Joshua 24:15 “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.”
Every day, we are presented with choices that will alter our future path. What we say, where we go, with whom we spend time or take counsel; all have a great deal of influence on the person you and I are becoming. But there are times when we are forced to choose something significant, something that will define us.
Joshua was a great leader of the Israelites and he was getting ready to die as God had revealed to him. He challenged the people just what it meant to chose to serve the Lord. He counseled them on their past choices and failures. He showed how the ways that they had chosen in the past had run amok.
Together with one voice, they said we will serve God. They made Jehovah their God. Then they set a rock as a testimony to their decision. Each of us has an artifact as to the decisions we have made. Some are scars, broken bones, a laughable story, or a turn in our direction all affected by the consequences of our decision.
When I read this today, it brought to mind the scene at the bottom of mount Sinai. God was meeting with Moses giving him the commandments. During that meeting, God said there was trouble in the camp and Moses needed to get down to deal with it. As he came upon the people there, he found them naked and playing worldly music. Worldly music will always affect your morality.
We read on to find that he breaks the tablets, and shouts to the crowd:
Exodus 32:26 “Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’S side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.”
As our world turns more and more volatile, I cannot help but think that there will come a decision point to every Christian to declare their allegiance; to choose a side. When that time comes, will those around you be surprised at your choice? What I mean is this: Have we been living today based upon the truth of who we are or are we ‘Covert Christians’?
We are to be salt and light wherever and with whomever we find ourselves. Here in America, it is easy to declare our status as a born again Christian without much reprisal. Around the world, there are those who if they take a stand for Christ, are very likely to lose their life for doing so. A Muslim who receives Christ as Savior is declared an infidel and subject to torture to recant or killed for standing firm.
To stand and declare takes courage. To stand and declare accepts the responsibility for that choice. To stand and declare embraces the fact that I am leaving all other choices to stand with God. To stand and declare may mean receiving ridicule and rejection. Whatever happens when you and I choose to stand for Christ could never equal what Jesus Christ Himself suffered for us.
Should we be called to make the ultimate sacrifice for our faith, we would be joining an elite group of martyrs who will receive a crown for doing so. Paul said, “I die daily“. We should be willing to do the same so that when death is presented as the consequence of the choice we make, it will be much easier to embrace.
Should I be called to give my life today for the cause of Christ, I fear the pain I would have to go through. Ultimately, I have faith that when I open my eyes on the other side, God will keep His promise that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.
Heaven is home for those who are saved. We have chosen to be far too comfortable with our earthly trappings and not familiar enough with what awaits us on the other side. Do not procrastinate the choice presented to live for God today. Today is the day to tell that coworker. Today is the day to leave a tract with the cashier at the grocery store. Today is the day to stop your neighbor and invite them to church.
Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”