Yes—it’s that time again. Time for the Teen Choice Awards! Since waaaay back in 1999 (can you believe that?), Fox Network has conveyed the coveted surfboards to the most voted celebs in music, movies, sports, television, fashion, and a whole slew of non-traditional categories that include choice villians and twits and hotties.
A key ingredient in its staying power over the years is found in one phrase: Power to the People!
The fact that 13 to 19-year-olds (who oftentimes feel like they don’t have a lot of choices) get to have their voice heard and be a part of the decisions is hugely empowering.
But hotties and twits aside, as a teenager, how many choices about the big things of life do you really have? Are you free to make your own choices about your beliefs and actions? Or is there an unseen hand out there somewhere that has your life preplanned and locked in? Are you just a robot or puppet with strings being controlled by God Himself?
Well, the best place to answer a question about God is, of course, from God’s Word. Let’s take a look at what He has said about the choices you have:
So now: Fear God. Worship him in total commitment. Get rid of the gods your ancestors worshiped on the far side of The River (the Euphrates) and in Egypt. You, worship God.
“If you decide that it’s a bad thing to worship God, then choose a god you’d rather serve—and do it today. Choose one of the gods your ancestors worshiped from the country beyond The River, or one of the gods of the Amorites, on whose land you’re now living. As for me and my family, we’ll worship God” (Joshua 24:14-15, The Message).
When you think about it, our lives are in many ways like the Teen Choice Awards. You have dozens of categories to choose from, from hobbies to friends to habits to attitudes to life direction! In the Bible verses above, God’s servant, Joshua is speaking to literally millions of people who are considering the choices they have. What it ultimately came down to was a choice between following the mindless, heartless idols of their day, or following the one true Living God.
Can you see that God is not a cosmic puppet-master who is hyper-controlling and focused on taking away your choices? In fact, the opposite is true! Just like the people in Joshua’s day, we make a daily choice to worship the “gods” of our culture like sex, drugs, popularity or even ourselves.
The most important thing to remember here is that all choices have consequences that are good or bad. When you choose the “gods” of this world, you get the payback they offer—which is emptiness, regret and relational disaster. (Think: Hollywood—right?)
But when you choose to serve God, you also get a payback—which is meaning, purpose and value that you simply cannot find in our culture—no matter how many surfboards you get!
So whenever you think about the Teen Choice Awards winners, remember that each day you have an incredible choice before you that has incredible impact on all the “categories” of your life. Here’s the way one writer put it:
Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words;
Be careful of your words for your words become your deeds;
Be careful of your deeds, for your deeds become your habits;
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character;
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.
—Chinese proverb, author unknown
Choose to keep your thoughts on God and serve Him, and He will walk with you through the journey ahead every step of the way!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
Isn’t it amazing that God has laid such an incredible responsibility at our feet to let us actually choose our own beliefs and actions? This week, think through your choices and how they are contributing to you serving God or serving the “gods” of this world.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Father, thank You for choosing us so we could choose you. Help us be wise about the choices we make so we can serve You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Read: Proverbs 3:5-6.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
Get: Reckless…Following Jesus to the Point of No Return. Check out Zane Black’s Reckless and explore the epic and sometimes risky adventure of following Jesus! Jesus went all in for you. Are you ready to go all in for Him and embrace the future God has for you?
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Want to use this Soul Fuel as a bible study with your students this week? Copy and text them the following: “Are we all just puppets on a string controlled by God or do we actually have a choice? Find out more in this week’s Soul Fuel devo: http://hubs.ly/H0143Xp0”
Big Idea: Each day we have a choice to serve the “gods” of this world or the one true God of the universe.
Key Scripture: Joshua 24:14-15
- What are some great choices you have made?
- What drives your choices?
- Why would people choose the “gods” of this world?
- What other ways could you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause of Christ?