“Choose you this day whom you will serve … but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Is it interesting to you that Joshua encouraged the people around him to choose the god they wanted to serve? Though I skipped a few noted details, this verse is exactly in context. Joshua gathered the leaders of Israel and listed all that God had done for them. Then he challenged them with this verse. Adding that if they wanted to serve the gods of the defeated countries, they could. But they had to choose.
All of them chose to serve the Lord. I wonder if they felt satisfied to give Joshua the whole-hearted agreement he probably wanted. (I’m picturing yes-men in a big business.) They probably didn’t bargain for his response. “If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.”
Did they realize how serious Joshua was about that? I’m guessing not. Or maybe by the time the story passed down to their great-grandkids, it had lost some of its punch? Whatever the reason, they did forsake God. They did devote themselves to other interests, making gods out of stone, wood, and precious things.
We think, “Oh we would never do that.” But I know I’m guilty. I’ve heard of many things put in front of our service to God:
- Money – gain, survival, conquest
- Status – position at work, church, within the country club or the community
- Children – providing them with status objects, designer labels, latest electronics, better opportunities
- Possessions – even without money, the house, the car, the boat, the phone, the watch, the camera
- Connections – network standing, social media Klout, contact value
- Causes – Right to Life, Save the Trees, MADD, SabaFPCA
- Activities – Church, Athletic, Hobbies, Fellowship
- Politics – the country, party beliefs, opposition attacks
I could go on and on. Don’t get me wrong. Nothing on this list is bad. But anything on it can step in front of our service to God. Anytime what we are doing keeps us from obeying His urging, we are crossing the line into idolatry. And any of the things above, including our children, causes we believe in, even our own country, can become the object of that idol worship. Anything we love.
But we do have a daily choice. Praise God that we live in a country where worship of Him is still allowed. Though Christianity is more and more taboo in our government, though being called by that name carries derogatory connotations among our leaders, we can still choose for ourselves.
Activate your choice today! Make sure God knows you choose Him. And make sure your family knows you’ve made that choice.
He deserves all of our adoration!
I was inspired by a call from Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne, to spend the first 7 days of July in prayer for the United States. Her article is here. I hope you will join me in this challenge. Anne writes:
Pray! in the 7th month, July
Pray! on each of the first 7 days of July
Pray! and fast on July 7th for 7 hours
Our country so desperately needs to return to God. “Protect Your people, Oh Lord.”