornography. For some it’s sex. For others it’s the constant need to have posts liked, shared, or retweeted. For all of us, from time to time, it has been ourselves.
Actually it’s often ourselves. It is me, it is I, that sits one the throne of my soul. I do what I want, when I want, and how I want. And sometimes we like sitting on the throne of our soul. It feels good. We feel in control. We feel powerful.
Until we don’t. Until all the things that I want to do still leave something within my being unfulfilled. Until we lose control and hurt ourselves or hurt others, or something comes that is beyond our control and we really feel lost. We feel powerful until we try with every fiber of our being to do something we know we should do but don’t. Or we try our best to not do something because we know we shouldn’t it, yet we do it anyways.
We feel powerful only to find how weak we truly are.
Paul writes about weakness in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 where we read:
9The Lord said to me, “My grace is enough for you, because power is made perfect in weakness.” So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. 10 Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.
I want to be strong, but time and time and time again I have proven to myself that when I am strong, when I trust in me, when I think I can do it, when I rely on myself, I am weak.
I have lived a life of regrets because I have so often chosen poorly when I was daily presented with a choice of Gods.
We have multiple Gods we can choose from every day. But there is only one right answer. Jesus, the son of the one true God. The God who is the only one worthy of the capital “G” at the beginning of his title.
All the others should have the little “g.”
They are false gods. They are imposters. They are idols. Taking the place where Jesus should be and leaving an unfulfilled void in our souls.
If I am going to give you fill disclosure here, I believe this title spoke to me in a new way tonight because I need to reexamine the choices I am making on a daily basis. Every day I have a choice of Gods and I need to examine my own heart and life to make sure I’m making the right choices. I need to make sure I am choosing Jesus, daily.
I challenge you to join me in examining your life. What God are you choosing daily? Are you choosing a god that leads to more misery and heartache? Are you choosing a god that leads to un-fulfillment and regret? Are you choosing a god that leaves you dead inside no matter how much it promises you life? Are you choosing a god that lets you down and disappoints? Are you choosing a god that tries to convince you that you’re free but you’re really a slave? Are you choosing a god that has left you hopeless and in despair?
Or are you choosing the God who loves you and will never abandon, leave, or forsake you? Are you choosing the God who makes you strong when you’re weak? The God that carries you through the hard times of life when you can’t put one foot in front of the other? Are you choosing the God who gives peace and contentment to your soul? Are you choosing the God that accepts you into his family and invites you to live with him forever? Are you choosing the God who gives hope, and joy, and forgiveness, and compassion, and grace?
We have a choice of many Gods. There is only one right answer. Jesus. And to be the people he wants us to be we must choose him to sit on the throne of our souls on a daily basis.
Who have you chosen today?
Choose today whom you will serve. You have the choice. But know there is one right answer, Jesus, that leads to life. Then there are all the other answers, they are wrong, and they lead to death.
You have a choice of Gods every single day. Choose wisely. Choose Jesus.