Joshua 24:15 – But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
In mid-October, my wife and I and our younger son drove 800 km (500 miles) into the south-eastern interior of British Columbia, Canada, where I was involved in an annual Church meeting. The fall colours were spectacular and awe-inspiring, worth the whole trip. We decided that we wanted to return by a different route. The mountains in that area dictate an intricate web of interconnecting routes. Every so often, we came to a fork in the road and were required to make a decision. Right to Nelson, left to Salmo; right to Trail, left to Castlegar. The turn we took determined the place we ended up in. There were no less than four places where a left turn would have landed us in the USA, although we were not wanting to go there just then.
There's a plaque that reads, "You can choose your choices, but you can't choose the consequences of your choices." This law of consequences has a corollary: "After we have made our choices, they turn around and make us." When we say, "Oh, it won't hurt, just this once," we are setting a precedent of compromise with what we know is wrong. When we engage in deceptive, dishonest or immoral behaviour of various types, the consequences will be bankruptcy, or disease, or broken relationships, or whatever. We can choose what we do, but we can't choose the consequences.
The easiest way to navigate that road network was to follow a route map. The road map for living is the instructions God has given us in the Bible. If we follow the directions, God will bless us. But if we choose to rub our hand against the wood grain of God's teaching, we will get slivers. About that, we have no choice. The choices we make determine where we end up.
Prayer: Lord God, we earnestly desire Your blessing. Help us, in all our decisions, to choose to serve You. Amen.