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The Choice to Believe

“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

Last week during a radio interview, I was asked about how I conquer my fears and move forward in faith with my decisions. My response surprised the host. It is not that I conquer my fears, it is that I choose to have faith. Each and every day. Every day we wake up to a choice. The choice shapes our thoughts, our words, and our actions. That decision plays heavily in our lives and our beliefs. It is simply the choice to believe.

Joshua, the successor after Moses, made this powerful statement to the Israelites after they had entered into the Promised Land. Their parents had not survived the wilderness to see the fulfilled promise of God, but they had. During Joshua’s life, the Israelites walked closely with God and obeyed His commandments. Yet as Joshua called all of the tribes of Israel together prior to his death, these words were to serve as an affirmation to their faith and their choice to continue to follow God. Sadly, not long after the death of Joshua and with the next generation, this promise would be forgotten. Yet the choice still stands to this day for each of us.

We choose to sin and give into temptation, so why would we not choose to believe and have faith? For those who are of Christ and renewed by the Holy Spirit each day, the choice should be easy. Yet, often it is not because the flesh and our spirit-less desires come into direct opposition with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The actions we choose to pursue directly impacts how the Spirit moves. If you pray and stay in the Word, the Spirit flourishes and leads. Yet if you choose to follow those things not of God, choose to give yourself over to fear, a deprived mind, or ungodly pursuits, then you grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:17-30) and thereby silence the work the Spirit desires to do in you and through you.

Therefore, faith is a choice (although if you choose to not believe in God and the saving grace through Jesus Christ, it does not negate God’s existence). You must choose to stay rooted, to not depart from God, to trust Him when things seem to be going off track, to know that your faith can diminish your fear, and to believe that He hears your cries and is answering them.

Every morning we wake up with the choice to believe and trust the Lord to do everything He said He would do and not let fear rule our lives nor determine our steps. The choice ultimately is yours. Who do you serve and what do you believe?