Our Lives are Determined by the Choices We Make
“And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.” James 3:4
I find it so fascinating that one of the smaller parts of the ship, the rudder, has such a huge impact on the direction of a ship. This verse reminds us that the rudder can steer the ship in any direction the pilot chooses regardless of how strong the wind is blowing. Our hearts are like the rudder that is described in the book of James.
The focus and affections of our heart determine our direction. A heart that is focused and fixed on the things of this world will follow the cultural winds that are blowing today. The winds of this culture are on a path that takes us further away from God and further away from truth. These winds have led our society to issues such as the highest divorce rate in history, the highest suicide rate in history, and more people who say that they are discontented than ever before.
A heart that is fixed and anchored in the hope of Jesus Christ can help us steer through the difficult winds that are blowing in our culture. This type of heart can lead us to find significance in the only one who can really provide significance to our lives.
I am convinced that ultimately the direction of our lives will be determined by the choices we make daily. Serving and living for God is a choice we must make daily. Submitting our wills and our desires to Him is a choice we must make daily. The little choices we make each day either lead us closer in our walk with God or take us further away.
Why is this important? In John 10:10, Jesus tells us that “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” Anchoring our heart to Jesus Christ is believing that He and He alone can provide that abundant life that He promised. I have personally found this to be true. Nothing this world can offer has ever given me the abundant life that Jesus spoke of in John. Only living for Him has ever given me peace, joy, strength, contentment, hope, and so much more.
Next, these choices not only have such a huge impact on the direction of our lives but also the direction of our kids’ lives. Our children are watching and will follow much of what we model. I want my children to experience the abundant life Jesus promised. I want them to commit their hearts (rudders) to Jesus so that they too can steer through the storms of this life.
Because of these two reasons, I want my heart (rudder) committed to following Jesus and living for Him. What about you? I had someone tell me recently that they have wasted so much of their life through bad choices. Let me encourage any of you today who feel that way with a quote from Max Lucado:
“The meaning of life. The wasted years of life. The poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: ‘grace’.”
Wow! The marvelous grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is there for all of us to have a new start and a new direction no matter the choices we have made in the past. I pray that we will all fix our hearts on Jesus and allow Him to steer us through the devastating winds of this culture.