I Choose Jesus
As I write this, my dad, daughter, and I are hunkered down in Florida, awaiting the unwelcome arrival of hurricane Irma. Unlike the tornadoes and snow storms in the Midwest, hurricanes give extremely long term warning that they are coming, but they still are so variable in how they are steered that it is difficult to predict the exact path of landfall. They have a large “cone of uncertainty” (isn’t that a term we could borrow for much of our lives?).
As the predictions have played back and forth between the east and west coast paths, my prayers have varied concerning different people who could be affected. At this point I’m particularly concerned about my brother on the west coast, and for the peace of mind of some friends who have homes on Marco Island which may end up underwater if the storm surge is as predicted. But one prayer that has remained constant is that the Lord will use this storm for His glory, turning hearts to Him—both the hearts of His own people, and the hearts of the lost—that they will choose Jesus.
During times of calamity many people look to God. They make bargains with Him. They make vows and promises to the Deity they have virtually ignored up to this point. It’s that old adage in action, “There are no atheists in foxholes.” However, once the crisis is past, they quickly go on in their old ways; or worse—if God hasn’t given them what they asked for and they further harden their hearts in bitterness.
Our anthem says that we choose Jesus, not just for a day, but for eternity. That has been my prayer for people experiencing he aftermath of Harvey and the onslaught of Irma—that they will not just turn to the Lord in a foxhole conversion which will quickly fade, but in a true act of saving faith. I pray this in general, but also specifically for some family members who SO need the Lord to be in their lives daily.
Lest we think only the unsaved fall into this category of “not just for a day” kind of faith in God, we need to examine our own lives. Is our faith a vibrant, vital kind that chooses Jesus as our focus, source, and joy daily, or are we much more like foxhole believers who are functional atheists—not giving Him much of a thought until a crisis arises?
We see this pattern in the Old Testament. God’s people would become indifferent to Him, so He would send an enemy or famine or some other hardship their way. This would cause them to turn to Him again, and call out for Him to save them. It is our human nature at work when we do the same. If we don’t make it a habit, a discipline, to choose Jesus as our priority each day, we will find ourselves in the position of functional foxhole believers.
So, right now, at this moment, choose Jesus. Set aside a few minutes and turn your heart in His direction, settle into His presence and worship. Adore Him for all He has done, and how He is yours—not just for a day, but for eternity because of His great love and sacrifice. Don’t miss out on the glories that can be ours, even here on earth, when we choose Jesus each day.
by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries