Joshua 24:15a But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,
In 1996 my two oldest sons and I went on a mission trip to Romania with a small group led by a close friend from Seattle. We flew into Munich, picked up our van and spent the first night in Europe at the Y WAM castle in Hurlach, an hour west of there. The next morning we left early to beat rush hour in Munich. We had to drive south from Hurlach and pick up the highway going east toward Munich and then on to Hungary where we would spend the night. We got on the highway and after about 15 minutes, John, my oldest son asked an important question: “Dad – since when does the sun rise in the west?”
We had inadvertently taken the wrong ramp and were headed for France – not Munich and Hungary! Thank God that it wasn’t a rainy morning and that my sons noticed this major discrepancy. The dawn and the sun coming up on a clear morning are kind of hard to miss.
We need to recognize that life is filled with opportunities to take mistaken directions in terms of the attributes that characterize our lives. The wrong choices become easier to make when we are distracted from following the Lord and become preoccupied with other things. Instead of choosing righteousness, we make choices that are more appealing to our fleshly nature.
We get careless and wind up going the wrong way without being aware of it. Such decisions frequently made become life habits and contradict or undermine our faith: situation ethics, shading the truth, the ends justify the means, a little promiscuity, cutting corners, let someone else do it, no one will know, getting even – hey everybody does it. If you’re reading the Bible and are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, you hear them echoing within you, “Don’t go that direction!”
Unfortunately, hearing them doesn’t mean listening and obeying them. Worse, our spiritual eyesight becomes dull and we don’t see the warning signs around us – (i.e., the sun rising in the west!) We become comfortable with our Christianity being something we put on like a T-shirt. Outward appearance might seem okay but inwardly we become filled with rot and decay. Look at our society – about 75% consider themselves Christian, but you sure wouldn’t know it by looking at our culture.
We must recognize that our choices are the true reflection of whether we have chosen to serve the Lord. It’s not what we say. It’s not what we think we believe. It’s not what we do on Sunday mornings. The consequences of our choices are immense. “Choose for yourselves this day….”