Today, Tomorrow, or Always?|
At the close of Joshua’s life, he gathered all the tribes of Israel for one last admonition before his death. After recalling all of the wonderful things that God had done for Israel beginning from Abraham, Joshua called on the people to make a decision once and for all:
“And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Josh. 24:15)
Joshua called upon Israel to decide “today,” but their decision was not to be for one day only. It was a decision that needed to be made immediately, and it needed to abide for the rest of their lives.
Joshua’s demand upon Israel needs to be impressed upon many lukewarm, undecided Christians today. There are too many members of the Lord’s church who are uncommitted and unreliable in their service unto God. Just as Joshua called upon Israel to remember all that God had done for them and then decide whom they would serve, Christians need to recall how God gave His Son to die for them and then decide whom they will serve. Moreover, Christians need to make this decision once for the rest of their lives rather than having to decide day after day whether or not they will serve God.
The unwillingness of some Christians to make the decision to commit to God manifests itself in many ways. A common occurrence of this problem is for those Christians who have to decide every Sunday whether or not they will assemble with the saints to worship God. The result is that these Christians are inconsistent and sporadic in their attendance. In contrast to that, one who is truly committed to Christ and His church decides once that he will assemble with the church, and then he will never have to decide again. Whenever the saints assemble, he has already decided that he will be there if he is able. Other issues are likewise decided: whether or not to behave as a Christian, whether or not to act as a godly spouse, whether or not to act as a godly parent, etc. All of these decisions should be made once for a lifetime, rather than once a day, every day for a lifetime.
Truly, the issue is a lack of commitment. Commitment is a lost value in our modern society, and it is also being lost in the church and in the minds of Christians. Evidence of this is seen in the number of failed marriages and the abundance of children who are untaught and unloved by their uncommitted parents. Although it is terribly sad, it is not surprising that we see such failures in the world. What is surprising is that we see it so often among so-called Christians who should have enough depth of character that they will follow through on their commitments. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more common that many Christians are uncommitted to their spouses, their children, their brethren, and their Lord.
Until we are able to commit ourselves fully to God, we will never be able to please Him, for He desires that we pledge all to Him. When Jesus was asked which was the greatest commandment, He said, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). This calls upon us to be committed to God with every fiber of our beings. For those who lack commitment to God, they fall short of God’s desire for them. If anyone thinks that he can remain lukewarm and uncommitted to the Lord and still expect the Lord to be committed to him, then he is deceiving himself. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matt. 6:24). Therefore, we must decide today whom we will serve. Then, if we make the wise decision to serve God, it must bind us for the rest of our lives.
Stacey E. Durham
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