By Lou Coleman-Yeboah
We ain’t even three months into the New Year, and you doing the same thing that God delivered you from last year. Why? After all the pleading you did? “Lord, please, if you get me out of this mess, I promise I want do it again!” “Lord, please, please forgive me Lord, I’m sorry!”? “Please Lord, help me, I promise I’ll serve you for the rest of my days!”? “Please Lord!” [Psalms 107:18-19] Miss Me with that!
You come weeping buckets of tears, and then you go and do the same thing you did before. You kept repenting and repenting, but somehow, you can’t get beyond, the repenting stage. Let me tell you something. Repentance is not you asking God to forgive you of your sins while you continue to live in your sins. Repentance carries with it the idea of changing?changing your mind, changing your heart, changing your attitude, changing your ways; a complete change of direction. You remind me of King Saul. Poor Saul never learned. He apologized and was sorry many times, but he never really repented, he never turned and went the other way. Saul would break down and weep before the prophet Samuel, but he didn’t weep because he was repentant; he wept because he was sorry he was about to lose the kingdom. He didn’t really confess and forsake his sin, the evil root beneath the outer show. Now King David, although he also committed great sins, after God forgave him, he became a man after God’s own heart. He deeply loved God, and he really wanted to glorify God and please Him. Exemplary of true repentance?not just being sorry, but having a complete change of mind and heart and direction—a whole new man, a new personality, a new creature in Christ Jesus—born again! Only God can do it, but we must put forth the effort of a believing will.
I tell you, you can’t keep on living the same way. You can’t travel the same path anymore. You can’t go back and be a slave of mammon and serve God. It’s impossible; Jesus said, “You’ll either “love the one and hate the other, or hold to the one and despise the other.” Just as the Lord issued a call through Joshua, all those centuries ago, for His people to make of their minds as to whom they would serve, so He issues the same call to you on this day. Choose Whom this day you are going to serve. It’s time to make up your mind! And, it is! You need to contemplate all the Lord has done for you! Remember where He found you. What He did for you. How He has blessed you. How He has worked on your behalf time and again. How He has answered prayer and met needs. Remember His power in your life. In everything you faced, He was there to help you and to see you through. You need to contemplate the fact that you have much today that you simply DO NOT deserve! God has been so good to you. In light of these truths, I wonder why you seem to have a hard time just simply loving and serving Him as you should. Of course, this is nothing new! Israel was guilty of walking out on God even when He had been so good to them [Jeremiah 2:5-19].
Listen, Joshua’s command to the people was three-fold. They were commanded to “fear“ God; clean up their lives, and to serve the Lord. This would put them in a position to put God back in the forefront of their lives. If they serve Him, He will bless them, but if they renege on their end of the agreement, there will be a high price to pay. While God is a God of love, grace and mercy; He is also still a holy and righteous God. He will not tolerate sin in the lives of His children! There is a terribly high price to pay for disobedience and you better understand today that you will reap exactly what you sow [Galatians. 6:7].
If the Lord be God then serve Him. If He isn’t, then go ahead and serve whatever has your heart. Whatever you do, stop trying to have the best of both worlds! I tell you, it’s time to make up your mind! Today may be the last time you hear God’s voice. After today, God may give you over to sexual impurity, to shameful desires, or to a depraved mind. After today, God may take away His hand and let you find what it is that you think you want.
“If you go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain terrifying expectation of judgment” [Hebrews 10:26-27].
“I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you, but if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live” [Deuteronomy 30:15-20].