Wednesday, March 28, 2007

WordPoints - March 28, 2007

Philosophies, Choices
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 24:15

If God is the God He reveals Himself to be in the Scriptures, it is necessary that we make a decision either for Him or against Him. One way or the other, we must decide. To default on this question and simply let our lives unfold haphazardly is the ultimate foolishness. Weeds love an untended mental garden.

A human being will serve something. In the end, it will be seen that something was the primary principle of each person's life, even if it was nothing more than the principle of laziness. Joshua's challenge to the people of Israel took it for granted that they would serve some god. The question was only which god it would be. He called on them to make their choice, if not wisely, at least decisively: "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve."

In childhood, many people memorized the text at John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Do we really believe this? If we do, how can we fail to decide what we're going to do about this truth? Could there be any greater insult to a God who gave His Son for us than simply to say that He's not even important enough for us to deal with right now? When Elijah found the people of Israel vacillating between the worship of God and that of Baal, he explained to them that it was time to get off the fence. "And Elijah came to all the people, and said, 'How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.' But the people answered him not a word" (1 Kings 18:21).

The question of God is no small matter. Indeed, it is the most basic of character issues. Whatever we do when confronted with this question influences our character at its deepest level -- and what we do about God is indicative of our character at its deepest level! One cannot be a quality person and not deal in a quality way with this issue. We are what we choose.

One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the
choices one makes. . . . In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape
ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices
we make are ultimately our responsibility.
Eleanor Roosevelt
WordPoints, 6802 Willoughby Court, Indianapolis, IN 46214-3622
Email: 877-558-9528 Toll Free © 2007. All rights reserved.


euphrony said...

Elijah is my favorite biblical character. The example of him on Mount Carmel is amazing, and the challenge he issues (1 Kings 18:21) to Israel is definitive. I also love the prayer he prays in asking God to light the alter he builds.

"Answer me, O LORD, answer me, so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again." (1 Kings 18:37, NIV)

That God has already been turning our hearts back to Him, that He is actively doing so when He calls us as He called the Israelites, rather than sitting aloof in the clouds waiting for us to approach Him is an example of His love for us. He has never abandoned us, and He is always faithful.

KingJaymz said...

I think you're right. Most people probably grasp the idea of following Jesus as a one-time commitment that becomes a part of their history. It needs to be an ever present reality in our daily lives.

But that also puts some responsibility on the church. How do we follow daily if we aren't encouraged and become disheartened? How do we follow if we aren't given the tools to do the work of following? I think too many churches shirk these things for what's popular. It is the old principle of "Let's make the butts that we already have in the seats better before we (or rather instead of) attempt to put more butts in the seats."

Lisa said...

Food for thought... *Chomp*