Choosing to Enter Your Promised Land

March 4, 2017

 

 

 

“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve….. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Joshua 24:15

 

Last week we talked a little bit about this verse, and some of the important choices we can make on our journey toward our own Promised Land. 

 

This week we’re going to explore this verse a little further and look at another key choice that will reap tremendous rewards in our lives.  To do this, we’re going to take a look at the entire verse of Joshua 24:14-15:

 

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness.

Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.

 But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

 

Straight, honest, sister to sister truth:

 

One of the reasons that many women are not living the rich, full, life that God has for them is because they will not turn away from the sins that are holding them in bondage. 

 

This is precisely what Joshua is trying to explain to the children of Israel.

 

You see, the fact is that you can’t expect to experience the rewards of serving God when you are splitting your loyalties between the Heavenly Father and the gods of this world.

 

“Des, what are you saying?  I’m not serving other gods---I don’t have idols in my house!  I’m not following other religions!  This point obviously doesn’t apply to me!”

 

Yet, I believe that in today’s culture this point applies to all of us.

 

You see, although few of the people reading this blog will actually have idols set up in their homes that they bow down and worship every day, each one of us needs to daily inspect our lives to see whether or not we are spending our lives serving the gods of the culture we live in.

 

Let’s be honest, many of the idols that are destroying Christians lives today come in some pretty attractive packages.

 

There’s the god of….

                ….money

                ….materialism

                ….play or leisure

                ….sex

                ….pornography  (this includes soft porn chick shows)

                ….alcohol

                ….entertainment

                ….selfishness

                ….the occult (which has flooded the entertainment industry)

                …..hate

                ….resentment

                ….pride

 

Basically, I believe that any sin that you choose to commit rather than obeying the truth of the Bible is a god in your life.  

 

What?

 

Well, if you know God doesn’t want you to do it and you do it anyway aren’t you saying that it’s more important to you than God?  Isn’t that sin what you’re now serving?

 

Here’s the sad thing:

 

Every time we choose to cling to a “god” or “sin” rather than abandon it to wholeheartedly follow Jesus, WE ARE HURTING OURSELVES.

 

Though we embrace these things thinking they give us pleasure, the truth is that they are actually keeping us from the truly rich, fulfilling, amazing life that God has for us.

 

Look at the children of Israel: it was their choice to worship other gods that kept them constantly defeated by their enemies and ultimately sent them into exile away from their Promised Land.

 

The same is true for us. 

 

God has created you for a purpose---He has an incredible life planned for you and a design for you to touch others that only you can fulfill.   This is our own personal promised land.

 

Yet, as long as we continue clinging to sins and false gods, God is unable to give us the life He wants us to have. 

 

Thus, once again, we are faced with Joshua’s choice:

 

Who will you serve?

 

Will you choose the gods of this world?  The pleasure of sin that seem so common all around us?

 

Or will you choose to serve the Lord and abandon these things? 

 

Will you choose to read the Bible and more importantly OBEY the Bible?

 

Will you let the Holy Spirit convict you of sin?

 

Will you respond to conviction by completely, wholeheartedly abandoning the sins in your life that are holding you captive so that you can experience God’s freedom?

 

Hebrews 11:24-30 says,

 

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin.

He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible.

By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.

 

I love these verses because they make it so clear: The key to Moses leading the people out of Israel and fulfilling His destiny is that he choice to abandon the gods of Egypt and choosing to follow Jesus rather than experience the pleasures of sin for a season.

 

Today, we are faced with the same choice.

 

What sin is keeping you from entering your Promised Land?

 

Are you willing to forsake it---to literally abandon it and give it up forever---or do you want to keep it close?

 

Yes, I understand that it is hard to make lifestyle changes.  Sometimes we will need help to overcome and gain the victory.

 

But it all starts with a choice. 

 

Do you want to throw away your idols? 

 

Do you want to wholeheartedly follow Jesus?

 

Are you willing to take the necessary steps to follow through on your choice?

 

It’s time to choose:  Who will you serve?

 

 

 

 

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