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The Choices We Make

Dear Friends,

It seems to me that when it comes to making decisions, for the most part people can be divided into two categories: those who are decisive, and those who are not. I tend to be one of the decisive types, whereas my wife Bonnie is not so much. For example, once when we were on an airplane, sitting all the way at the back, Bonnie could not make up her mind about what sort of soft drink to get from the flight attendant. She thought and thought about it while the flight attendant made her way down the aisle, even turning and asking me my opinion (which of course I quickly gave, because I’m decisive and always have an opinion ready). Yet, when the moment arrived to tell the flight attendant what she wanted, there were still several long moments of hesitation from Bonnie because she hadn't been able to decide.

Now, when it comes to ordering soft drinks on a plane, being indecisive is not that big of a deal. But as I was reading in 1 Kings this morning, I was struck by the fact that it IS a big deal when it comes to our spiritual lives. Listen to 1 Kings 18:21, which tells us, “And Elijah came to all the people and said, ‘How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him’.” The background on this statement from Elijah is that, for 85 years, the nation of Israel had been going back and forth between worshiping false gods and worshiping the One True God. And each time that God pointed it out, the Israelites would come running back to Him, saying they were sorry and promising to worship only God. But then they would gradually go back to doing the same thing all over again. Finally, God had had enough, and so He sent Elijah to say, “Make a choice. Which side are you on?”.

I think it's easy for us to look at the Israelites in this situation and wonder what in the world they were thinking, because they seem like the most indecisive group of folks - constantly going back and forth between following God and not following God. Actually, it’s a theme that's woven throughout their history, which makes it even easier for us to judge them. And yet, I think if we were honest about our own lives, we would admit that we also struggle to live decisively for Christ every day. It shows up in our lack of obedience, our lack of trust, our lack of desire, and our lack of faith. Even those of us who are the most decisive can struggle with this problem as we are excited to serve God one day, and then the next day are too caught up in our own thoughts and plans to give Him the time of day. And while God is gracious and merciful, He wants the same from us that He wanted from the Israelites - a firm decision to live for Him each and every day.

So today, let’s ask God to help us be decisive in our choice to follow Him. And then, when we feel the temptation to choose other things over God, let’s ask God to remind us of our decision to worship Him alone, and then choose once again to fully follow Him.




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