“Now if you faithfully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all his commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will put you far above all the nations of the earth. . .But if you do not obey the Lord your God by carefully following all his commands and statutes I am giving you today, all these curses will come and overtake you.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Every day we are faced with choices. We face all kinds of choices. We choose what to wear and what to eat. We choose where to go and what to do when we get there. We choose what kind of attitude we will have and how we will treat the people around us. Now, very rarely does one single choice hold the power to dramatically impact our lives, but a pattern of choices eventually becomes a habit and our habits do possess such power. There is one choice that is the most important we can make. This choice more than all the rest combined has the power to shape not just our character, but everything about us. Let’s talk about what it is.
As Moses was wrapping up his farewell message to the people of Israel he set before them two paths they could take. One would lead to life and flourishing, the other to death and destruction. They could choose to obey all the commands the Lord had given, or they could choose to ignore them and do life their own way.
When Joshua was giving his farewell speech before retiring to quietly live out the remainder of his days after leading the people to conquer and inhabit the Promised Land, he presented the people with the same choice. They were to choose that day whom they would serve. As for him and his household, they would serve the Lord.
It is this same choice that sits before us each day and this one choice provides the background for all the other choices we make. Everything else we choose is a function of this one choice. The impact all our other choices have on us and the people around us is determined by this first choice. We can choose to obey the Lord’s commands, or we can choice to follow our own hearts. And just like for the people of Israel, life or death hangs in the balance.
Now, presented that starkly, it seems like this should be an easy choice to make. Moses certainly spelled out the consequences of each choice in graphic fashion. But you know as well as I do that in the context of real life, things aren’t always so simple. They don’t always feel so binary in the moment.
For starters, we aren’t held to the dictates of the Law of Moses any longer. Neither the blessings nor the consequences he spelled out in this chapter are relevant for us. Also, there’s the fact that a single choice to honor or dishonor God doesn’t seem to have any long term consequences. I don’t know about you, but I’ve sinned before and destruction wasn’t the immediate result. I’ve chosen to honor God in some way and it didn’t feel like life was the immediate result.
This is because while a single choice does matter, the pattern of choices we make matters more. Is the big picture of our life defined by honoring God or dishonoring Him? Does the shape of our life look like someone who is following Jesus or ignoring Him? The big picture counts, but the big picture is defined by all the little moments. Make the moments right, and the big picture will be clear. What are you doing with your moments? Your life will reveal the truth.