When you decided to commit your life to Christ, this was a choice you determined to make. No one can do this for you; following Jesus is a personal commitment and a personal decision. For many, this is the only choice they will make. In reality, we must choose repeatedly throughout our lives to follow Him. Being a disciple is not a one and done kind of deal. We choose to commit our lives to Him, and then we must spend the rest of our lives choosing to follow Him. When the rubber meets the road, many choose to take the off ramp. Making a onetime decision is easy; a lifetime commitment is something exponentially more.
Whom will you serve?
Every day when we wake up we are faced with the decision of whom we will serve that day. As we drive to work, work at our jobs, go grocery shopping or interact with our families, we are constantly choosing whether or not we will serve God. Our emotions and desires, our anger and self-centeredness are great barriers to living the life we were created to live – a life that looks like Jesus. One of my personal commitments that I review every day is a reminder to pause and pray before I speak. This is not a habit I have acquired quickly, nor is it one that has yet fully manifested itself in my life. However, I have noticed that I am now slower to lash out at someone, and I am able to more easily let trivial matters drop rather than pursue them through ridiculous argument. These are choices I have to make several times throughout my day, and they are all part of learning what it means to truly follow Jesus.
Taking thoughts captive
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 we are instructed to “take every thought captive”. This can be one of the most difficult choices we make. It is far easier to make the right choice when we know others will be watching us. But inside of our minds, no one is watching. Somehow the fact that God knows our thoughts is not as bothersome to us as if our friends and family knew them. Thoughts happen so fast that it can seem impossible to actually arrest them and prevent ourselves from thinking in such a manner. The Bible tells us that we should focus on things that are beautiful and pure (Philippians 4:8-9). It has been my experience that when we fix our minds on God, His beauty and His service that our thoughts are naturally better and less prone to sinful encroachment. The converse is true as well. If we spend time filling our minds with things that are not of God, we will have trouble keeping additional unhealthy thoughts from entering our minds. The key to controlling our subconscious thoughts then is to carefully choose what we consciously think about.
The choice is ours
The things we say, what we think about, and the actions we take all are a result of our choices. We don’t live our lives by accident; we choose how we will conduct ourselves. If we want to follow Jesus, then we must make intentional and consistent choices to do so. We have no excuse for not following through on our commitment. Whether or not we choose to follow Jesus will be based solely on our choices. Your first choice is before you now. Will you choose to renew your commitment to Him in this moment? We are responsible for our choices every minute of every hour of every day. Let us choose wisely; let us choose Christ.
Question: With what choices do you most often struggle?