Radical Decisions

Emotional Reset  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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In order to be Emotionally and Spiritually healthy we all have a radical decision that must be made.

There is a story that comes from the Desert Fathers about a man born in Rome AD 350 by the name of Aresinus.
This man was an educated, wealthy man from a respected family…Because of this he was chosen by the emperor Thaddeus the Great to tutor his children.
Anyone looking at this mans life would probably believe that Aresinus had everything that anyone could ever want. After about 11 years of living a life where he enjoyed wealth, respectability, and social status Aresinus could not escape the the feeling that there had to be more.
So Aresinus began to pray asking God to show him the way to be saved. It is said that Aresinus after intense seeking for God’s direction heard a voice saying. “Aresinus, flee from people and you will be saved.” So he did just that…he left the life of ease and abundance and fled to the deserts of Egypt.
While in the deserts there was still a sense of there had to be more so he began to pray earnestly the same prayer in his solitude as had had been praying before. The answer was again to flee but flee from noise to silence and pray always for this is the way to sinlessness…so that is exactly what he did…he dedicated the rest of his life to silence and prayer....nothing else.
This was Aresinus’s radical decision.
Now let me go ahead and address what maybe one or two of you are thinking…”Scott…I don’t understand the connection to my life right now. Are saying in order to receive the emotional and spiritual reset we need we need to pack up and move to the desert and sit in silence the rest of our lives?”
Of course not…What I am trying to illustrate is the drastic nature of the decisions we need to make is the same as Aresinus.
Some of us need to make decisions that from that outsiders look to be radical and or extreme…and while it may not be Aresinus moving to the desert to spend the rest of his life in silence extreme…it will be and must be different enough to lead us into kingdom living over secular living.

Joshua in his final speech to the Israelites calls for a radical decision as well.

This is a familiar passage at least that last sentence. Many of us have that last sentence ‘But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” hung on our front doors or other highly viable areas as a reminder of the importance of serving the Lord…yet in the passage this proclamation was a call to a radical decision.
Joshua starts off this chapter calling all the tribes together and reminds them of the fact that prior to Abraham their ancestors served other Gods, God wanting to show Himself made a covenant with Abraham that if Abraham would follow Yahweh alone God would make him the father of many nations…God honored this through Issac and Esau.
Then Joshua spoke of God sending Moses to break them free from the Egyptians…by sending plagues and eventually destroying the Egyptian Army in the red sea. But scattered through reminding them of God’s faithfulness Joshua reminded them of the fact that every time God blessed them they turned to other God’s which resulted in God needing to rescue them again and again.
Stay with me becuase this is important. Joshua with his time on earth drawing to a close warns Isreal with these words
Joshua 24: 14-15
Joshua 24:14–15 NLT
14 “So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. 15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua understood the pain of disobedience. The pain of wandering in a desert with God’s promise in sight but out of reach.
Joshua also understood the power of radical obedience…becuase only he and Caleb were allowed in to the promise land becuase they were the only ones willing to make a radical decision to trust God instead of fear others and their Gods.
Joshua wanted with his last word to remind people that every time Isreal departed from God the invited pain…every time the remained faithful even in the midst of tumultuous times God honored their faithfulness....
We live in a world that does not understand faithfulness to anything that does not bring instant gratification. That is why so many of us are living at a hurried and unsustainable pace…
In order to move from living a hurried a life we must like Aresinus:
Flee from a life of overcommitment and hurry in order to be present with God and allow God to be present with us.
This is a radical decision becuase instead of saying I am going to try to do it all…we are saying I AM going to do what matters first and everything else will follow is there is time.
We Must commit to Limit my secular pursuits so I can Be with God instead of Do for God if we are going to live with Joy instead of commit to a hurried and unsustainable race to keep up with the world.

18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake.

19 Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

20 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

21 Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”

22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”

This is a harsh passage…not meant to scare you and I away but meant to remind us that Jesus is preeminent and the world is in fact lost…Jesus says let the spiritually dead bury their dead…meaning if you follow me you are among the spiritually alive.
Jesus is the priority if we are to live triumphantly in the midst of a world full of wrong priorities.
The really interesting thing is right after this call to Be with Jesus without excuse a storm rages and Jesus is in the boat asleep and while everyone is full of fear when Jesus is awakened he calms the storm for those that have decided to leave all and BE with Him.
The upside to embracing the sacred above the secular in all things is whenever the storm comes and fear, worry, and desperation appear....Jesus calms your storm.
Jesus wants to calm your storm today…He just needs you to make a radical decision to make Jesus Preeminent in your lives.
Altar Call: James
Today you can claim for the first time or reclaim your spiritual and emotional health by making Jesus preeminent in your life again not just figuratively but in reality.
What Storm in your life can Jesus need to calm if you would just surrender the worlds expectation and embrace a simpler and more meaningful invitation from God?
Will you make a Radical decision today? And are you willing to make it publically? Accountability
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