When the alarm rings in the morning, I can choose to hit snooze or choose to get up. When I get up, I can choose to eat oatmeal or choose leftover pizza. As the day progresses, hundreds of choices appear before me. Involved in all of them is also a choice of what or whom I will serve. I claim to serve God, but how often do I move through a day without thinking whether I am or not?
After Moses led the people of God through the wilderness and into the land, He promised them, Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel, summoning the elders, heads, judges and officers of Israel. As they presented themselves before God, Joshua gave them challenges from the Lord. The bottom line was this:
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 24:15)
While this challenge was directed toward their religious observances, it also included daily life. In other words, serving God is not only about formal ministry and worship, but also about the way His people live. Each morning when they arose, they had choices similar to mine. They had families to care for, household chores to do. Externals like the weather, and necessities like “we have to eat” might dictate some of those choices, but even when I make a meal, I can choose to do it “as unto the Lord” and with joy, or with a negative attitude.
As I read this verse, it reminds me that everyone serves someone or something. Even those who think they are their own boss are serving themselves, or their ambitions and plans, and could even be slaves to these lesser gods. How many times have I heard, “It’s my life and I’ll do what I want to” from someone bound up in sin and self-serving? We have our traditional gods and even adopt the gods of the people around us.
As for this day, the hours, minutes, even seconds ahead of me will be filling with options. As the devotional writer says, choice and service are the sum total of life. Instead of operating on autopilot and doing whatever seems the easiest or the most beneficial to me, I need to check out what I choose and that my selection is all about the amazing God that I claim to serve.