At The Crossroads Of Your Destiny

Judges 6:27, “Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had spoken to him; and because he was too afraid of his father’s household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night.”

The summer of 1988. I still remember it like it was yesterday. At the time I did not fully understand the significance of that one act of obedience. But now I look back and realize that it was a crossroads moment for me. My life forever changed when I got rid of my record collection. Now, before you flood my inbox with emails let me explain. This is not a note dealing with music (secular or sacred). That was not the point back in 1988 and it’s not going to be the point today either. The issue for me was one of obedience. Was I going to obey God even when asked to make a difficult choice? Was I going to follow Him fully even if meant sacrificing things that had value to me? Bottom line? God had spoken and I had to make choice. Obey? Or ignore?

During my teen years I amassed a sizeable record collection. Literally hundreds of records. It was probably my greatest source of pride. It also demanded the largest portion of my time. I would spend countless hours in my bedroom listening to music. In the early summer of 1988 I had only been walking with the Lord for a few months. I had just hit that period where the inital rush of passion and spiritual adrenaline was beginning to fade. Part of the problem was the record collection. It consumed so much of my time. Instead of developing any meaningful spiritual disciplines or devotional life I was always listening to records. Little surprise that my spiritual enthusiasm was rapidly declining.

It was during that time that God spoke to me. It wasn’t audible. But it was unmistakably His voice. He told me to get rid of the record collection. Not put them in the closet. Not “fast” them for a while. Get rid of them. It was as clear a word as anything that the Lord had ever spoken into my life. The problem? I did not want to get rid them. Yes, I wanted to grow in grace. Yes, I was grateful for all that God had done in my life. But I was reluctant and unwilling to get rid of the very thing that was becoming my undoing. Time seemed to come to a complete stand still. I was literally at a spiritual crossroads in my life. To obey meant sacrifice. To disobey meant turning my back on God. The issue was simple. God was asking me to make a choice. Him or the records.

At that very moment the door opened and a close friend walked into the room. He could instantly tell that something was troubling me. I shared the situation with him. I can still remember his response. “I’ll help you get rid of them. Let’s throw them all away.” And just like that the dilemma was resolved. My decision was made. My destiny was determined. All it took was one person who was willing to stand with me, one friend who was willing to help me make the right decision. We loaded the records into the back of his truck, drove to the nearest dumpster, and spent the next couple of hours smashing records and throwing the fragments into the garbage. It truly was life-changing for me. Particularly through the lens of hindsight. In the months that followed I developed the spiritual disciplines and devotional habits that would shape my life for the next 20 years. Because the records were no longer around I now found a far better use for my time. The absence of that record collection completely eliminated the struggle for me. The hours that had previously been spent listening to music were now being spent with the Lord. That one act of obedience opened the door to so much more for me.

That story was the first thing that came to my mind when I read this portion of Judges. See that phrase there in verse 27? “Gideon… did as the Lord had spoken to him;…” That was his crossroads to destiny. So many people think that it was the call, the divine encounter that had taken place with the angel of the Lord. Hate to burst your bubble. But the call is never the crossroads. See, many are called. But few are chosen. And so many times in the Bible the point of separation was always an act of obedience. Gideon was called. But he reached a crossroads that night. God spoke to Gideon and placed before him a command, a choice. Obey? Or ignore? Gideon chose obedience. And in so doing he opened the door to his destiny.

How about you? Do you find yourself stuck at the crossroads?  Is there some point of obedience that you have been ignoring? For each one of us it will be something different. And for many of us it will not be a one time thing. But as many times as we come to that crossroads we need to make a choice. Will I obey? Or will I ignore? My life’s course was set in motion by one act of obedience. Gideon’s door of destiny swung open when he decided to obey. How long will you hesitate? How long will you procrastinate? Make the right choice. Obey God. Embrace your destiny.