Joshua 24:15 – “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord .” ESV
There are some verses in the Bible that are just classic! This is such a verse. If you are looking for a plaque to put on your wall to express your Christian views, this would be an easy one to find. Some people have it “posted” on the door posts of their home. Hobby Lobby has it in many formats designed to meet every personal taste. And because of its high visibility, it can often lose the potency of its truth!
Joshua has come to the end of his life. He has fought many natural battles for the Lord and has conquered many enemies. He’s led the children of Israel into the promised land, defeated Jericho, divided the land, and at 110 years old, it’s time to say good-bye.
You would think that this would’ve been said at the beginning of Joshua’s life, but it’s at his end. Joshua knows the flightiness of the Israelites. He knows that they are bent towards serving other gods and he takes this time to warn them. He says that if it seems evil..How can serving God seem evil? He tells them that they need to make a choice between the false gods in the land they now live and the God who gave them the land. Seems an easy choice. But then he declares that he and his household would serve the Lord!
During this pandemic we’ve heard and seen a lot of things. We’ve had encouraging words from pastors and leaders who remind us that in the midst of this pandemic, we can choose joy over sorrow, peace over worry, health over sickness and disease. The choice is ours. But we have also had the words that remind us constantly of sickness and death, lack of goods, lack of safety equipment, and an end that seems farther out than we can truly imagine. Did you know that the choice is yours as to whose voice you will hear and whose voice you will listen to?
After six weeks of being in the house, under the orders of our leadership we’ve become antsy, frustrated, fearful, lonely, poorer, belligerent, and our emotions have run the gamut. But what we are still not seeing, and what we still need to see is a return to the Father.
When 9-11 happened, we stopped as a nation and we prayed. It was almost as if prayer had been reinstated in the nation’s capital. That was a momentous time for us as we pulled together to help the people of New York, to fight the war of terrorism, to flex our military muscle before our enemies. Churches were seeing more people come and many stayed. All felt as if it must be the last of the last days! And yet, here we are with over 50,000 people who have died to the virus and there has been no climate of spiritual thirst ignited in the land. We have not felt a need to repent and even if we wanted to, we are not able to fill the churches.
I heard a pastor say that this is not right that the people of God can’t come together to worship! And I’ve seen many break the order and many more honor it. But rather we go to church, listen or watch online, or haven’t decided that doing so makes much difference, the day of reckoning comes for us all when we must decide whom we will serve and why.
Everyone wants a life of peace. Me included. But it’s through hard times, difficult times that we reevaluate our lives and the reasons for living. During a pandemic is a great time to decide, whom you shall serve? If it seems an evil thing for you to serve the Lord, then don’t serve Him. But truly, from all us who have decided and stand with our decision to serve the Lord, we highly recommend it!
He is the only One who can give us the peace and hope that we need to ride out the storm or to speak to the storm. He’s the only One who can give us a reason to get up in the morning, even though we can only go to another part of our home, and be thankful we are awake! He’s the only One who can bring someone to our mind to encourage, or bring us to someone’s mind that they might encourage us. He’s the Only One who can take us through this pandemic and cause it to work out for our good. It’s a good time to decide to serve the Lord.
As a matter of fact, it’s always a good time to decide to serve Him. When my husband and I were courting, we made that decision to serve the Lord. We agreed to worship together, to model our lives after the word, to raise our family according to the word of God. We took them to church, read the Bible with them, discussed it, had them memorize the word, taught them to pray. They have now chosen to serve the Lord for themselves. It’s a beautiful thing! You and your household have the power to choose. No one can choose for you! You must make a choice! It’s one you will never regret! Wonderful Jesus!