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Choose


“So now, revere the Lord. Serve him honestly and faithfully. Put aside the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and serve the Lord.  But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But my family and I will serve the Lord.”
-Joshua 24:14-15

Choices

In our lives, we make choices.  These choices are special times, special moments, special events.  Sometimes we  make our choices known publicly, like when we get married in front of friends and family.  But choice is also a lifestyle or a discipline.

We choose, but live a chosen life.  I choose and I keep choosing.  It is an event and a life.  We choose marriage, but then we must choose to be married.  Marriage is choice, after choice, after choice.

It is the same with God.  We choose God, we choose Christ, and we get saved,  Is your salvation an event or a journey?  It is both.  If we have the event, but neglect the journey, we will be in trouble.

When we get saved, we step into Christ.  We walk through the door of Christ and into a new life.  Now your new life begins.  You are in Christ, on your way to heaven.  God has a plan for your life after you find Christ, to make you like Christ.  That is why we are called Christians.

When God has done all sorts of things in our lives, we still must choose and  re-choose God.  Salvation is not just an event, but an event and a life.  We come into it, we are born from above, our eyes are opened; but now we must live the life and work it out, between now and the last day of this life.

Tempted to Forget God

In our humanity, we get tempted to forget God, after things are going well.  When we forget God, we can be delusional in thinking that we are good people that believe in God, but we just don't need him.  The truth is that everyone always needs God.  The truth is that God didn't create us just to save us, but to be our father and have relationship with us.  God is relational and God likes people.  God wants to keep in touch.

Worship

In this world there are other powers that are always reaching out for partnership. In this world, there is always opportunity for idol worship.  God created us to worship.  If we do not worship God we will worship something or someone else.  Worship happens in your life, by choice; punctuated by events of worship. 

Idolatry After Victory

In the context on Joshua, chapter 24; the people of God had seen and experienced great victories brought about by God.  They had been through a lot of training in righteousness, learning worship and learning how to walk with God and be God's people.

The majority of these people were born into and have lived in God's supernatural provision for their whole lives.  They grew up hearing about what God did in the past and what God was going to do in the future.  Now, they have been seeing God move, in the conquest of the promised land.  Having their jaws drop in awe has been a  daily event.

Into this context, the message comes from God that they are still being tempted to serve other gods.  Maybe they were toying with the idea?  God is severely confronting this.  If they go into idolatry, the results will be disastrous for them.  We need to be reminded that we can not serve God and something else.

Choose One or The Other

If you are going to fool around with others when you are married, do not get married.  If you think you can have a wife or a husband and be with someone else, do not get married in the first place.  It is the same with God.  If you are in the community of God and your eyes and your heart are wandering, you need to be told to choose the other life or choose God.

Perhaps a time is soon coming  when Christians who have been 'fooling around' are going to hear a prophetic call from God to choose him or choose the idols.  Perhaps time is about up and people who have known about God are going to be called to choose to know God or choose to not know God.

Will You Choose God Daily?

Having received blessings from God, does not a disciple make.  The blessed person must choose, just like the suffering person must choose.  Will you choose God and keep choosing God?  Will you choose God during the week, between your meetings with the church?

Job chose God in the midst of horrible suffering and feeling like God was completely absent.  People who's dreams come true, who's prayers are answered, and who suddenly live in prosperity face new temptations and challenges.

Backlash

Perhaps a whole new set of temptations will face you when you are blessed.  There is something called backlash.  Watch out for the backlash.  The greatest defeats can follow the greatest victories because we have our guard down.

Family

Joshua proclaimed, "my family and I will serve the Lord".  Families need to serve the Lord together.  Parents bear the responsibility for discipling their children,  In our culture, we tend to put things in boxes, like sacred and secular, work and home, sanctuary and marketplace.

The Home

But in the New Covenant, God does not dwell in buildings; but in the people.  The home is supposed to be the main place where we meet God, choose God, and grow in God.  We should be worshiping God, discipling one another, and doing the stuff Jesus did; at home, with our families and to our neighbors, all week.

Choosing God is primarily lived out in our families.

The clan gathering where Joshua spoke, "choose this day whom you will serve", was like a church meeting or service.  He was God's leader of the whole nation.  He gathered the people to speak a special word to them from God.  But when he said, "my family and I will serve the Lord", he was saying that this choosing God is primarily lived out in our families.  If we are not doing this, we are massively missing out.

Christian parents can not get away to living in the world all week and then cleaning up for church each Sunday.  Christian parents also can not get away with having their "private faith", but somehow thinking that the church is supposed to disciple their children.  God is a family person and God works in and through families!

Joshua was saying that we live out the life in our families, with our families and from our families.  Your priority order is God, family, then work, church, & ministry.  We each must appear before God individually, but God is not an individualist.  God has us in pairs and in families.  The rugged individual is not in scripture.  When God has you alone or you choose to get alone with God, that's a special time for you and God.  But usually, we grow in God with others, and the primary place is within our families.

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