“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15
For many of us, we can look back and remember a time where we made the decision to trade our loyalties from one kingdom to another. We chose to no longer serve Satan, who blinded us to our bondage. We turned to Jesus, the One who offered us abundant life and set us free. Becoming a Christian is a defining moment in the life of every person who truly surrenders to God.
In our earthly lives, we have a few choices that are somewhat relatable to our commitment, in that we make a conscious choice of loyalty and devotion that we intend to keep for a lifetime. In marriage, we say “I do” to a lifelong promise of loving our spouse. When we have children, we willingly and joyfully devote ourselves to loving and nurturing them. Even when we bring home a new pet, we choose to take on the responsibility of provision and care.
In the beginning of each earthly situation mentioned above, it usually starts out with joy, good times, amazing moments and precious memories. However, as time goes on, problems arise, disappointments happen, and difficult challenges take place. We never truly understand how impactful those things can be until we actually face them.
When arguments arise in marriage, children go through a defiant streak, or pets chew up a brand-new piece of furniture, we aren’t feeling those loving emotions as strongly as we are those feelings of frustration and anger. However, entertaining thoughts of abandoning those we’ve committed to do not enter our minds. It is deep-rooted within our hearts to work through the hard times, knowing it is only a bad day, or a trying season. We can look back to the day we chose to completely give ourselves and invest in who we love.
There are some similarities in our earthly relationships and our spiritual relationship with God. When our relationship with God was new and fresh, we felt joy and experienced amazing moments. Our eyes were opened to a whole new world full of exciting and awesome encounters. Each new day brought new anticipations for the wonderful things we expected to happen.
As the weeks, months, and years continue on, we become reacquainted with the not-so-good days, including challenges and obstacles we aren’t thrilled to face. Yet, we continue to stay committed to Jesus.
Even so, there will come a day that the problems and pain we must endure is unbearable, and it shakes our faith in God to the core. Circumstances will bring us to our breaking point, and a little voice whispers in our ears, “Just quit. Give up. God doesn’t care.”
In the very moment the pressure to turn away from the Lord and return to the ways of our old lives is greatest, we must take our minds back to the day we committed to God. We need to remember that we chose that day to serve the Lord. The choice did not include exception clauses. We surrendered ourselves to the Lord and were determined our lives belonged to Him eternally.
Friends, we must remember that Jesus truly does know how it feels to go through painful life experiences, just like we do. He can relate to our hurts, and He is always there to listen, comfort, and help. Sure, it is tempting to turn back, and rest assured the devil will pave the way to an easy return to our old ways. But even so, we must remember that we already made our decision, and it was to serve the Lord.
The enemy of our souls doesn’t want us to realize that better days are coming. He wants us to forget that God is still our Deliverer, our Healer, our Way-Maker and so much more. Just hold tight! We will see the Lord work in our lives many more times, and we will continue to make it through with His strength time and time again.
All because we chose.