S (Scripture): Joshua 24:14 Joshua said: “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. 15 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.”
O (Observation): Commitment to God is always voluntary. This is the point Joshua makes:
God’s helped us this far…but if you see something more enticing…go for it. You see a local deity in this newly settled land of ours, and that seems right, go for it.
Just know this – declares Joshua – my family and I…we choose the Lord.
A (Application): The other day our 5 year old daughter asks us: “How many gods are there?” We said “one.” Then I thought back to Martin Luther’s explanation of the 10 Commandments in the Large Catechism and tried to explain that the thing we wish for the most is like a god to us. The thing we give our all for is our god.
Making the football team can become a god. Becoming a concert pianist can become a god. Getting everyone to like you can become your god. Having wealth can become your god. Being overly organized or overly organic can become your god. ANYTHING to which you give your allegiance can become your god.
Now, those items I listed are NOT all bad things. Having goals and contributing your gifts to the world are great. But at what level are you giving yourself to that thing / goal / desire?
Here’s the rub: I choose the Lord. Now, some days I’m great at faith and some days I suck at it. But the invitation my family and I have accepted is that we desire to be people of God, following in Jesus’ footsteps. We practice living into this invitation – as a family – as ELCA Lutherans as a part of the congregation of Advent Lutheran Church, Murfreesboro, TN. (TheAdventChurch.com).
You have another way of following God? Great! You want to choose another god, that’s up to you. Don’t hear me pressuring you.
I invite you to our faith community or to one of our worship services or events. Connect with us in some way to journey together with us, to practice applying faith together, to messing up and to being forgiven…TOGETHER!
P (Prayer): Lord, I believe, help my unbelief! Amen.