The Valley of Decision
Illustrating a Truth of Truth or Consequences
We live in a real world that is also a moral and spiritual universe. Every thought, word and deed whether good or bad, right or wrong, intended or unintended, has consequences in our lives and in the lives that surround us. Blessings--the positive consequences--abound whenever we consciously or unconsciously do the right thing. The curse of the law--the negative consequences--arrive when we depart from God's way or God's truth.[i]
The Valley of Decision we face is not just a onetime decision to follow God. We are in that valley and faced with that choice every moment of the day whether we realize it or not. Will we live by His truth or will we choose to suffer the consequences?
Notice in the Deuteronomy text (below) that the Lord says He is calling "heaven and earth" to witness against us. Why? Because we are so prone to blame shift! We would have everyone around us agreeing with us that we can't help the choices me make, that the deck was stacked against us, or that the wrong in our lives isn't really our fault. The Lord says not so fast. In the end, we will only have ourselves to blame. But it goes much further than that.
Every choice we make--on a daily basis--has not only eternal consequences (drawing us towards heaven or hell) but earthly consequences in this life. Our choice of what we'll say or do affects everyone and everything. That's a true responsibility. We even get to choose what we will believe, and this is the most powerful gift of all.
Choosing to believe truth always liberates us; half-truths and lies always enslave. Best of all, we can choose to do what the Lord "recommends" in verse 20. In any moment, we can choose to turn towards Jesus, to put Him first, to listen for His leading, and to cling to Him when the going gets tough. Choose wisely!
"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days." Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ESV
And he said to all, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." Luke 9:23-25 ESV
Father, wherever I have believed that I can live without consequences, forgive me. I renounce that false view of Your world and of my life. Whenever I thought that You were punishing me by what You allowed as my consequences, forgive me for shifting the blame for my own choices to You. I take authority and responsibility over my life. Thank You that You have given me sovereignty over my heart and have placed me with freedom of will in a real world. Help me to listen to Your Word, learn from my consequences and turn to Your ways.
[i] Read the whole of Deuteronomy 27-28 to see the whole picture. These two verses will show you the sharp contrast: Deuteronomy 28:2, 15: And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God... But if you will not obey the voice of the Lord your God or be careful to do all his commandments and his statutes that I command you today, then all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.
Next Illustrated Insight
Keys to the Kingdom
Illustrating our access to freedom and our entry into the Kingdom of God.
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