…Choose for yourselves this day…
— Joshua 24:15
As you look back on your life, are there some choices you have made that stand out? Choices that helped to shape your education, your career, your lifestyle, your family, your faith, your character? What have been the consequences of those choices?
Every day we make multiple choices from the time we choose to get out of bed in the morning, to the time we choose to go back to bed in the evening. Some choices are practical, some are emotional, some are social. But the ones that make all the difference in our lives are the moral and spiritual choices. These choices, in a very real way, determine our character and our success as human beings.
Choices are like a spiritual, moral workout. In a physical workout, to strengthen my upper body, I do a series of repetitions on stiff rubber bands. If I pull the band once or twice, I could say it doesn’t make any difference, so why go to the trouble? Because just one or two pulls actually doesn’t make any difference. But if I pull on them again and again, in a series of repetitions, day after day, they effectively begin to build muscle mass. The difference can actually become visible as I grow stronger.
Like pulling on those bands, choices are effective when made again and again, day after day. The repetition of right choices builds our character and strengthens our faith. The repetition of wrong choices can weaken and destroy us. Increasingly, others will be able to see the difference the choices are making.
While most of us have made some wrong choices, or at the very least, some questionable choices, Daniel was a man who made right choices again and again. Many of us grew up knowing Daniel as the courageous man whose steadfast belief in the one true God got him thrown into a lions’ den—and also saved him from those hungry lions. But Daniel’s miraculous adventure in the lions’ den was just one brief episode in a life that stretched for decades, and changed history. From heaven’s perspective, there is surely no greater prophet in the Old Testament than Daniel.
As you may be aware, Daniel was taken into captivity with the nation of Judah when he was just a teenager. He lived the rest of his life as a slave in Babylon. As such, Daniel wasn’t free to make many choices. But the choice he could and did make at a very early age was to place his faith in God, and then live it out. Day by day. Choice by choice. The end result was a man whose character and faith were so strong that he stands out as a colossal giant in history.
After writing The Daniel Prayer, I have reflected on the choices not only that Daniel made, but that I have made. At this stage in life, I can look back over the years and see some choices that stand out—some good, some bad. Some right. Some wrong. The impact on my life of choices I’ve made is striking in that at the time, many of them didn’t seem to be that strategic or life-defining. But they were.
Without doubt, the most important choice I have made was to place my faith in Jesus as my Savior and Lord as a young girl. That choice was followed by others, such as the choice to read my Bible daily. But the next choice that stands out is the one I made as a teenager, which was the choice to live out my faith through surrendered service to my Lord. And that choice was followed by a third choice to embrace the magnificent obsession of knowing God as Abraham did—as a Friend, then pursue Him in a lifelong journey of faith, one step—or choice—at a time. Those three choices, more than any others, have set the direction of my life. They were the primary determining factor for thousands of choices that have followed.
This Christmas, would you give the King a gift for His birthday that I know He wants? Give Him your “chooser.” Reflect on your life’s choices. Regardless of whether you have made good ones or bad ones, right ones or wrong ones, from this day forward choose to surrender and live your life for Him. Choice after choice after choice after choice…until you are strong in faith and character. Until others can see the difference your choices are making. Until others can see Jesus in you!
For His glory,
Message adapted from Anne’s new gift book, The Daniel Key. Releases March 2018
- What choices did the following men make? Abraham in Genesis 12:1-4, Hebrews 11:8-10; Moses in Hebrews 11:24-27; Manasseh in 2 Chronicles 33:1-6; 2 Chronicles 33:12-13; Jonah in Jonah 1:1-3; Daniel in Daniel 1:8; Peter in Matthew 19:27-30
- Which of these men had regrets for the choice he made? Which had no regrets? Base your answer on Scripture. Genesis 12:2-3, 21:1-7, Hebrews 11:11-12; 2 Chronicles 33:10-11; Deuteronomy 34:10-12; Jonah 1:4-17; 1 Peter 1:3-6, 2 Peter 1:16-18; Daniel 1:9-20
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” In This Final Hour”
November 10-12, 2017
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