By Steven Davis
This week on Intentional Living, Dr. Randy is teaching through a five-part series entitled Making Better Decisions. And it’s a great time to consider perhaps the biggest decision that the people of Israel ever made. And it’s very similar to the biggest decision you will ever make.
“But if you don’t want to worship the Lord, then choose right now! Will you worship the same idols your ancestors did? Or since you’re living on land that once belonged to the Amorites, maybe you’ll worship their gods. I won’t. My family and I are going to worship and obey the Lord!” (Joshua 24:15 CEV)
Joshua made it very clear that he and his family would worship and obey the Lord. Now you might think that this is a one-time decision—and you’d be right. But not exclusively so. For those of us who are followers of Christ, we made a once-and-forever decision when we asked Jesus to save us, and He changed us forever. The thing is that all the decisions that you and I make from that point on must be radically different. It’s no longer “business as usual.” Jesus put it this way when He spoke to the crowd:
“If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23 NLT)
You’ve given up “your own way,” but that works because He has given you a new heart, a renewed mind and His Spirit has taken up residence within you. So your decisions will be different because of the change He has made in you. That’s why He said, “Take up your cross daily, and follow me.” That’s your everyday choice, your every decision.
Jesus describes this process in Luke chapter 6:
“So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say? I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it.” (Luke 6:46-47 NLT)
Come. Listen. Follow. Those three words define the process of our salvation and sanctification. Sanctification is just a fancy word for becoming more and more like Jesus. We come to Him, and that’s the salvation part. But when we listen and follow, that’s the obedience part, the discipleship part, the sanctification part. And that’s the everyday spiritual reality that changes the way you think, feel and act; and it changes the way you make decisions.
So back to Joshua. Who are you going to choose today? Are you going to serve the one, true, living God or the myriad of so-called gods who inhabit our land? Their ancient Hebrew names are: Keseph, Koach, Naaph, Gaon. But you know them as: money, power, lust, self. They are alive and well and still with us. Yet, if you get up each morning and say, “Father, today I choose to serve you,” how do you think that will impact your day?
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