Serving God is a choice.
I’m with Joshua. I choose to serve the Lord.
But I have to recognize that I’m choosing between two options. It’s the living God or the gods of the peoples around me. Because of where and when I live, my choice isn’t really between God and a named god like Allah, Buddha, or the Goddess, although I know people who worship these. My choice is between God and the idols of the American culture.
Money, security, leisure, recreation, a nice house and yard, safe transportation, adult toys, heirlooms, children, grandchildren, rewarding work, success, recognition and praise, health, good food
Some of these are more attractive to me than others. I have valued different things at different times in my life. Right now I have most of these things and I know they are blessings from God. But they can so easily become idols.
Joshua told God’s people to choose whom they would serve and if they chose the God of Israel to put away the other gods. When I look at that list, I wonder how I could do without them. But if it’s a blessing, it’s not the thing itself that is the problem. The choice is between serving God or serving other gods. It means choosing my master.
For example, thanks to an on-line Christian writers group called Faithwriters, I’m learning to write better fiction. When I joined them, I had a longing to be recognized and praised for my writing. In fact, when I didn’t get the recognition I thought it deserved, I felt sorry for myself. But they helped me to see that whatever I write belongs to God. I eventually realized I had a choice. I could write for myself and look for praise, or I could write for God and expect Him to use it any way He wants. In my writing, I choose to serve God, not the god of self-aggrandizement. I don’t know how many people are reading this blog, but I choose not to look for numbers. I choose to let God use it for His purpose.
And then, when I make the choice, I am my own witness. If I go back to serving other gods, God will remind me that I belong to Him. I can’t change my mind later. I’ve put away the other gods.
He is Lord of my whole life, but I must choose to serve Him.