Have you ever read those fun “choose your own adventure” books? You, the reader, get to be the main character and are led to a variety of crossroads. Instead of reading a story with a predetermined outcome, you get to flip the pages to whatever path you choose, and design the trajectory of your adventure.
Life didn’t used to be so full of options, but now it can look a lot like a “choose your own adventure” experience. You have endless paths laid out in front of you: which friend groups you’ll hang with, which sports you’ll play, which college you’ll attend… and with the excellent education you’re getting at LuHi, you have plenty of classes and activities and careers to choose from.
But there’s an even bigger choice to make, and that’s the one that will determine all the others: Who Will You Serve?
After leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and facing down the enemy nations, Biblical Joshua is at the end of his life and giving a farewell speech. Speaking through Joshua, God builds credibility with the Israelites by reminding them of all that he’s done for them. He’s preparing them to face a major temptation in their new home: worshiping other gods.
So Joshua issues them a “choose their own adventure” challenge:
“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).
Hang on, why would Joshua give them the choice? Wouldn’t he, as the godly warrior he is, demand that the Israelites follow God after seeing God’s faithfulness? God proved himself to be reliable and trustworthy, rescuing them from the Egyptians, fighting for them, providing for them, and forgiving them over and over when they complained in the desert. Why wouldn’t God just make it a hard and fast rule that they serve him only?
Because a loving God doesn’t twist arms. Our loving God gives us the freedom to choose our own adventure. When we are given the choice, we make the decision out of love, not out of obligation.
You too are given a choice to choose who you’ll serve every day. Will it be the god of popularity? The god of money? The god of pleasure? The god of comfort? The god of success? The enemy makes these gods extremely tempting, and the truth is that we’ve all given in to them. We don’t always choose the path that serves God.
But there is good news:
Even when we don’t choose God, he chooses us.
Let’s say that again, because it’s an adventure-changer:
Even When You Don’t Choose God, He Chooses You.
“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love” (Psalm 103:8)
God knows that when you try to live your life without him, it’s dark, difficult, and lonely. Popularity, money, pleasure, comfort, success - they are hungry gods that suck life instead of giving life. And that’s why God never leaves you alone or forsakes you. He is patiently present, ready to pick you up when you fall.
“For the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard” (Isaiah 52:12).
Yes and amen. You can always choose your own adventure, and sometimes the options may be daunting. But as you face this day and tomorrow, and even as you exit the halls of LuHi one last time, you can have this confidence: you will never walk alone. God has chosen to adventure with you.
God, thank you for being my Protector, Provider, and Perfect Path. Even when I don’t choose you, you choose me! You give me second and third and a thousand second chances. Help me to remember that you go before me and you are behind me. Guide my steps and help me serve you with my decisions. In your name, I pray, Amen.