Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reflections for September 30, 2009

The challenge that Joshua presented to the Jews centuries before Christ is the same challenge we face each day. Each day we are faced with circumstances that require us to make a choice about who we will serve. We sometimes act as if we can avoid the choice but we can not. Our choice may not be in words but it will be in our actions. Will our actions reflect our allegiance to God or will they reflect an allegiance to the gods of this world?

Bill Hybels explains it this way: “Every single day we make choices that show whether we are courageous or cowardly. We choose between the right thing and the convenient thing, sticking to a conviction or caving in for the sake of comfort, greed or approval. We choose either to take a carefully thought-out risk or to crawl into a shrinking shell of safety, security and inactivity. We choose either to believe in God and trust him, even when we do not always understand his ways, or to second-guess him and cower in the corners of doubt and fear. (Bill Hybels, Who Are You (When No One’s Looking)

Before we choose, it would be wise to know our choices. We need to ask the question Joshua put before the people in the verse above: “If not God; who?” There are hundreds of things from which we can choose, but most of them would fall into one of four categories. First, we can choose the god of pleasure. It causes us to become caught up in our own comfort and enjoyment. It does not leave room for concern for others. It offers much but in the end brings disillusionment. Second, we can choose the god of popularity. When we worship this god, we forget about principle and do anything to be accepted into the group we think is most important. Popularity never brings the self-confidence we seek because we can never please everyone. Third, we can worship the god of power. It is a cruel taskmaster. It requires us to step on anyone who gets in our way as we push ourselves to the top. The problem is when we get to the top we find it to be a lonely place to live. Fourth, we can worship the god of philosophy and worship whatever the current popular trend is. Presently, it is the spirit of secularism. While it does not always deny the existence of God, it does say that He is irrelevant and that man can fix all of his own problems. All of these gods share a common flaw. Not one of them can fill the empty space within man. It is a space that cries out for fellowship with his creator.

Joshua understood his choices and he said, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15c NASB) His was the wise choice then and it is the wise choice today. Who will you serve today?

Prayer: Heavenly Father give us both the will and the strength to make wise choices this day.

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