“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of 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" (Joshua 24:15 –New King James Version).
Almost every New Year we make promises of change. Every year I vow to lose weight only to close out January with a Super Bowl food fest (if I last that long!). It’s funny how we can make so many rash promises that a few weeks later mean nothing at all to us.
I believe there is one promise that is very worthy of keeping. It is the promise of serving the Lord. Joshua told the people to weigh it for themselves. IF you think God is evil, then serve someone else. However, regardless of what anyone else was going to do, Joshua said he was going to serve the Lord.
Just as important as serving the Lord, Joshua was willing to stand alone in that commitment. That is harder than it sounds. We all know the story of Peter. Peter said that he would stand by Jesus no matter what. Peter said that in front of his friends. Do you remember what he did later on? When it came time to stand for Christ, Peter failed. He was asked was he one of the disciples, and said no. None of the other disciples were around to back him up, and Peter fell flat on his face (John 18:19-27).
Have you ever had an experience like that? Have you ever said you would live for and stand for the Lord, but didn’t live up to it? I know I have. I think Joshua had the key. Look at Joshua 24:25; “So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day” (NASB). Joshua knew that the people would need help in keeping their focus on the Lord. So, he had them all do it together. In this way, they could hold one another accountable. This is a good thing. We can make a lot of decisions, but often we need the help of a friend to remind us of our resolutions.
Think about how that works when you’re dieting…you tell a friend about it and every time you sniff a cheesecake, your friend will hit you over the head with a spiked club! Well, maybe it’s not that drastic, but you know they’ll let you know about it. The hard part about letting your friends in on your commitments to the Lord is the fear that they will be disappointed if we are starting to forget our declarations.
I’ll tell you this much, the gain is worth the risk. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Will you help me by reminding me of that when I seem to forget? Thanks. Be resolute. I’ll help if you want me to!