How do you make decisions? Whatever feels good? Easiest? Cheapest? Magic eight ball? We make thousands of decisions every day, some are big, some are small. In making these decisions, what is your compass? What points you in the right direction?
In the book of Judges, we are given a picture of the nation of Israel before they had a King. The story in Judges is sadly redundant. The people are continuously rebelling against God and following false gods. This leads to oppression and defeat by foreign nations. God responds with grace and raises up a judge to save them. A short time later, because there is no King, they fall into the same trap and the cycle begins again. You would think they would wake up and realize that living independent of God’s will is not in their best interest, but they don’t.
For Israel, their problem was that their compass was self. They made decision based on what they thought was right, “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Basically, each person was their own king, and it proved disastrous. Today we call this life philosophy relativism, post-modern, enlightened, tolerant, open-minded, progressive, etc.
I can’t help but see the similarities of today. As our culture slides into an anything goes mentality, there seems to be an increase in the casualties. These casualties include physical, social, and emotional pains. It appears that history is repeating itself, for the more autonomy we achieve, the more pain we experience.
The good news is that, just like Israel, God has given us a judge to free us from the bondage of our oppression. His name is Jesus. He is the final judge that has won the battle for us on the cross, and our enemies have been defeated. Satan no longer has a claim to our lives, if we place our faith in Him.
Having said that, who is to say that we won’t fall back into the same rut of doing what is right in our own eyes just like Israel? Who is to say we won’t get stuck in the same pattern of sinfulness? The difference is that Jesus is not only the judge who delivers, but He is the King who reigns.
“When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the Cost of Discipleship.)
Trusting in Jesus is more than trusting him to keep you out of Hell. It is trusting him with every aspect of your life. Jesus is to be the Sovereign of your life. Many people fail to understand this, and this misunderstanding will cost people there salvation.
To follow Jesus means to lay down your life at His feet. No longer do you do what is right in our own eyes, but you do what is right in Jesus' eyes. Therefore, when you have a decision to make, you ask Him. He is your compass. Only upon full surrender to Christ are you a disciple of Christ. This doesn't mean you will be perfect. You will fail from time to time. However, this will be your new orientation towards life.
Many people may see this complete surrender as a bad thing, but the opposite is true. It is a very good thing. Why? Because God is a very good God. God gives good gifts to his children: mercy, grace, forgiveness, peace, love, hope, eternal life, wisdom, and joy. Surrendering to Jesus is like exchanging poison for honey.
Therefore, stop doing what is right in your own eyes, and allow Jesus to be the Lord of your life. You will never regret it.