“And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve . . . But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)
We make a lot of choices every day.
Our culture places a valued emphasis on the right to choose. The right to choose creates a reasoning to choose and commands a responsibility of choice. Not choosing is still choosing. According to the AHP Project, the average person makes almost 700 choices a day, 4,900 decisions in a week and 255.000 in a year. That’s a lot of reasoning and responsibility.
For many, making a choice is exhausting, while others find it exhilarating. For some, it’s a feeling in the gut, for others it’s faith in God.
Choosing is often predicated on conflicting opinions which produce confirming opportunities or consequential obstacles. The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sarte wrote, “”We are our choices”.
As Joshua stood before the delivered nation of Israel, he chose. His choice was not based on convenience or comfort. His choice was based God’s compassion, care and character.
Choose to serve God. Dallin Oaks wrote, “Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.” Joshua’s ultimate priority was to please God. His priority shaped his choice. His choice determined his actions. The psalmist’ passion shaped his priorities, “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” (Ps 27:4)
Choose to surrender. There’s a dividing difference between commitment and surrender. Commitment is dependent on my determination, my dedication and my drive. It’s me getting up. Surrender is relinquishing my rights, my responsibilities and my resources. It’s me giving in. Commitment means I’m equal to the task. Surrender means I’m unequal to The Truth. Commitment says I can. Surrender says I can’t. It begins with a choice of our heart. Maybe it’s time to let go and let God.
It’s not surrendering to evil, but to the Eternal One.
“‘Now then,’ said Joshua, ‘throw away the foreign gods that are among you and surrender your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.’” (Josh 24:23)
Choose to suffer. The path of following is not always fun. This life is full of trouble and trials, but we serve the One Who has overcome. Jesus said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Embrace hardship, don’t escape. Rejoice in Him, don’t reject Him. God promises sufficient grace (2 Cor 22:9) and shared glory (1 Peter 4;13).
Choose to be significant. When we choose to serve God, we also choose to serve others. This is true significance. Jesus said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45) Serving is giving. God uncovers our uniqueness to uphold others. Peter writes, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” (1 Pet 4:10) In our surrender and through our suffering, we have a specialty that makes us significant. “The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.” (1 Cor 12:7)
Author Kami Garcie wrote, “We don’t get to choose what is true. We only get to choose what we do about it.” We have been gifted with the great opportunity to make choices.
Choose today. Choose wisely.