I can look back over my life and see times when I was at a crossroads. I could choose life or death. I didn’t realize they were such desperate choices at the time, but they were. I often chose the wrong path, which I now know, led to a type of death- loss of self-worth, my identity, and self-control, and I took on lots of fear and shame because of it. I put a man in the seat only God is to hold in my life and heart. I now know my identity is only found in Christ, as a daughter of the King.
I wasn’t rooted in God’s Word and steeped in His love then. Have you ever thought about the crossroads you encountered over the years? What are three things you would tell yourself if you could? I would say to myself:
- The devil is a liar (John 8:44, ESV).
- Don’t settle for anything less than God’s best.
- You really can have a relationship with God and learn how to put Him first in your life.
Let’s take a moment to unpack those. First, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He goes on to tell the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). They question him about being a slave. He explains in verses 34-36 that everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin, but the Son (Jesus Christ) can set you free. The devil would like us to think the opposite. He can twist the truth to appeal to the flesh and make us feel we are free to do as we please with our bodies, which leads me to number two.
Not settling for anything less than God’s best means not compromising integrity for momentary pleasure. It is not worth it, and it leads to death. The Cambridge Dictionary defines integrity as the quality of being honest with strong moral principles. God always wants the best for us. God must be our biggest desire, which leads me to number three.
I always believed in God, even as a child. But I didn’t know how to have a relationship with God or understand how my little heart could love Him more than my family. Learning how to put God first in my life was life-changing and made all my other relationships better. Because of my love for the Father and His love for me, I can love others better. When we align our hearts’ desires with God’s desires for us and not only believe but accept Christ as God’s Son and our Savior, everything else falls into place.
These two verses (Ps. 37:4; Matt. 6:33) go hand in hand: If we can learn to seek the kingdom of God first and foremost, our biggest desire is God, and our hearts are filled with His love, which leads to unspeakable joy. Even when this broken world delivers terrible news and death, there is always life-sustaining Good News that leads to eternal life as we wait expectantly for Christ to return. I encourage you to choose life if you find yourself at a crossroads.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4, ESV, Emphasis mine.)
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matt. 6:33, ESV, Emphasis mine.)
Cambridge Dictionary, https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/integrity