"The world promises things temporal and mean, and is served with great eagerness. God promises things most high and eternal, and the heart of mortals grow dull." Thomas A Kempis
It was the twilight of his life. Joshua was coming to the end of his journey here on earth. His life had not been easy, since early youth he had known battles and wars, but through it all he had also seen the hand of God at work. He had seen miraculous victories, and once, even the sun stand still. It had been a full life, and now he gathered the people of Israel unto himself to relay one last message, one last revelation to the nation. The message was short, to the point, and relevant to the spiritual condition in which Israel found itself.
Joshua 25:14-15, "Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of 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."
When all is said and done, every man and woman must choose whom they serve. The son is not accountable for the sins of the father, nor is the father accountable for the sins of the son. The soul that sins will die.
Joshua knew, inspired of God that the people of Israel had not laid aside, had not put away the gods their fathers had served, and though they had crossed the river into the promised land, some still clung to dead gods, and false idols. Duplicity of heart is something most hated of God, especially in those who claim to be His children, for it births compromise, and brings about a shallow character willing to stand for absolutely nothing.
We have all crossed the river, from darkness to light, from death to life, but even so, some of us still cling to those things which can harm us, which can act as a stumbling block between ourselves, and the will and voice of God. In order for us to be complete in Him, there can be no hindrance; there can be nothing standing in the way of God perfecting His will in our lives.
Often, rather than let God empty us out, purge us with fire, then fill us with His Spirit, we have some things left over from before we crossed the river, that we keep moving from room to room, from nook to nook in our hearts, never allowing God to do away with them once and for all.
Just as we have a choice today, Israel had a choice. Because they chose to keep for themselves the idols and false gods of Egypt and the other places they conquered along the way, their history is one that is marked with great tragedies, great trials, and great tribulations.
Joshua knew whom he would serve. As far as himself and his house, they had chosen to serve the Lord, because they knew Him as the living God that watched over them, protected them, and went before them. Joshua knew what the one true God was offering, and subsequently what the strange gods were offering, and realized just how much the former was willing to pour out on His obedient servants, and how little the latter had to tempt with. God offers us eternal things, priceless in and of themselves, that cannot be purchased with silver or gold, but are freely given to those obedient hearts that learn to hear His voice, and obey His commandments. My heart aches at the thought that men today would rather hear of earthly excess, of financial breakthroughs and better self esteem techniques, than hear of the power of almighty God, the gifts that are readily at our disposal, and the glory into which His faithful can enter. The world offers so little, yet we desire it so much, and the only reason for this has to be that at least in part, we are still of the world.
It's troubling how knowing what God has done for us, that we would still consider the false gods of our past, that we would still entertain the idea of returning to the dead things that only brought us heartache and shame. Yet, men do so everyday, they return to the sins that once had them shackled in a prison of hopelessness, they return to the addictions that had before ruined their lives, because they never truly did away with them, they did not lay them aside, but believed, foolishly so, that the one true God, and the strange gods could somehow coexist.
Choose for yourselves this day. No one can make the choice for you, but you.
2 Peter 1:8-11, "For if these things are yours and abound, (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love) you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Therefore brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.