The story of Joshua in the Bible is a great reminder that God expects 100% of us and from us, not just a part. In this part of the Bible, the Israelites promised to follow God only and to give up on their idolatry; however, Joshua told them that they were not up to the task. He had seen them turn away from God many times before, such as when they felt that He wasn’t enough to protect and provide for them. The Israelites were “hedging bets” by worshiping God and also their foreign “gods.” After scolding them, Joshua, knowing that their hearts were still not 100% focused on God, said the following,
“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” – Joshua 24:15
God doesn’t want us to be lukewarm with Him; He wants us to make a firm decision to solidly follow or not follow Him. He wants total dedication from those who choose to do His will and serve Him. The verse above should, therefore, not be taken lightly. It is a covenant statement, a promise that not only will the head of the household follow Him, but also the entire household! They all belong to Him!
I do have one of those plaques on my wall (“As for me and my family…”) at home, hanging just in view as I enter my house, but I have to confess that I rarely even look at it. In fact, I debated whether I wanted people who entered into my home to see it. I was afraid to take a stand for God and allow people to know whose I really am. I was withholding part of myself from God!
I realize now that I do need to pay more attention to that plaque and allow myself to be influenced by those powerful words. I need to get my home together so that it becomes more of a refuge from the stresses of life, so it is a place of joy, so that people who come to visit will feel God’s love and want to return because of it, so that I will be living a life that begs the question– and then I can speak to people about my faith, because they asked me. That is something that I know has been missing in my home for a long time.
The words on that plaque did not lose their power or truth, but I lost my way and forgot to take that to heart, to remember that I promised God that this is how I felt and still feel. I have to focus on God and not false idols (like perfection, money, etc.) and make sure that I remain dedicated to doing what He wants me to do with my life and in my home.
There are so many ways to apply this to my life right now. I need to dedicate everything that I do to the Lord. First, I am starting with de-cluttering and cleaning up my house so that it is somewhere where my family and I want to return to and where guests will feel comfortable. This will be the first way that I intend to serve the Lord– by making my home a haven and safe place, a place where God is honored.
After I get the house cleaned up, I will tackle some other areas in my life where I have not been honoring God – my finances, my family life, and my marriage. I am not sure how I will do this yet, but I have renewed hope and resolve to give my ALL, my whole being, to God and only to Him!