The Most Important Choice You Will Ever Make
Just before his death, Joshua insisted the Israelites make a critical decision, “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah” (Josh. 24:15, ASV). This choice is not, however, exclusive to the Jews. Everyone, from beginning to end, has had to and will have to make this decision. It is ultimately a selection with eternal consequences, life or death (Jn. 5:29). It is up to us which we decide.
First, it is a personal choice. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” No one can make this decision for another: Parents can’t; friends can’t; shepherds can’t. Only the individual can. The Lord gives us free-will to make this choice, but remember, if we decide against God, He will permit our selection. As one writer said of those who reject the Lord, “They spend their lives telling God to leave them alone. And at the moment of their final breath, he honors their requests.”
It is, next, a daily choice. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” There is a specific day that we begin following God; there is no growing into or falling into this decision. For those of us who are Christians, it was the day we turned ourselves over to God and submitted to baptism (Rom. 6:3-7). Yet, that day was only the beginning. Luke 9:23 reads, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me” (emp. added). We must, therefore, choose this day and every day for the rest of our lives whom we will serve.
Finally, it is a life-altering choice. “Choose you this day whom ye will serve.” Our lives changed the very first time we sinned; we made a decision to be servants or slaves to sin (Jn. 8:34), but God has made the most liberating offer (Matt. 11:28-30): His proposal relieves the sin-burden, and His sacrifice breaks the shackles of guilt. But choosing God does not come without consequences; Jesus expects us to “count the cost” (Lk. 14:27-33). Making a resolution to follow God will cost everything: our passions, desires, strengths, and life (Mk. 12:30). Yes, eternal life is promised but so is a drastically different life here--one that is holy (Rom. 6:19).
Our choices have consequences, but they also have time limits. God has chosen a day when He will judge the world (Acts 17:31). Presently, He has not come, because He “is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). He has decided to give us time, but He will not wait forever. We still have the opportunity to choose God. Let’s not put it off any longer. It is the best choice we will ever make!