“‘But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourself this day whom you will serve…Now then,’ said Joshua, ‘throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.’” Joshua 24:15, 22.
If you wish to read one of the most beautiful speeches every spoken, please turn to the end of the Book of Joshua. His life was coming to a close and he was entreating the Israelites to be unified and faithful in their pursuit of God. He realized that every child of God had a choice in their lives when walking their journeys. They could choose to serve the Spirit or they could choose to serve the flesh. Back then there were many gods worshipped in the different areas in which the tribes settled. Joshua wanted to make sure that there was no confusion…they either served themselves by worshipping their own gods or they served God completely and wholeheartedly in trust, service and worship.
We have that same dilemma today as we walk out our spiritual journeys. We build lives putting trust in false gods…relationships…money…power…our own plans. Yet we turn to others with our own speeches entreating them to ‘have faith…trust in God…pray for His will.’ Then off we go and worry, calculate and live life in our own strength…our own way…serving our own appetites...all false gods. I think of all the time, thoughts and efforts I have placed in my own concerns, time I could have used towards God’s service. The time I spent considering my own desires could have been used more purposefully and selflessly in serving God and His desires. When we become so focused on something in our lives it takes on a form of worship to that particular issue. I know in my own life it is easy to focus on where God will use me next. Instead of focusing on God Himself, my worship can morph into my desire of accomplishment and sense of approval through my service…my false god. How often we find ourselves breaking the first commandment...having no other gods before Him.
We all have false gods in our lives, those things we worship through our obsession in thinking about it. It seems that it is easier to default to the flesh than serve the Spirit. But as Jesus so eloquently spoke, it is a choice and one we must make daily. ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me’ Luke 9:23.