Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Verse - Joshua 24:15

"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Moving into our house has got me thinking about what kind of house Luke and I want to create. Now I don’t mean what style or period (of course the answer to that is cute and comfortable), but rather what kind of spiritual household. After all, a house is more than just walls and rooms; it’s about a lifestyle, choices, and priorities. What kind of home do we want to create for our future family? After all, good or bad habits start now. What kind of house do we want to bring our children up in? What kind of house do we want to be in our street? In our neighbourhood? In our community?

In Joshua's last speech to the Israelites, recorded in the book of Joshua chapter 24, he made it clear what he and his family were going to do. At the start of the speech in Chapter 23, Joshua reminded his audience of all God had done for them: how He had fought for them and drove out great nations; how He brought them out of Egypt; and how He helped them survive in the wilderness before bringing them to the promised land. This was a promised land which they did not labour for, cities to live in which they did not build, and food to eat which they did not plant.

Joshua then says in 24:14-15:

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond 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.”

After all God had done for them, surely to love the Lord was the only reasonable response. However, God knew that not everyone would choose to do this, so he gave them an alternative option: to follow other gods. Joshua warned the people that if they chose to forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods:

"...then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good." (verse 20)

Like the Israelites, we also have a choice. And like them, we should say: 

“The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.”  (verse 25)

What does a life of obedience to God look like? There’s so much to think about and so often we don’t even stop to think about these things. Instead we just let life kind of happen to us, and only later down the line reflect that maybe we shouldn’t have spent every evening around the TV instead of talking to each other. Or that perhaps we should have made praying for our marriage or children more of a priority.

That’s why I want to think about these things now, and you don't have to wait until you reach some significant life milestone like getting married or having kids, because how you live and prioritise today will affect your life now.
What kind of house do you want to live in? Is God a priority in your life? In your home? Is your house a light to your neighbours? In the community? Do they know you are sold out for Christ?

If one of your friends or family members were to be asked what you live for, what you are passionate about, would they respond Christ or would they say something else?

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