Joshua 24:14-15, NIV
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
In my journey through the Bible this year I read the last chapter of the book of Joshua the other day and was surprised again (and again, and again, and again) at how the people of Israel received so much help and care from the Lord and yet, they continued to abide self-centeredness and other gods in their lives. Sadly, those fickle folks sound a lot like the guy staring back at me from the mirror each morning.
In chapter 24 I find Joshua at the end of his journey, on the doorstep of death, and his last words to the nation of Israel were: either go all in for God or get out—choose now. The choice he offered Israel so long ago is the same choice that he offers to the man in the mirror today.
Whom will you fear? . . . and subsequently serve?
The term “fear” in this case is the giving of reverence, power, influence and attention to someone or something in our lives. What we fear demands, and usually gets, our attention. Fear calls the shots.
Joshua tells fearful Israel—the nation of people that he had just led into the Promised Land (the unknown)—that he and his family were all in for the one and only, Almighty God. Yes, times were tough, challenges were innumerable, confusion was rampant and fear, in all its forms, was clamoring for their attention (a reaction), but Joshua and his clan were going to “choose” their response and that choice was to fear, revere and serve the Lord in their hearts and lives.
Every morning that I am privileged to get out of bed and gaze at myself in the mirror (yipes) I am confronted with fear. But beyond the bald spots, gray hair, wrinkles, stiff joints, worries, obligations and responsibilities, I have a choice, "Whom or what will I fear, and subsequently serve today?"
My answer is Jesus Christ.
How about you? You choose.