Tuesday, October 18, 2011
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”-Joshua 24:15 NIV
My mother-in-law used to tease me when our son, Jack, was a toddler. Attempting to mold my little boy into a strong, decisive man, I let him make many decisions for himself.
"Would you like to wear your blue shirt or your red shirt?"
"Do you want chocolate milk or orange juice?"
"Shall we go for a walk or play inside?"
I wanted him to understand the power of his choices. Now that he is a thirteen year old man-child, our discussions are a bit different. As life beckons, our conversations turn to more serious things like goals, potential occupations, clubs and organizations, and colleges. Truly, Jack has many choices before him. As a mother, the influences I allow near my son are of greater importance now than ever before in his young life. For if my son is to know wisdom, he must know the path of the Lord.
Benevolent and good, God believes in giving us a choice. For God is love, and love is a choice. He wants us to choose Him. We are free to choose otherwise. It really is that simple. The LORD is the one true God, sovereign over all things. We can embrace Him with gratitude and awe, align ourselves with Him, and be His hands and feet in the world. Or, we can choose our own path. The choice belongs to every man and every woman. Denying this truth does not make Him less sovereign.
Furthermore, Jesus, God's son, is the one true Savior. We can choose His gift, or deny to do so. Again it is our choice. But choices have consequences, and we are mindful to remember as much when we weigh our options today. Refusing to acknowledge Christ's gift doesn't make it any less available. Jesus did his part, but we must also do ours, and choose to accept His gift of salvation.
But the journey only begins there. Daily, we are challenged to "choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve". (Joshua 24:15 NIV) After all, you cannot serve both God and man. For, the Bible pointedly asks the question, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10) It's a choice we all must make.
Which brings me back to my son. Life comes down to the choices that we make. Jack's future is beckoning, and soon, my son will take his place in God's kingdom. Though he is young, Jack has already made the most important decision of his life. He chose to embrace the redeeming love of Christ and knows Jesus as his Savior. Still, I long for my son to walk victoriously through this life, so that he might point others to Heaven.
As the saying goes, Jack is not of this world, but he must still walk in it. Many distractions lie waiting for him, disguised as choice. Truly, we are warned that "there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 16:25) One only needs to look at the condition of the world to see the perils in making decisions without God.
I pray that Jack would have courage to stand for his convictions and make a difference in the lives God places in his midst. I pray he will take a god-fearing wife, who will be his helpmate, partner, and encourager in life's journey. Above all, I pray that Jack, my precious boy, will be a man who puts God first in his life, and will therefore influence many for the Lord.
As a mother of faith, accountable to God, I continue to teach my son the ways of the Lord Most High. How I pray that Jack might choose wisely, all the days of his life.