“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
– Joshua 24:14,15
As human beings, one of the greatest powers we are granted by God is that of choice. It’s our ability to reason, exercise free will, and choose one thing over another that sets us apart from other living creatures. I believe this is why the book of Joshua ends with Joshua telling the people to choose who they were going to serve: the Lord of Jacob or the pagan gods of their ancestors. Reading between the lines, it’s almost as if the Isrealites didn’t want to make a choice. Although they enjoyed the benefits of following Yahweh, they were reluctant to renounce their heritage and the religion that was part of their family tradition. They wanted to keep their foot in both worlds. How true is this of us today, also, as we attempt to live in the Kingdom of God while also trying to be at home in the our own kingdoms?
Interestingly, these verses from Joshua 24 happened to be a favorite of Billy Graham in his preaching. Why? Because they emphasize the importance of making a deliberate choice to follow the Lord. Just as he encouraged people to make a decision to follow Jesus Christ at the moment they heard the Gospel, so you and I, as those who answered His call, should make choices to passionately pursue Him every day.
Friend, if you want to be a world-changing disciple of Jesus, you must embrace choices. As you walk in His Spirit and sense Him moving in your midst, take action and go when He says go. Don’t let comfort be your compass; instead, be decisive, confident, and full of conviction as you boldly follow the lead of your Savior. The middle ground is not your home — you were created to walk in the will and wisdom of Jesus, who is constantly leading you forward to a place of greater holiness. Embrace decisions, choose life, and watch as you display more of God’s glory!
Jesus, I ask for your help to embrace decisions and for your wisdom to make choices that honor your Name and show others more about who you are.
Are choices generally easy or difficult for you? Have you ever been neutralized by indecision? How did it impact your walk with God?
Modern science has shown that non human animals also make their own choices, and several animals also plan ahead. They are not robots. The idea that only humans have autonomy came from agricultural practices in which animals were highly controlled. Nowadays, there has been a lot more research observing animals in natural settings, that do demonstrate a lot of traits previously thought to be specifically human.