“Choose this day who you will serve…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15)
Easier said than done. When Joshua called all the people to himself and made this declaration, all the people with one accord declared they would serve the Lord too…
Yet history reveals otherwise. It’s far easier to say we will follow the Lord, than to actually live that statement out. Maybe sometimes we really mean: we will serve God how we want to, how we think it is right to worship Him. Or, if God wants to bless my plans and steps, then I will serve Him. After all, it is back to the choice of self-worship or God-worship.
In many ways, this is where the fear of the Lord comes in. If we do not fear God, why would we do what He says and commands? If our children do not both respect and yes, even fear (in a healthy way) us as their parents, then they will live lawless lives, even under our roofs. The reason being: they do not have a healthy understanding of the consequences both we and natural law will bring upon them for their behavior. And their behavior is the natural overflow of what they have installed in their hearts.
There is an example in scripture of a family where one son chose to worship, respect, and fear God by the methods He prescribed. The family’s other son chose to worship on his own terms and ways, expecting God to be happy and accept his way of doing things, instead of God’s.
Which family is this? Adam and Eve’s two sons: Cain and Abel. You see, in the course of time, both Cain and Abel came to worship God. Abel came with what God told them both He would accept as an act of worship, the blood and fat portions of the first born of their flock (mirror image of the instructions He gave to the Israelites). Cain, on the other hand, came with some fruit from his garden. Thus, Cain knew what God had said, but he decided God was being closed minded, and Cain chose to prescribe his own terms and ways he wanted God to accept worship. He did not fear or respect God.
When God accepted Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s, he got upset and angry. Why? God didn’t accept what he had chosen to do to worship God. God told him point blank: you choose to worship Me the way that I taught you to, and you will be accepted… If you continue in your current path, you will follow your hard heart into sin, which will further separate you from Me. What does Cain do? He kills Abel – after all, if he gets rid ofthe person whose worship God accepted, God will then be forced to accept his offering his way.
How could he?! We cry out, yet we do the exact same thing. We say to God: ‘My house and I will serve you as long as it fits into our schedule and our way of doing things.’ “This generation acknowledges me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Mark 7:6). Do we come to worship God on His terms or ours? And I am not just talking about Sunday mornings… We choose to serve God with our lives the whole week, or we choose to serve something else. Joshua knew the fear of the Lord and chose to lead his household to wholeheartedly serve the Lord. Choose this day how you will serve.
Do you come to worship God as Cain did or Abel?
Have you previously declared, as the Israelites did “as for me and my house we will serve the Lord,” only to find yourself slip back into sinful routine?
Is there anything ion your life that must be changed in order to walkout that declaration (if you even want to make such a statement)?
Challenge: If you choose to follow and serve the Lord, do just give it lip service because it sounds good… Devote your heart and life to it. It is a daily decision.