By Chris Martin
When I was a senior in high school, I wanted to study computer science at an elite school, be recruited by the best Silicon Valley companies, move to California, become rich, buy an amazing house, and retire early. I also wanted to be a part of a church and maybe serve in some way, but only maybe. My priorities were: get rich, get comfortable, and keep the faith…in that order. By God’s grace, toward the end of my senior year, He convicted me of my totally selfish outlook on my future. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with making money or pursuing your dreams, but there is something wrong with building our lives on selfish pursuits that show our hearts are more invested in our own comforts than in God and His glory.
At the end of Deuteronomy 30, we have come to the end of Moses’s third and final speech to Israel, God’s people that Moses was chosen to lead. The end of this speech is so profound. Moses concludes by saying:
“I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live, love the LORD your God, obey him, and remain faithful to him. For he is your life, and he will prolong your days…” (Deuteronomy 30:19–20).
Moses delivers his final charge to God’s people, laying before them the high stakes decision that they must make which will guide not only the rest of their lives, but their part in the rest of redemption history. The story of God’s unfolding redemption of His people and His restoration of all of creation unto Himself comes to a fork in the road here for the people of Israel: Will they choose to pursue a life of holiness and relationship with God or will they choose to pursue a life of selfishness that leads to death? Moses calls them to choose God, who is the source of all life, and without whom they cannot find the rest or fulfillment for which they so desperately long.
We are faced with a similar decision. If we are fortunate, we will have eighty to one hundred years to walk this earth in our present, broken bodies. Will we spend our handful of decades on this planet building lives that are irrelevant in eternity, or will we invest our years in the unfailing, ever-yielding kingdom of God, one that will last far longer than our earthly years? To spend our lives investing in things that will gather dust when we turn to dust is the height of foolishness. Let us listen to Moses’s call to Israel: let us choose life, even if it means our lives may not be comfortable now, they will be glorious in eternity with our Father.