Choice Of Worship
“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.” (Joshua 24:15)
Choice has always been extremely important in the relationship between God and us. From the beginning, God gave us a choice on whether or not we wanted a relationship with Him. Instead of simply creating us such that we have no choices to make, God wanted it to be intentional. This verse perhaps marks one of the most significant choices in biblical history aside from the first sin and the cross.
Standing at the foot of the Jordan after everything that has transpired with regards to the crossing of the Red Sea and the journey through the desert, Joshua and by extension God, gives the Israelites a final choice. They can either serve God, or they can choose to worship other gods. In fact, not shown in this verse is a rebuttal towards the Israelites' first response to Joshua's statement. The Israelites are critiqued as being unable to serve God because of His jealousy. Yet the Israelites continued to promise that they would serve God. The rest as we know, is history.
This shows something: God already knows what will happen. He warns us beforehand that this is not an easy relationship to get into. But if we make the choice, then we reap both the benefits and the consequences of such a relationship. I think this is something that everyone needs to think about when they first become Christians and every few years of being a Christian.
Does serving God seem undesirable? Then rather than attempting to reap the benefits of serving God without actually serving Him and thus incurring wrath, it would be better to just serve other gods. The saying “you can't have your cake and eat it too” applies extremely well here. If we keep other gods in our hearts, then we will inevitably reap the consequences of those actions. Our sins have been pardoned by the blood of Christ on the cross however, and that much allows us to continue going even when sometimes God is replaced by other things on the throne of our hearts and lives. That said, it is still important to make the decision on whether or not serving God is what we want; because neither God nor we would like to be in a relationship where any party is reluctant. You can imagine any of your own relationships that are formed by choice (not blood) where one of the parties isn't happy to be there.
That is not to say that if we're in a hard spot regarding our spirituality that we should just forsake God and go our separate ways. Rather, if you're already at a point whereby your heart is elsewhere and your presence is only barely with God, it would be good to review your convictions.
This is not an easy message to read nor is it easy to write, but it's something that I believe strongly is important on the journey. Are you willing to continue forward or do you no longer want to journey on? Till the day we die, we've been giving the same chances as the prodigal son to return to the journey if we lose our way, but you can never say for sure when the last day might be either. What is your decision today?
Daniel is currently and forevermore will be a student and a learner, trying to delve into the deep conundrums of life and seeing where the path leads. He enjoys linking different things in life back to God through strange and seemingly random connections.