OceanSide church of Christ

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Victor M. Eskew


            The decisions we make determine both our earthly and eternal destinies.  Decisions have to be made every day of our lives.  Some decisions are simple.  Others can be quite challenging.  Every decision we make has something that drives it.  In other words, we have a reason for every decision we make in life.

            When individuals arise on the Lord’s Day, they decide whether they will attend Bible class or not.  They decide whether they will attend the morning worship service.  They decide how much they will give to the Lord.  That afternoon, they decide whether or not they will return to the evening worship service.  These seem like simple decisions.  One answers them with either “yes” or “no.”  Each decision, however, has something that drives the decision.  Dear readers, this is true of every spiritual decision we make in life.  The question we ask is:  “What drives your spiritual decisions?”

            One huge decision driver is one’s PERSONAL DESIRES.  It has often been said that people do the things they want to do.  Individuals who cannot go to the worship services can go to Walmart or Publix.  Why?  It is because they want to go shopping, but they do not want to go to the worship service.  Personal desire centers upon a person’s wants and longings.  It is selfishness that drives the decision making process.  Aren’t you glad Jesus did not operate solely upon his personal desires?  As a man, the cross was not something for which He longed.  He prayed three times for the cup to be removed from Him.  Instead of yielding to His will, He submitted to the will of His heavenly Father.  In Romans 15:3, Paul makes an interesting statement about our Lord.  “For even Christ pleased not himself…”  Selfishness may please “me,” but it often neglects others, including God.

            Another thing that drives our decisions is our how we FEEL PHYSICALLY.  People get up in the morning and decide whether they will do something or will not do something based on how well their physical bodies are feeling.  If they feel a little headache, or a little nauseous, or a little achy, they will decide to stay at home that day.  It is interesting that these same “ailments” will not keep them home from work on Monday.  Their statement when confronted with this discrepancy is:  “I have to work.  The other is ‘just’ church.”  This writer has seen many people who do NOT have this attitude, even though their bodies are racked with sickness, disease, and pain.  These individuals refuse to let their physical bodies influence their worship and service to God.  For so many, physical feelings are an excuse.  At this point, I am reminded of a statement from one of the teachings of Jesus.  “And they all with one consent began to make excuse…” (Luke 14:18).  The context of this passage needs to be studied intently by some who make excuses for not attending Bible class and worship.

            Another thing that seems to drive the decisions of some is HUMAN REASONING.  Many times, members make spiritual decisions based upon what they think about a situation.  Bible class is not commanded by God.  The Bible does not say that you have to go to worship on Sunday evenings.  Their human reasoning tells them that God expects very little from them when it comes to Bible study, worship, and service to God.  They, however, fail to factor into their thinking many precepts and principles set forth in God’s Word.  God wants us to be positive examples to the believers (I Tim. 4:12).  God wants us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Pet. 3:18).  God wants us to follow the lead and obey the injunctions of the shepherds who oversee the flock (Heb. 13:7, 17).  The Scriptures teach us to use our talents in the service of God (Matt. 25:14-30).  The Word of God exhorts us to be fervent and hot in service to the Lord (Rom. 12:11; Rev. 3:14-22).  The inspired apostle Paul admonishes us to fulfill our role in the body of Christ (I Cor. 12:20-27).  These concepts, and many others, prove that God does not want us to have an attitude that says:  “I will try to get by with as little service to Him as possible.”  God wants us actively engaged in the affairs of the local congregation.  He wants us to be lights in a dark world and salt in a world that is vile and tasteless (Matt. 5:13-16).

            A fourth thing that drives our decisions is the URGENT.  Our daily lives are extremely busy.  We fill our schedules with all kinds of activities and places to be.  We feel like we “have to be here” and “have to be there.”  Because of all the urgent things in our lives, we do not have time for God and spiritual things.  We are like Jesus’ friend, Martha.  Jesus came to her house and taught wonderful things to those present.  “But Martha was cumbered about much serving…” (Luke 10:40).  Martha had guests who needed to be served.  She had food that needed to be prepared.  She had things that needed to be cleaned and put away.  She did not have time to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear His words.  Many of us are like Martha.  But, we need to be like Mary.  She “sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word” (Luke 10:39).  Jesus said Mary engaged in the needful thing and that it was the good part (Luke 10:42).  Many need to prioritize their lives.  Things that are spiritual need to be put on the front burners.  Other things can wait.  Yes, they can wait!

            One more thing that drives some decisions that we make is FRIENDS.  Everyone longs to fit it and to be part of the crowd.  To do this, there are certain expectations that our friends have.  A person is supposed to talk and act a certain way.  The norms of our friends are often based upon the standards of the world.  “If it feels good do it.”  Or, “If it doesn’t hurt anyone, it is okay.”  Their norms often do not include God and matters pertaining to His kingdom.  These worldly standards seldom elevate one’s behavior.  They usually drag a person down to a lower level.  We need to be constantly reminded of Paul’s warning in I Corinthians 15:33:  “Be not deceived:  evil communications corrupt good manners.”  The world loves the world and the things that are therein.  The child of God cannot love these things (I John 2:15-17).  If he/she does, the love of the Father is not in Him.

            Dear readers, we all make spiritual decisions on a daily basis.  Our decisions impact our lives for better or for worse.  They also point us to a spiritual destination.  We need to make our decisions based upon the precepts and principles of God’s Word.  Our motto should be:  “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Ps. 119:105).  We should never make a spiritual decision without consulting God’s inspired Word.  Our decision should be based upon one simple question:  “Father, what wilt thou have me to do?”