CHOOSE THIS DAY
Guest post by Jani Dahlin.
A note about Jani. Jani was the gal I met in college some 30+ years ago at the library. She introduced me to the Bible on that day and told me how she read it to cultivate her relationship with God. I was intrigued. I'd never heard of this. Jani then invited me to attend InterVarsity. Over the next several months, I met with the group, and with Jani on-on-one, and began reading the Bible for mysef. Eventually, I gave my life to Christ. God used Jani as His steward to lead me to salvation. I am ever grateful. Jani and I keep in touch through Facebook, where she posts meaningful devotions and thoughts. She now lives in Iowa with her husband and six children. Below the picture is one of her devotions, which she graciously gave me permission to post. I found it relevant to our times. I hope you do too, and are blessed.
I have been listening to a video about the evolution of a well-known pastor: how he has changed his beliefs and message over the years regarding a lot of important things. As I listened, I noticed there was an overall influence that was deeply influenced him, and it wasn't God. It was our society, culture, and people. In his messages, he was working hard to make God more palatable, more acceptable, more in-tune with the changes of society. He was, in essence, apologizing for God and his Word, not wanting it to be unacceptable to people who wanted what they wanted: namely, not wanting to be rejected by the loudest voices.
Culture has become an idol. The things being promoted in and by the media—by the loudest voices in society, the trends of morality or lack thereof, etc.—have taken God's place, and so many are falling for it.
You cannot know God or serve Him without humility and a full yielding of your will (and heart) to His will. You can’t hold God accountable to culture; you hold culture accountable to God. This is where it becomes clear who your “god” really is: God or culture/others/self. If God is real and the Bible is true, and you believe that, then there’s no place for sharing the position of God with any other thing or person. God is exactly what His name says: superior above all else.
We can say we believe and follow Jesus, but what we do and who we want to please the most will expose the truth of our beliefs. Furthermore, when you start allowing God to take a passenger seat in your life, you will evolve to a place where it's very clear that you are a lover of the world and not a lover of God, and you will feel it. You will feel the joy, peace, love, hope, and fellowship with God drain right out of your life. Only God can give those things and sustain them in your life, regardless of the circumstances, and with or without the approval of culture.
“Choose this day whom you will serve ," declares Joshua 24:15.
This doesn't mean I have to cop an attitude or declare a war of sorts. I don't have to be threatened by the things or people who disagree with God. I don't have to defend God or myself. I simply need to seek to be faithful to Him and to live in accordance with His Word. That includes loving anyone who positions God as their enemy and praying for those who persecute God or his people.
The devil will try to goad believers into fighting and debating, but Jesus gives us a much wiser, peaceful path. The real issue isn't found in reason and debates. It’s one of the heart, one that is willing to yield and seek God, to surrender all to Him. Prayer is the answer. Godly love is the mandate.
Be encouraged. Be blessed.