We make a fuss sometimes over the most trivial of decisions… Where do you want to eat? I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. And when someone suggests a place at least one person will invariably say, I don’t want to go there! Decisions! We all have to make them, and some have a greater impact on us than do others. Wouldn’t it be great if the most difficult decision we would ever have to make would be which tie went with which suit? Or perhaps, you might have to choose between sweet or unsweetened tea with dinner. But we know that isn’t realistic, because we choose our vocations, our levels of education, and we choose a spouse, hopefully with an eye toward a lifetime partner.
While these choices are the most common we will face, there is yet another that has the greatest, even eternal impact on us and that is the choice to follow God. Joshua challenged the children of Israel to choose between God or the idols of their fathers and then declared his family’s choice of serving God! Jesus tells His disciples that he who desires to follow Him “must deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matt 16:24) It is clear that following Jesus involves putting aside our own desires, taking upon us the task God has assigned us and go where Jesus goes. Following Jesus can mean actually accompanying Him in His ministry as His disciples did or following His lead, imitating His life.
As Christians we will face choices as well. There will be daily opportunities in our lives to grow more faithful, to honor and glorify God, to ‘walk in the light as He is in the light’ (1 John 1:7). With these opportunities comes a choice. Do we ‘deny self and follow Jesus’ or do we follow self at the risk of judgment? Recently I recognized this in a personal way when I was traveling in my vehicle. The radio had been off and when I turned it on, I realized it was on an AM Sports Talk station and reached over to change it to FM. As I changed it I also intended to tune in a local classic rock station that had recently went on air. As I reached for the button, I realized the song playing was a popular contemporary Christian song. I had a choice to make. Worldly songs from my younger days or a song that made me consider my God and Savior. In the eternal aspect there is really but one choice. Thank God for His mercy though when we choose unwisely and then “come to our senses” as did the prodigal son! What choices do you face? How do you choose?
Copyright © 2010, Nolan P. Rutter