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Some choose and pray a prayer. This is the great heresy of the last hundred years. I made a choice when I was ten. But there is no determination. I have been convinced by the Lord that a decision without determination and effort is absolutely meaningless.

In college in the midst of rebellion against God and escalation of my alcohol abuse, I went to a bible study at a Christian heavy metal band member’s house. I remember the pastor praying for "someone here who needs to be saved and choose Jesus that is engaged in divination" and blah, blah, blah. I felt the presence of God’s but I also heard a voice telling me, "You don’t need to do that. You already did that years ago. You gave your heart to Jesus. He is talking about someone else." But the reality was that it was me. I had prayed the prayer but I had long ago chosen to walk far from Jesus. And I had no doubt today that if the Lord would have come again at that moment, then he would have said, "Away from me. I do not know you."

For me, it seems so obvious now. And I know how difficult it is to really hear God’s Spirit and listen to what God is saying when you are pretty good person. I know how deceptive past choices can be. But can you say right now without a doubt that you love God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your being. If not, then all the past decisions in the world mean nothing.

Without your determination and the accompanying effort, the tower of discipleship has not been completed. You are losing the battle. But the great news is that here today, you can renew your choice and consecrate your life to a fresh determination and effort to follow the ways of Jesus.

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