But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD. (Josh 24:15 selcted NIV)
The greatest gift God gave us was free choice. He will never force himself on us nor trick us into following Him. We have the option of following the world, of thinking in the popular mold or of following Jesus and doing things His way.
There are consequences to our choices. Deuteronomy 30:19 says: “I’ve set life and death before you today: both blessings and curses. Choose life, that it may be well with you – you and your children.”
This post is part of the Saturday Streams of Consciousness challenge. Today’s challenge is to write about the last thing I put in my fridge. Since I am currently enjoying frothy cappuccino, the last thing I put back in my fridge was milk. I can’t think of milk without thinking of milk and honey and the land God promised to the Israelites.
God promised to lead them to a Land of Milk and Honey. However, once they were almost at the Promised Land, close enough, indeed, to send spies to scout out the land, they had a crisis of faith. Although two of the twelve spies brought back proof of the productivity of the land and urged the people to immediately take possession, the other eight talked fear into them. The people are like giants, they reported, we are like grasshoppers in their eyes and we appeared the same to ourselves. They forgot about God. They forgot about the promise.
They relied, instead, on democracy. “Let’s vote on it,” they said. “After all, the majority of the people can’t be wrong, can they?”
We know what happened as a result of their worldly thinking. God said, in essence, “All right, have it your way. You could have done this the easy way by trusting Me but you have chosen to do it the hard way by trusting yourselves. Maybe the next generation will do better. none of you will see the promised land except Joshua and Caleb, who were willing to trust me.”
The Israelites spent another 38 years in the Wildeness in God’s training camp. Their own resources were totally inadequate. They had to rely on Him. Nevertheless none of that generation got to see the Promised land, except Joshua and Caleb.
How often don’t we rely on popular opinion rather than God’s word? On my own I am not courageous enough to go against the thinking of the masses. After all, the majority has to be right, doesn’t it? The story of Joshua shows us that kind of thinking is a lie. God’s truth is true, no matter how many people don’t believe it. He will keep His promises, no matter how many people don’t trust Him. We need to make our own decisions, not be swayed by others.
God said to Joshua as He says to me, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” (Josh 1:5-7 (NIV)
Father God, You know that I am neither strong nor courageous. Yet my life is hidden in Christ. He has enough strength and courage to work out this fruit in me. Help me to trust You and Your word rather than social media and popular opinion. Amen.
This post is part of Streams of Consciousness Saturday. This week it must highlight the word “book”. Even though it is late on Sunday night, I can’t resist posting for this because, you see, I am writing a book. That is to say, I have started a book. I have finished two chapters this year. This is where the worm comes in. Worms progress slowly. Earthworms progress in curves and spirals and that is how I feel my progress is going.
I was encouraged to start a novel when my short story, “They call me Nothing“, won first place in the SA Writers Circle monthly competition. This is no great honour because only about 20 people participate. Nevertheless the judge commented that some of the stories would make good novels so I thought I’d give it a try.
It has not been easy fitting writing into my schedule but if I can consider a chapter as only a short story which I have been trying to do once a month, it is attainable if I just keep going. So you won’t see my book on the bookshelves soon, if ever. Chapter Three is almost finished and school holidays are coming up so I hope I’ll have time to finish chapter three and maybe chapter four by the middle of July.