In my Bible study, I love to read about Joshua. He so courageously led the Israelites after the death of his mentor, Moses. He lived a long life for God, fighting many battles and setting a good example for God’s people. Near the end of his 110 years, he gathered the people together for a farewell address. He reiterated much of what God had done for them over the years, then he issued this challenge:
“Choose you this day whom you will serve!”
He knew that it wasn’t an issue of if they would serve but who. He also knew that although God had done so much for them; in their humanity and innate sinfulness, they wouldn’t necessarily choose Him. So he gave them the options available:
1. The gods of the Past
The passage actually reads, “the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the (River).” Too often, we make idols out of the mistakes that our parents made or become a servant to the abuses or bad habits of our past. Instead of letting these things shape us and help us to mature, we say things like:
“I’ll never change. I’ll always be this way.”
“This is the way I was raised. I can’t live any other way.”
“I behave this way because of the way I was treated when I was younger.”
“I can’t live a Godly life because I have done too many bad things.”
If you say things like these, or believe them, you are serving the gods of the Past.
2. The gods of the Present
Another choice Joshua gave them was “the gods…in whose land ye dwell”. In case you hadn’t noticed, our culture isn’t often very God-friendly. There are many things competing for our devotion and service. Even good things like careers and homes can be things we idolize or serve. Shopping for the latest fashion can be more important to us than finding God’s purpose for our life. We can look to Hollywood to tell us how to live instead of God’s Word. If this is the way you live, you are serving the gods of the Present.
3. The God of the Future
As Christians, we know that God has created a home in Heaven for us if we give our lives to Him. However, do we really comprehend that He holds the whole future in His hands? He already knows what is going to happen and nothing will happen without His consent.
Let’s bring this down to where we live:
If you are serving a god of the past, remember, God was there. He saw what happened to you, what you did, the hurts and the bad choices. But He loves you and is calling you out of that past; no matter how bad or good it may have been, to a bright, healthy future with Him!
If you are serving a god of the present, know that God is here, right now. Yet, He knows that fads are fleeting and they won’t satisfy for the long term. Many of them may even be harmful to a vibrant life with Him. He is calling you to look ahead and follow him wherever he leads!
The people of Israel accepted Joshua’s ultimatum and made their choice:
“The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey.”
For the sake of a joy-filled life of purpose, health and peace; I hope you make the same choice.
About This Author
Jennifer Self is a disciple of Jesus Christ who loves following His plan for her life as a wife to the most wonderful man in the world and mama to four little blessings. Her days are filled with spending time with her man, homeschooling, preparing reasonably healthy meals and keeping the dust bunnies and the clutter monster at bay with a little blogging mixed in. After her family has been taken care of, she dabbles in her other passions of reading, health and music. She blogs about her life, her Heavenly Father, marriage, parenting and home at www.joyeverafter.blogspot.com.