‘The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not enquire of the LORD. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath.’ (vv14–15)
It’s clear that Christian life is demanding, and we do well to avoid accepting Jesus’ call casually. Choosing Jesus is to subscribe to a worldview encompassing every aspect of reality, with helpful guidance on how best to select our own activities. Gospel invitations can be sugar-coated when expressing its many benefits (love, joy, peace etc.), but Christianity isn’t an off-the-shelf lifestyle but a custom-made journey of exploration and discovery unique to each individual. Its purpose is not to demonstrate God’s existence – that is already evident from creation (Rom. 1:20), through the ministry of Jesus and the witness of God’s Church – but to focus on journeying deeper into God’s heart and realising our ultimate value and purpose during our brief mortal stay on earth. Our identity is in God and nowhere else.
It’s easy to suffer lapses in judgment. The foundation module in God’s school of discipleship is how to remain focused on God at all times. We can quickly compartmentalise our lives. As we shut our Bibles and conclude our formal prayers, we may unintentionally close our hearts and minds to God’s constant presence itself now unrecognised (Luke 24:13–16).
We quickly become invested in life’s worries, our anxiety leading us to poor decisions based on information we haven’t brought to God. I am all too familiar with this, and too often I will live out of my emotional and intellectual reactions rather than waiting upon God’s counsel. Every mistake presents an opportunity to learn and make improvements.
SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: 2 Sam. 21:2–6; Isa. 28:16–26; Rom. 2:1–9, 10:5–21.
AN ACTION TO TAKE: When you close your Bible do you keep the door to your heart open for God’s counsel?
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, teach me to listen closely to You in every moment of every day, and not take decisions without first talking with You. Amen.’
Photo by Mikhail Nilov