Choices — we all have a right to make choices. God Himself has given each of us that right. He did not make us robots. He never forces us to do anything. He gladly shows us the right way; the perfect way that if followed, promises us peace and joy. It’s our choice. We can choose to walk away from Him. He warns us of the dismay and heartache that comes to all who walk the dark path. He doesn’t want us to know the chaos found along the road that turns away from His holiness, but it’s our choice to make. He will not hold us back.
I was reading this week in the Old Testament about Joshua. He did his best, before God, to warn and encourage the people of Israel, God’s very own people, who had chosen to walk away from Him, to turn back. Wonderfully, in that moment, they chose to turn their faces once again to the ways of God. They made the decision to walk on His path. We read in Joshua 24:21-24, “The people answered Joshua, ‘we will serve the Lord.’ ‘You are witness to your own decision,’ Joshua said. ‘You have chosen to serve the Lord.’ ‘Yes,’ they replied, ‘we are witnesses to what we have said.’ ‘All right then,’ said Joshua, ‘destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.’ The people said to Joshua, ‘we will serve the Lord our God. We will serve Him alone.’”
When we think of idols, we conjure pictures in our minds of graven images, but idols are anything that takes the place of God in our lives. It can be something material, a person, or an attitude. Whatever sits upon the throne of your life is your idol. Whatever rules your thoughts is your idol. Whatever dictates your actions is your idol.
Max Lucado describes it wonderfully in this excerpt from his book, When God Whispers Your Name.
“I am a spiritual being…After this body is dead, my spirit will soar. I refuse to let what will rot, rule the eternal. I choose self control. I will be drunk only by joy. I will be impassioned only by my faith. I will be influenced only by God. I will be taught only by Christ. I choose self control. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control — to these I commit my day. If I succeed, I will give thanks. If I fail, I will seek grace. And then, when this day is done, I will place my head on my pillow and rest.”
Choices — we all have a right to make choices.