A friend shared a testimony with me last night that reminded me of the joy of the Lord. It was an odd place to find joy, as it usually is on our journey with the Lord. She found it in the midst of her sins. She found it as the Spirit revealed to her that God was not cursing her but sin was. She found it when the Spirit showed her what all God has brought her through even though her own actions had put her there. How true is that for all of us! What a wonderful place to find joy! Right in the midst of God’s grace and mercy.
I turned to Joshua 24 for my bible study this morning. Of course, again as God often does in our journey, this chapter fits perfect with the heartfelt testimony I heard last night. Joshua is speaking to Isreal and prophecing what God has instructed him to say. God reminded Israel, not of the sins of their fathers in this chapter, but of what all God has brought them through. It is quite the list and I encourage you to read it for yourselves.
Even with this hefty list of grace and mercy by our glorious Father, some still seemed hesistant to fully live for the Lord. They had a whole lifetime (and generations before them) of serving other gods, after all. Some habits are hard to break. You find comfort in them although they hurt you in the end. That instant comfort becomes your standard operating procedure and even though it isnt a comfort that lasts it is hard to give up. Today, there are people who serve actual gods, but we can also recognize other gods as those vices we hold on to so tightly. The ones God instructs us to avoid or do away with but we say no. Or we say maybe, in time I will let it go. Or we try and just fail at it. It is those things that convince us that we cant come to God until we give them up. That is how we stay serving them because we believe that lie. Let me tell you some truth here and now….you come as you are and God will do the rest.
In Joshua 24:15 he states that maybe it doesnt feel right to serve the Lord, but then who are you serving instead? What has your other “gods” done for you that is as everlasting as what God has and will do for you? What did those “gods” do for the generations that came before you? He urges Israel to choose, once and for all, who they will serve. You see, he presented all the goodness and grace of God even though they didnt see it for themselves and even though they most certainly did not earn it. Thank God grace is a gift and not something we have to work for! Thank God His faithfullness outweighs and outlasts ours!
Joshua then stated a very well known line that many of us know and one of my favorites. “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” What a powerful statement! He stated the truth, told them to make a choice, and then proclaimed where he stood on the matter. No waivering. What I love and adore even more is that he didnt make this statement just for himself. It was for his whole family as well. See, our proclamation of faith and living it out has a ripple effect. It ends generations of god followers and turns them into God followers.
The choice is yours today. I pray that the Spirit reveals to you all He has done for you just as He did for my dear, sweet friend. Just as He did for me. Who do you choose?
I can tell you my choice. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”