And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord , choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord . – Josh. 24:15 KJV
Please click the link above to download the full text of this Ministration.
Joshua the son of Nun had spent the last days of his time on earth sharing the conquered territories amongst the Israelites and gave Instructions on how the rest of the lands will be shared after they would have been conquered – Josh. 13:8 – 22:34. He encouraged them to be courageous in their attempt to take over the remaining lands letting them know that God will remain faithful to His promise to grant them victory – Josh. 23:4-6.
He however made them realise that God’s part of the promise will be kept only if they also adhered to His instructions that they do not worship any other god but Himself as the rejection of that condition will also bring negative consequences – Josh. 23:12-16. He went down the memory lane with them by practically splitting man’s lifetime on earth into two phases, which is the period before the flood and the period after the flood. He seemed to have placed emphasis on the period after the flood letting them realise that the Almighty God had been faithful to all his promises to all their fore-fathers, listing all the various acts of the Almighty God, that proved Him to be faithful – Josh. 24:1-13. All these he did after gathering all the Israelites, their elders, heads, judges and officers before the Lord at Shechem and concluded his historical address with the following advise:
- They should fear the Lord – Josh. 24:14a.
- They should serve the Lord in sincerity and in truth – Josh. 24:14b.
- They should put away other gods that they may have encountered or heard of in the course of their history – Josh. 24:14c.
All he told them was however just an advise as they still had their decision to make in terms of which God they choose to serve. They had the option of;
- The god whom their fore-fathers served.
- The god who their present hosts were serving.
- The god that delivered and saved them from their enemies.
Christians today just as the Israelites in the time of Joshua have similar choices to make and in fact they are making their choices without restraint. Some Christians today have made the choice of serving gods that are not gods. These are either gods made with human hands which although may possess some spiritual abilities but are really not gods. With such gods, they will always have limits to what they can achieve as such gods will never be able to save them in all situations. Such gods may be able to grant some requests but it will be at the risk of losing their soul. They indeed are not gods because they always have some other gods more powerful than them. Some have also chosen to serve the modern gods of money, position and power. These gods possess material powers and may be able to promote and confer positions of power on those who serve them and may be able to provide joy that is usually temporary. It will hardly be there throughout their life time but definitely not be available in the world to come.
There is however a great choice to be made which is to serve the Sovereign God. He it is that created the heavens and the earth (Psa. 121:1) and all powers belong to Him – Prov. 22:28. When he shuts no one opens and when he opens, no one shuts – Job 12:13-25; Rev. 3:7. Whatever He promises, He fulfils and does not take counsel from anyone to do what He will do – Is. 40:13-14. Beyond all the above, He has the ability to ensure a comfortable life in the life after this existence, something that none of the other gods can do. That was the choice that Joshua and his household made, one which he classified as choosing good over the evil of choosing to serve other gods.
To choose to serve the Lord according to him should not be verbal only as he lists the following acts as those that will indicate the genuineness of such a decision.
- Such who choose to serve the Lord will willingly put away all other gods, human or spiritual, that they may have encountered. It is simply impossible to claim to serve the Almighty God and still have space for serving any other god – Matt. 6:24. The Almighty God does not deny the possible existence of other gods but wants to be served exclusively as he will not accept anything less than total commitment if He is to be served. His standard was made clear in His laws as given to Moses. He had to be recognised as the Almighty God and He will not accept any God to be placed before Him – Exo. 20:2.
- Such who chose to serve the Lord will express fear for Him in all situations as it was not possible to choose to serve the Almighty God when there is no element of trepidation for Him. To fear the Almighty God in this instance is not to be afraid to move close to Him but, to do all things with the thought of avoiding the consequences of transgressing his laws. Doing all to remain on the positive side of the relationship with Him with the consequence of being on the negative side remaining a thought that continues to scare the one who has chosen to serve him. It will be hypocritical to claim to serve anyone, moreso the Almighty God if there is no intense desire to preserve the relationship.
- The one who chooses to serve the Lord must serve in sincerity and truth – Jn. 4:24. These are two words that express the innermost desires of an individual as it is possible to make a verbal expression but not really mean the words used. Sincerity will mean the absence of hypocrisy, deceit and pretense whilst to serve in truth will mean to serve without falsehood.
It seems pretty easy and fashionable for Christians today, like the Israelites of old, to verbally profess their decision to serve the Almighty God but their actions prove completely otherwise. Ranging from dishonesty in worship to lack of fear for breaking His rules, to the worship and serving of modern day gods, even if they seem to have rejected the worship of other gods, there is simply no evidence that indeed a decision to serve the Sovereign God was taken. What is obvious is a failed attempt to serve the Almighty God and other gods together. Failed effort because the Almighty God is able to see the deception and will not accept such. That will explain partly why some so called worshippers of the Almighty God do not manifest signs of true worshippers. Make a decision today with regards to whom you wish to serve and there is no doubt that success in your own decision to worship the Sovereign God will be enough reason for not just your family members but all those who are associated with you to also make a similar choice – Matt. 5:16. It will be a decision that you will never regret as it is indeed a great thing to serve the Lord. May God grant you the grace to make the decision that will guarantee you a fulfilled life in this realm and in the world to come in Jesus name. Amen.