by Ruth Olsen
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Choose this day whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15a).
After Joshua had been the leader of the people of Israel in the Promised Land for a long time, he summoned all the leaders and gave them wisdom for the years to come: be very strong. Be careful to keep your focus on the Lord. Be faithful to him, for he is faithful to you. But if you turn away to other gods, you are asking for trouble (Joshua 23). Their mission was to be the people of God’s kingdom in the world.
Next, in our reading for today, Joshua summoned all the people together, with all their leaders, and urged them to be careful to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully; to discard and not turn back to any other gods worshipped by their forefathers. But they got to choose; the Lord does not force people to worship him. As for Joshua and his household, they served the Lord. So the people recounted how the Lord protected them and provided for them; they would not forsake the Lord to serve other gods.
None of us can remain faithful to the Lord in our own strength! It’s beyond our fallen nature. Our spiritual enemy schemes to distract and divert us in whichever way will work. Knowing our opposition, Jesus calls us to remain or abide in him, in close relationship with him, for apart from him, we can do nothing (John 15:4–8). And Jesus has sent another Counsellor, the Spirit of truth, to be with us forever, our Teacher from within (John 14:15–21). The Lord does not leave us to our own devices, yet, we need to choose to learn to rely on Jesus and the Helper he has given us.
Lord Jesus, draw me closer to you. Holy Spirit, help me grow in being faithful to the Lord. Amen.