Life is a series of choices. We can choose wisely or unwisely as we are confronted with decisions, temptations, and priorities. Sometimes we will make the wrong decision, but hopefully we will learn from our mistakes in order to make better choices in the future. We learn which choices lead to eternal blessings and which lead to short-term happiness. We learn which choices lead to spiritual success and which lead to failure. While some decisions are minor, others have eternal consequences. We must learn how to choose wisely because many decisions will determine the quality of our lives. Poor choices lead to a life of misery, while wise choices lead to peace and contentment. God wants us to make life decisions based on what will have eternal benefits, what will bring Him glory, and what will expand our faith.
One of the greatest choices we make is to obey Christ in all things. Obedience does not come naturally for us. Our sinful nature often influences our decisions, choices, habits, and priorities. We must consciously strive to follow Christ every day in order to live a life of faithfulness to God. We must choose to walk by faith. We must choose to spend time with God. We must choose to fellowship with God in prayer. We must choose to feed upon the Word of God. We must choose to be witnesses for Christ to our neighbors and friends and co-workers. We must choose to live for Christ instead of ourselves. We must choose to place God and only God as the top priority in our lives. We must choose how to use the talents, resources, and opportunities that God places in our lives.
Read Hebrews 11:23-29. Moses was a man who was given great advantages in life: he held power, wealth, and prestige. Moses was the adopted grandson of the ruler of the world’s most powerful, wealthiest, and advanced country of that time. And he was faced with a great dilemma. Moses had to choose between two completely different lives: the life that led to him one day becoming pharaoh with untold prestige and power, or the life that would abandon everything he knew in order to lead God’s people out of slavery. His choice was between the temporary earthly wealth and the everlasting rewards of heaven. The Bible tells us that Moses chose wisely: “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:24-26).
Moses gave up what most of us dream about: ultimate earthly power and wealth. What would you have done in Moses’ place? Would you have just played it safe, waiting for your time to become pharaoh, convincing yourself you could do more good with more power? Would you have turned your back on your people out of fear or selfishness or apathy? Would you easily part with the royal palace in order to wander through the desert?
When we place our lives and futures and families and businesses in the hands of God, we can trust that God will take us to the places where His plans are to be found. When we place our faith in God and His plans and promises and purposes, we can move forward, even if it means leaving other things behind.
Where do you seek your honor — in the eyes of society or in the eyes of God? Heavenly rewards are eternal, but they often come with a price. When we choose to obey and honor God above our own selfish desires, we will sometimes sacrifice our comfort, the opinions of others, and our social standing. People may reject us, ridicule us, and despise us for our faith. Committed faith is not always easy in the short-term, but our rewards will be eternal — and God’s rewards are always better than the world’s rewards.
What kinds of choices do you make? Do your decisions reflect earth-bound priorities or God’s kingdom? Are your accumulations in earthly banks or in your heavenly home? Do you play it safe or do you take risks for God? Spend time today examining the choices that you make and what they reveal about your faith in God. If your choices reflect a weak faith, confess this to God and seek His forgiveness. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in making wise, eternal choices and to give you the strength to step out in faith.
Excerpted from My Journal, a monthly devotional magazine from Leading The Way with Dr. Michael Youssef.
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