Have you ever put your entire will on the line at any point in time in your life? It is that time when you DELIBERATELY decided to DO something about something. It is that time in your life when you harnessed ALL the energy you have inside you and all the willingness you can ever muster to act on something and actually do something about it.
One of the most favored verses in the Bible is Joshua's call to the Israelites in Joshua 24:15 ... Listen to what he said ...
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.
The entire verse is not the one we usually see quoted in plaques, stationeries or mugs on sale in christian stores. It is only the very first and last portions of the verse that most people are familiar with ... "Choose you this day whom ye will serve; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." But they are powerful words, aren't they? Even those who are not bible-believers oftentimes display this verse in their houses.
It is indeed a special verse to live by and today I'd like to share a conviction that God placed in my heart regarding this beautiful verse. Take note of the verbs that Joshua used in his statement. He used the words "choose," "serve" and "will." They all call for a person to make a deliberate decision.
When we choose something, it usually has to come AFTER we've weighed all the pros and cons of it. Our decision of choosing one thing over another usually comes AFTER we've made some educated consideration of the matter in our hands.
To serve is to work for or be a servant to somebody else. This still calls for a decision and the will to act on it. Many of us may think that slaves don't have a CHOICE when it comes to serving their masters, but I believe they do. Even in chains, nobody could really force us to do anything for anyone unless we ALLOW them to do so. We may lose our lives over this, but we do have the choice to WILLINGLY serve or not.
The word "will" is a helping verb and I'd like to share the following list from the Online Dictionary which explains what it means for me in this verse:
1. Used to indicate simple futurity.
- Deliberate choosing and serving the LORD has to be from this day ONWARD.
2. Used to indicate certainty.
- Our decision to choose to follow and serve the LORD has to be certain and without any second
thoughts. It ought to come from a deliberately educated decision.
3. Used to indicate willingness.
- That explains itself, of course. There MUST be a WILLINGNESS in us to WANT to serve and
follow the LORD.
4. Used to indicate intention.
- There has to be that WILLFULNESS again in us to choose to serve the LORD over anything
and anyone else!5. Used to indicate customary or habitual action.
- And serving the LORD isn't just a one-time decision, it should be a HABITUAL,
CONTINUOUS, FAITHFUL act on our part to serve HIM.
Many try to convince themselves that they are serving the LORD just because they do something in church or are members of this and that in a religious organization. Most of us convince ourselves that we're "serving" because we are busy with religiosity in a spiritual setting. Unfortunately, that isn't what serving the LORD means.
The Hebrew word used for "serve" is עָבַד (abad), which means to be bond-men; to be kept in bondage. Isn't that just amazing? What Joshua was asking the Israelites and all of us today is that we ought to decide IFwe WANT to become enslaved to Christ!
The choice there is to make is this:
Do we DELIBERATELY want to be kept in bondage to Christ as the Master,
When we DO choose to be so, then it means deliberately choosing to lay down ALL the rights of our SELF and deliberately and willfully follow WHATEVER REQUIREMENT and COMMAND the Master will have to give.
Slavery to Christ Jesus is the BEST thing anyone could ever be in. For those who will become His, He sets FREE. Ironic? Confusing? Well, that's just how the LORD's ways go. The moment we become TOTALLY enslaved to Christ Jesus our LORD, is the moment we actually become TOTALLY FREE!
Have you chosen yet whom you will serve? CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY THEN, for as for ME, I WILL CHOOSE TO SERVE THE LORD!