We make decisions every day. But if we
never learn how to make good decisions, we
will go through life unhappy, uncertain, and
wondering what went wrong. I wish someone
had spoken to me a long time ago about
making the right choices. How do you make
the right choices? I believe God’s Word has
all the answers and principles we need.
Many years ago, there was someone
who knew how to make the right choices,
and he was found making a decision in
Joshua 24:14,15. You know who it is, and
you may remember what he said when he
talked about serving the Lord: “. . . but as for
me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua made a decision, and he made the
Let’s be honest: We’ve all made some
bad decisions. We tend to try to cover up
our bad decisions or try to make the results
come out right even when we have made a
bad choice. What we need to do is admit
that we made a mistake and ask the Lord
to teach us how to make the right choices
from now on. And that is what the Lord does
in His Word. Through the life of His servant
Joshua, God has given us some principles
that we must always apply.
I. THE SPIRITUAL OVER THE CARNAL
Joshua and those he influenced chose
this. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek ye first
the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added
unto you.” The context of this verse is “priorities”—what
was first in these folks’ lives
and what choices they were making.
Many people choose the carnal, the
physical, the clothing, the food, the shelter,
or anything that is not spiritual. This doesn’t
mean you can’t have material things, but it
does mean that if it comes to a decision between
the spiritual and the carnal, the right
choice is the spiritual.
The reason many Christians are unhappy
is because they fail to apply this principle.
II. THE ETERNAL OVER THE TEMPORAL
(VERSES 14, 17)
Joshua chose to serve the eternal God
rather than have the pleasures of sin for a
season (like his predecessor Moses). Read in Matthew 16:21-26 about when Jesus told
Peter that he cared not about the things of
God but only about the things of men. Jesus
went on to say that a man’s soul was more
important than gaining the whole world.
That is difficult for a worldly-minded
person to understand. We are so interested
in what we can get out of life right now that
we forget there is an eternity out there much
longer than the here and now. But making
the right choices takes a heavenly-minded
Temporal decisions are just that—temporary.
I have known men who refused a
higher-paying job in an area where there was
not a good church; their priority was to keep
their families in a high-quality spiritual atmosphere
that would produce eternal rewards.
Some have trouble making a decision
because of the conflict here. One young man
said that God wanted him to go to the mission
field, but he knew he could make more
money as a lawyer. True, but that’s the wrong
choice. Money is temporary, but God’s will is
eternal. As a lawyer, you may get some folks
out of jail, but wouldn’t it be better as a missionary
to get some folks out of hell?
III. GOD’S WILL OVER MAN’S WILL
Joshua knew the previous generation
in Egypt had succumbed to manmade gods
and had influenced the present generation.
A choice had to be made between God’s
will and man’s will. Joshua made the right
choice and led the people to do the same.
When Saul was saved on the road to
Damascus (Acts 9:6), he had been making
decisions based on what men wanted him to
do. The Jewish leaders wanted him to round
up all the Christians and put them to death,
and he was doing just that.
Then he met the Lord and, after he was
saved, his first statement was, “Lord, what
wilt thou have me to do?” Everyone who
claims the name of Jesus should be asking,
“Lord, what is it you want me to do?”
instead of “Peers, what is it you want me to
do?” We should be more interested in pleasing
God than in pleasing our peers.
God’s will never goes against His Word.
It doesn’t matter how man rationalizes
something; if it goes against God’s Word, it is wrong. It is the wrong choice. Don’t be
influenced when you know God’s will.
In John 8:29, Jesus said, “. . . for I do
always those things that please him.” And
God will reveal the decision that pleases
Him (Ps. 32:8), but sometimes He is the last
one we ask. He is the only one we need to
please, so He ought to be the first one we
IV. COMMITMENT OVER CONVENIENCE
In verse 19, Joshua implied that the
people couldn’t serve the Lord because it
wasn’t convenient for them. Is God too holy
for your lifestyle? You see, there is a cost in
serving the Lord. But we need to make decisions
based on our commitment to the Lord
and His Word rather than on whether or not
it is convenient to obey.
Rivers are crooked because they take
the path of least resistance. That’s why a lot
of Christians are crooked in their spirituality—because
they take the path of least resistance
instead of standing up straight and
saying, “I’m going by the Book.”
In his younger days, my dad helped
start some youth camps. Before long some
worldly people got involved and wanted to
throw out some of the biblical standards
that the camps were founded on. Dad took a
stand and others followed, but not for long.
Several months later, when my dad was
absent, these people voted out some of the
rules of modesty and clean living.
Dad asked one of his friends why he
didn’t speak up. The preacher said, “Who
am I?” Dad said, “It doesn’t matter who you
are; what matters is who you stand for.” Dad
went out and bought his own youth camp,
which, to this day, stands on the principles
of God’s holy Word.
Making the right choices is not difficult
when we follow God’s biblical principles.
Always choose the spiritual over the carnal,
the eternal over the temporal, God’s will
over man’s will, and commitment over convenience.
Oh, how we need more Christians
making the right choices.