The Crossroads – The Valley of Decision
As we grow through life we come to many crossroads. These are the moments in our lives in which a decision must be made – we must choose a direction. Many of those moments can be traced back to a time of trial or temptation. Temptation comes in many forms, but can be narrowed to three venues – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. (1 John 2:16) In contrast, victory over temptation comes down to one simple (yet, profound) venue – self-control. We generally associate self-control with the restraint of a physical act, however, our self-control originates in the mind through bringing every “thought into captivity to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Our thinking process changes the dynamic of our temptation. Our life choices possess a deep personal spiritual dimension that will define our future.
The Lord Knows Our Intention
The intent of the heart is our motive. When we trace back to moments of decision, we can discover our motive. Whether positive or negative, we find motive to be the basis for what we do. If we are seeking to be pleasing to God, we will embrace truth and righteousness. When we are motivated by worldly comfort, we usually deceive ourselves into thinking we are being passive, but we are actually making a life choice. That choice is complacency, indifference, and apathy! In this we relinquish our lives to mediocrity and compromise. Not only will we fail in attaining our goal of servitude to God, but we will find ourselves drowning in a sea of despondency and despair. We will never live the abundant life promised by Christ. (John 10:10)
The question is, “Do we want this abundant life?” I think we all would say we do. But, are we willing to make the choice to live it? We all want resurrection. But, are we willing to make the sacrifice to experience it? Resurrection to a new life in Christ involves self-sacrifice, making difficult choices, and standing up for right and against unrighteousness and injustice.
Being forgiving, merciful, and compassionate does not mean we comprise truth, conviction, and righteousness.
It Is All About the Next Step
We have all sinned. We have all made wrong, compromising choices. We have all taken the wrong road. The question is where do we go from here? Direction is everything! The reality is the crossroads of life are constantly before us. When we are faced with accepting injustice or unrighteousness what do we do? The easiest thing is for us to do is to look the other way or pretend we are not making a choice. However, when this occurs we have made a choice – how long shall we linger at indecision?
“Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.” Joel 3:12-14
“If you say, ‘Behold, we did not know this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his
work?” Proverbs 24:12