14 “Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua had fought for, struggled with, and triumphed alongside the nation of Israel for decades of time. And here, after all the victories and achievements, he finds himself–at the end of his life,–still having to draw lines in the sand.
Still having to fight for the truth.
Still having to defend his faith, still setting himself apart–even from his own people.
I recently witnessed a moment like this.
I was at a family function where I proudly watched my husband set himself apart.
Setting a standard of prayer that I am forever grateful to have for my children. Drawing a line in the sand, standing up to the world. . .even standing up to some of our own family.
In fact, my Father-in-law does this very thing often. At his Chuckwagon, he prays every night before the meal. In front of hundreds of people, he unapologetically stands, removes his cowboy hat and thanks God. Words of praise booming out over the microphone.
Drawing a line. Setting aside time to express gratitude. It’s awesome.
It never stops. We constantly, daily, moment by moment have to take a stand.
But we get complacent. Our lives in America are easy. We are safe, and comfortable, and our faith begins to relax. . . and drift.
Just like the Israelites, we begin to fall into old habits. Our lives become lukewarm, we become more concerned with fitting in and being welcoming that we forget our foundation.
I see this in my community. I see it as a parent. I even see this in my marriage. We get comfortable and we get lazy.
We fall back on bad habits…into our old patterns
Years before Joshua made his stand, Moses wrote this in Deuteronomy 6:
6 “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. 3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.
A warning that when the nation finally got to the promised land they’d still need to “be careful” Their faith would need even more focus and attention.
Don’t get lazy in your belief.
It goes on to say:
5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
And one generation later Joshua’s statement, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve. . .as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I took “write them on your doorposts” quite literally.
I’m drawing a line.
I choose to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will love and follow the teachings of Jesus, I will meditate on his words day and night.
I will teach them to my children, I will talk of them when I go to bed and when I rise.
I will write them on the doorpost of my home.
“As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”