Summary: Choosing may be the greatest power and privilege that we have as humans. The power of choice separates us from the angels and animals. We are faced with multiplied thousands of choices during the course of our life. We are faced with easy choices, silly
Pt. 4 – iChoose To Stand
Our lives are marked by the choices we make. In a typical day, there are so many small choices that must be made. I chose to get up when the alarm went off. I chose to take a shower and fix my hair. I chose to wear clothes. I chose what clothes to wear. I chose whether to eat or get coffee. I chose to have a good attitude or be sullen. Choices don’t stop. Choices never end.
In grade school you had to choose whether you liked him or her or not. In high school you had to choose who to hang out with and who to go out with and whether you liked him or her. The choices continue into college. Do I go to class? Will it be the freshmen 15 or 25? Will I pull an all nighter or not? Do I like him or her? The average student who enters college with a declared major changes it three to five times. Then after graduation you go into the “real” world and still more choices. What car? What house? What job? Did you know that between the ages of 18-36 the average American will have 9.3 different jobs? And do I like him or her?
We have talked about choosing to forgive, to submit and to share. I want us to conclude this series by making one final choice. I want to challenge you to choose to stand.
There are some areas of our life in which we may need to move over, change our mind, back up, adjust course, and give in. However, there are also times in life when we must choose to stand. There are times that we can’t back down or budge. There are times we must draw a line in the sand and refuse to move from that spot. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do! Rest assured such a stand means there will be a fight. But it means a fight now rather than a fight for the rest of our lives.
Shammah knew this!
Text: 2 Samuel 23:8, 11-12
8This is the listing of David’s top men… 11Shammah son of Agee the Hararite was the third of the Three. The Philistines had mustered for battle at Lehi, where there was a field full of lentils. Israel fled before the Philistines, 12but Shammah took his stand at the center of the field, successfully defended it, and routed the Philistines. Another great victory for God!
a. The enemy will come.
That is choice that we don’t get to make. I wished we could choose for the enemy not to come. I wished we could pick seasons in our life and say that season is off limits. I’m just not strong enough so give me a break. I am tired of fighting so don’t show up now. But the enemy will show up! And if you haven’t figured it out yet he is the master of timing. He will pick the right time. He will usually show up right in harvest time. Right when everything seems to be great. The crops are ripe. The raise is certain, the contract is almost final, the relationship is almost back to normal, right when you think everything is about to level back out, and then the enemy comes. The enemy will come! Prepare for it. Don’t be surprised by it. Look up occasionally! Keep an eye open. He will come.
1 Corinthians 16:13 instructs us to
“13Keep your eyes open” . . . but then we are also told to
“hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute.” Why are we encouraged not to give up and to be resolute?
b. People will flee.
I wish everyone would choose to be brave, bold, and ready for battle. But Israel fled. The reality is that most of those around us that have been so strong and secure during the good times will tuck tail and flee when the enemy shows up. When the sickness comes they will give up. When the bills come due they will slip quietly out the back door. When things get difficult they will flee. Like it or not most people have one response when times get tough or when the enemy closes in. They make the same choice Peter made. Things got hot around the fire for Peter. Jesus is on trial for his life. The onlookers spot Peter and think that they have made a connection. He has to be one of those Jesus guys. It is a tough moment. It is a moment that holds within it a choice. Do I fess up? Do I stand up? Do I close ranks with Jesus or do I deny and survive? And like most people Peter makes his choice. He flees, denies, flip flops, and caves in.