You have a choice to make.
Each day we are met with situations that require we make a choice or decision. There are instances when we have to come down one side of the fence or the other—a decision that will have a significant impact on us or others. Some people prefer to wait and see what others will do, before they make up their own mind. Others will stick to what they are familiar with and will not venture to try something new. Whatever the case, there are decisions which we must resolve to make sooner rather than later; using sound judgement, wise counsel and feasible outcomes. Choices are ours to make and should not be swayed by the opinions of others. We have to consider the benefits and make an earnest commitment to follow through. Our spiritual well-being is one that requires making the right choices that affect all areas of our lives. Under God’s Authority, we are required to do what pleases Him and in return we gain the wisdom needed to do His Will.
14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24).”
Our parents had a great influence on us, as we were growing up. They inculcated certain values, culture and ideals for the life they wanted for us. As children become adults, they can choose what to take with them or leave behind. No parents are perfect, but they tried their best to pass on what they received. We can not become our parents; we have to chart our own course for our future.
Spiritual maturity requires making strides for a better future. We are to serve and fear The True God, not gods of our traditions. Our household is not the one of our parents, though we may wish to emulate them. Each family has to choose what is best for them. It’s our house we are building and sustaining, not the house of our parents, nor is it that of those around us. We must choose for ourselves, who we will serve in this life; where we will put our effort, spend our resources, what we will reap, and what we will leave behind for our children. This is our moment; the choices we make are for now and the future. Whether we believe it or not, we are serving someone or something. We are toiling for ourselves or for others—putting in hours of work, paying someone for services, making sacrifices for our children and trying to have the best we can attain. Serve the LORD and fear Him. After all, without the breath in our lungs, the heart beat, the air and everything that functions in our bodies, we are hopeless. We owe more to God than we think. In a snap, He can take the air out of our lungs and the curtains will be down for us. We can make the choice for us and our family: “As for me and my house we will serve the LORD.”
24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6).”
We need to choose who we will devote our lives to. We only have one shot at this life, so we must be decisive about what is inviolable. Nothing impacts our decisions like our values and priorities. Far above trying to please ourselves and everyone, God must be honored. When we only strive for material wealth, we live for the ephemeral. We have to make this life count—it must have purpose. So why give our blood, sweat and tears for temporary thrills, when we can seek after our eternal good? We will be in eternity longer than our days on this earth. Long-term goals pay greater dividends than short-term accomplishments. We need to live as those who are heaven-bound, by putting our investments in God’s Purpose. He orders nature in it’s cycles to do what no one else can; He will order our lives according to His Perfect Will.
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6).
As long as we have bills to pay and are in need of basic necessities, we can become bloated with worry. We must work to eke out a living that sustains us. Seeking the Kingdom of God first and His righteousness, is not just going to work but going to serve Him. If for some reason, we have no job and are lacking, we need to continue to seek God, by praying, obeying and trusting in Him. Our Heavenly Father knows the things we need, so we should not worry. Worrying is a choice, just as is trusting. If we desire righteousness before we desire anything else, God will provide everything else. When we live for Him, He will make sure we have everything we need to do so. This means we continue to help those who are in need, we spend more time praying for others, and we look out for others’ well-being, even when we are downbeat. He doesn’t ask us to serve Him without giving us what we need to do so. But when we live for ourselves, we will worry about whether we have enough just for ourselves. As long as we set our sights on living to please God and caring about others, He will keep us in His supply, to ensure we lack no good thing.
28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— 29 lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has, cannot be My disciple (Luke 14).
The greatest decisions we make require discernment and sound judgement. No one wants to be a laughing stock for failing to have a proper plan to succeed in what they have set out to do. A builder has to make sure he has all the material and labor to complete the structure. A king going to war must have the intelligence, soldiers and weapons to overcome his opponent. Anyone who is considering being a follower of Christ, must count the cost of losing this life to gain His. The decision to become a born-again Christian will require one to be willing to forsake all that they considered priority and make Christ the center of their life. It doesn’t mean that they will stop playing their roles in society, it means they should be willing to be at His Service, when called to do so. And yes, we are called to do so daily. We should lay aside those things that would stand in the way of our commitment—relationships, fear, pleasures, activities and even material possessions—that divert our time and attention from Him. Being a follower of Christ is a costly decision. It is one that we make for ourselves, by taking into account what we must give up to fully submit to Him.
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into submission, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified (1 Corinthians 9).
There are things that are not worth our energy or attention. Time is a valuable commodity that must be used to our benefit. Life is like a race to the finish; we are in a hustle and bustle along with others. There are hurdles to go over, there are critics, cheer squads and inclement weather all along the way. We steel our bodies to endure under trials, pain, and suffering, by disciplining ourselves to press on. So, we must be careful not to fritter away our life on worthless things. We are in it for the long-haul and we are looking for a prize that is imperishable—to earn us a place in the Everlasting Kingdom of Christ. So, we don’t just do this life haphazardly, in a shiftless manner; we should be intentional, focused and disciplined. We can command our desires to submit to God. Just as a runner doesn’t graze on junk while training for a race; we are to subject our bodies, mind and attitude to attain what Christ has already set aside for us. As we boldly live out our convictions, we also ensure that we practice what we preach to others, so that we are not also disqualified.
We have important decisions to make daily. What is our basis for the decisions we make? Seek God and His Righteousness—this is a good starting and ending position. No matter what we have learned from our parents or the influence of those around us, we have to make the best choices for ourselves. Keeping eternity in mind, will give us long-term goals that will impact our lives and those of others. We are in this race of life to finish well. It’s imperative that we lay aside all hindrances and be willing to pay the price to live for Christ, in order to please Him. There’s only so much we can put on our plate; worrying should be excluded from our to-do-list. When we seek to do God’s Will, He will equip us with everything we need. It cost Our LORD His Life to give us Eternal Life, we must be willing to give up everything to attain it. The choice to be a follower of Christ, is one that will cost us this life to gain the next. When we seek God with all our heart, we can be rest assured we will always strive to do what’s right, and have an impact on those around us.
7 The way of the just is uprightness; O Most Upright, You weigh the path of the just. 8 Yes, in the way of Your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for You; The desire of our soul is for Your name and for the remembrance of You. 9 With my soul I have desired You in the night. Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness (Isaiah 26 ).