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Decision Making

In Joshua 24 we read the parting words of Joshua to the children of Israel.  He had led them across the Jordan River, led them in battle, and they now possessed the promised land.  In his farewell address in verse 15, he says,

“And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve:  whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

In this passage, Joshua calls for some decision making.  The interesting thing is that the children of Israel had already chosen to serve the Lord.  Joshua is here making them realize that the decision to serve God is a decision to which they must constantly rededicate themselves and modify their behavior.

Whether we realize it or not, our lives are filled with choices.  There are trivial decisions to be made such as what clothes to wear, or what to eat for breakfast.  There are important decisions such as what to do for a living or whom to marry.  Obviously some decisions are much more difficult to make than others; but whatever our choices, as those who have decided to be God’s people, we must make all of our decisions based on what God would have us do.  The Lord has given us a guide for our decision making.  He sent Christ to this world to give us a perfect example of how to live and he gave us the guidance of the Holy Spirit through the inspired message of the Bible.

As we face the decisions that we have to make, we need to ask ourselves if we really “serve the Lord” or some other interest through our choices.  Most Christians do not have trouble deciding whether or not to worship regularly or whether or not to give of their means.  Many Christians fail, however, in much more subtle decisions such as how to talk to someone who mistreats them; whether or not to tell the truth when it means they might get in trouble; whether to neglect the study of God’s word for constant worldly pursuits; or whether or not to spend time in activities designed to strengthen the local congregation.

Christianity is constant decision making.  If we have decided to serve God, our decisions must give evidence of that choice.  When we decide matters without God in mind, we choose whom we will serve, and that decision shows that we do not serve the Lord.