God’s grace is poured out on all mankind in many ways yet we constantly postpone our decision to acknowledge him and his benevolent mercy. Stop procrastinating! Today is your day of salvation. This is your Valley of decision.
2 Corinthians 6:2 New International Version (NIV)
2 For he says,
“In the time of my favor I heard you,
and in the day of salvation I helped you.”
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.
The great awakening
Since the early Nineteenth Century the gospel has been preached very persuasively always followed by an altar call. Those who responded joined the throng of those who had decided to serve the Lord, Jesus Christ.
An example from the Exodus
Before they entered the promised land Joshua exhorted the Israelites to serve the Lord. Everyone was encouraged to make a choice. (1406 BC)
Joshua 24:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
But lately Christianity and Jesus Christ have been sidelined in favor of a multitude of competing philosophies and religions. There are very many options on the table. With so many choices, it would seem you could pick and choose what you should believe. A little of Buddhism, a little Hinduism, a little Islam, a little Confucius, a little Shamanism, etc.
This plethora of choices also overwhelms your senses and lulls you into a sense of complacency. Delay, procrastinate, wait for the right moment. This is what the world (and the devil) tell you.
In the divided kingdom
Elijah had his moment when confronting Ahab, the priests of Baal and their followers. (863 BC)
1 Kings 18:18-21 New International Version (NIV)
18 “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. 19 Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”
20 So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”
But the people said nothing.
But there is only one choice that does not deceive you. Your day of salvation is the first day you choose to serve the Lord Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 49:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 This is what the Lord says:
“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
Valley of decision
The valley of decision is mentioned only once by Joel and can represent several things. First it is a real valley. Also its name means ‘God decides‘. But I like to deviate from standard interpretations and say that it means your place of decision. In this valley, you must decide whom you will serve.
Joel 3:14-16 New International Version (NIV)
14 Multitudes, multitudes
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near
in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and moon will be darkened,
and the stars no longer shine.
16 The Lord will roar from Zion
and thunder from Jerusalem;
the earth and the heavens will tremble.
But the Lord will be a refuge for his people,
a stronghold for the people of Israel.