Read: Joshua 24:14-24
Many people want to serve God but only as advisors. Does that describe you? Well, it certainly could be used to describe the Israelites. Joshua grew up hearing the people praise God one minute and complain the very next minute. For years he observed their erratic behaviors and the inconsistencies of what they said and how they lived. He saw how the Israelites vacillated back and forth between the gods of Egypt (their past), the Amorites (their present) and serving God.
Now years later as their leader, he confronts them knowing he is soon to die.
"Fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness," he urges them, "But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living." Joshua 24:14-15
In these two verses, Joshua addresses the past, the present and the future and presents three choices: Serve the gods of your forefathers (the past), the gods of the Amorites (the present) or choose to serve God. Remember the popular TV show
Let's Make a Deal? One game of suspense that occurred frequently on the show was when a contestant was asked to choose one of three doors without knowing what was concealed behind it. After vacillating back and forth, the decision was made and the contestant anxiously waited to see what was behind the door. Sometimes it would be a new car that was received with great enthusiasm. At other times, the outcome was a hoax met with a disappointing sign but, after all, it was only a game of luck. Well, life isn't a game and most people don't like taking risks. But what if I told you you're like that contestant? You're being faced with three different choices - three different doors to choose between. Yes. You are like that contestant, only with one major difference. I'm going to tell you what's behind each door and then let you choose. Will you do it?
Behind door one - your past. You can continue to let past abuse, broken relationships, or previous failures keep you inactive, held back, and tied down. Or, you can break free of the past and choose something different like door two!
Behind door two - the present. You can choose to focus on the present and get caught up in all this world has to offer. Sounds pretty good, huh? You can pursue wealth, popularity, fun, and excitement. This present world has a lot to offer. This is sounding much better and closer to what you've dreamed of for yourself and your family, right? Maybe this is where you are. Perhaps you haven't allowed failures to hold you back. You're forging ahead at great speed - pursuing more out of life. "Is there something else to consider?" Yes. Its behind door three!
Behind door three - God and His plan for you. "Really?" you inquire with a tone of disbelief. "Its not that simple. Besides, does God really have something unique in mind for me - a plan for my life, a dream to pursue?" The answer is "yes." He does. The decision is yours. The choice is up to you.
"...But as for me and my household," Joshua said, "we will serve the Lord."
Joshua wanted the Israelites to make a choice, not merely a decision. Choices are based on personal desires - values and beliefs. Often times decisions are based on pleasing other people. Choose this day whom you will serve.