So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone. But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14-15)
Relate: It seems like such an obvious choice, doesn’t it? Joshua goes through and makes a list of all the things God has done for the people. He shares all the ways God was with the Patriarchs, then with the people of Israel’s parents when He brought them out of Egypt. It talks of the things God had done in the very recent past in bringing them into the promised land. Then, Joshua comes to the decision point, “Chose today who you will serve. But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Of course, the people of Israel make the right choice. In a setting and time like this, it is an easy decision. Joshua, however, doesn’t congratulate them on a choice well made. He doesn’t beam with pride on how his oratory skills have led them in exactly the direction he wanted them to go. Instead he warns them away from making the right choice. “This choice isn’t as easy or as obvious as it seems. In all likelihood, you can’t keep it, but once you have made that choice, God is going to hold you accountable to it.”
React: The choice to follow God isn’t something that we can just do one time and then be done with it. Right now I have a choice. I chose to follow Him. In a few hours, that choice will come up again when I am tempted to lie and boast. The choice will come up again later on when that pretty girl walks by. It is a choice I will make this evening when I chose between being diligent and responsible with my work or sitting on the couch binge watching that TV show. It is a choice you will have to make when the kids get on your nerves, or when the spouse starts nagging you. It is a choice you will have to make when your boss is channeling his inner Dom Portwood.
When I am consciously and actively aware that a choice is being made, it is easy to make the right one. Even at the spur of the moment I can make the right most of the time. But always, every time? No way. It is absolutely impossible to walk through this life choosing to follow the Lord every time that choice comes up. It is a good thing I have not been called to take this walk on my own.
Here’s my heart. I give it to You. Here’s my life. It is Yours. Here is my mind. Purify it and wash it clean. Let everything I have and everything I am be surrendered to Your will. But let this not just be a decision I make now in the silence of my room as I spend this moment with You. Let it be a decision I continue to make with every breath I breath and every step I take. When the frustrations and struggles and noise of this life begins to distract me, help me to chose again and again and again to follow You. This faithfulness I know I can only do through Your strength. So walk with me and carry me today, and every day until You finally come to bring me home.