Lives Hang in the Balance:

For the last two weeks I have been in a series titled Resolution. My aim has been to expound on how both individuals and churches can resolve the resolutions; especially since the success rate is low. The main point yesterday was that if we will resolve our resolutions we must focus on an object that is greater than both us and our resolutions. In other words, the reason, motivation, and determination to accomplish a resolution must stem from someone or something greater than us and the resolution.

In addition to yesterday’s message, there was a part where I said, “if we are going to resolve our resolutions we must faithfully obey someone or something greater than both us and the resolution.” The context of this point came within the passage where Joshua has encountered the commander of the army of the Lord, which we had established was Jesus. After having understood that he is fighting for Jesus, not Jesus for him, he worshipped him and expressed to Jesus he was there to serve. Joshua asked what he could do, Jesus told him to take his sandals off because the place he was standing was holy. Although this event (taking off sandals) had happened before, it is still a little odd that Jesus asks Joshua to do that especially at the time he did. Nevertheless, we read that Joshua obeyed.

One of the truths we learn throughout the Old Testament in regards to faithful obedience is that there are lives that hang in the balance. In other words, when people faithfully obey God, Israel seems to win. When people disobey, people tend to get hurt. A case in point would be Joshua 7 and Israel’s defeat at Ai. Thus, when it comes to Joshua’s obedience, I believe he understands first, the weight of who it is who is calling him to obey, and second, he understands the weight of the call and what it is he is called to do. In Jesus’ call to battle Jericho and conquer the Promised Land, Joshua understand that lives hang in the balance, and because lives hang in the balance he will faithfully obey Jesus, the commander of the Lord’s army. When it comes to a church’s mission, to glorify God and make disciples (or how ever you may articulate that), we must understand the weight of the one who has called us to that, and the weight of the call itself. God’s glory and people’s lives hang in the balance. People’s (men, women, boys, and girls) eternal destination lie in the balance—not to mention the impact one’s eternal destination has in this present world.

Thus, when we understand that the object of this resolution (God and His mission) is greater and bigger than both us and our resolution, we will faithfully obey. This principle not only applies to churches, but to individuals and personal areas of life. Yes, God really cares about every area of our life, whether it is losing weight, quitting a bad habit, becoming healthier, working on a marriage, climbing out of debt, or improving in one’s vocation. Although is seems that resolutions such as these have originated in our hearts, in reality it is much deeper, they have originated in the heart of God. God desires for us to be whole, complete, and holy. He desires for us to be healthy—morally, physically, relationally, martially, vocationally, and socially. When we understand this, God becomes the object of our resolution, and at the same time, he is the object of our resolution that is bigger and greater than both us and the resolution. The encouragement is this: look to Jesus, realize we exist for him, so worship him, serve him, and faithfully obey him. Doing this empowers us to resolve the resolutions in our life. 

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