“Life comes with voices. Voices lead to choices. Choices lead to consequences.”- Max Lucado
“Obedience is the key to all doors.”- C. S. Lewis (Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis)
Max Lucado begins Chapter 11 (“Voices, Choices, and Consequences”) of Glory Days by discussing the Israelites’ pilgrimage to the Valley of Shechem following Joshua’s decisive victory at Ai. Once they reached the valley, Joshua set about the task of building an altar to the Lord.
Unlike the custom of ancient Near Eastern kings to commemorate their military achievements by writing about their conquests on huge stones covered with plaster, Joshua celebrated God’s law. The key to the Israelites’ successful military campaign wasn’t the strength of their army but their resolve to keep God’s commandments.
Pastor Lucado reminds us that this assembly in the Valley of Shechem took place in the midst of an invasion, smack-dab in the middle of enemy territory. Max comments that they pressed the Pause button on their physical battle in order to fight a spiritual one:
“Heeding God’s Word is more critical than fighting God’s war. Indeed, heeding God’s Word is fighting God’s war. Conquest happens as covenant is honored.”
The voices of life await us. While we can’t eliminate their presence, we can prepare for their invitation. We have been bought with a price and are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Resist the devil, and he will flee (James 4:7). Max concludes:
“Choose obedience. And as you do, you can expect . . . the blessing of God’s favor. This is no guarantee of an easy life. It is the assurance of God’s help.”
Today’s question (from the study guide): What voices do you listen to most often? Are you drawn to the loudest voices? Or the most persistent? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The throne of grace”