Among the many famous verses in Scripture is one that is found in Joshua 24:15, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (Note: When the King James Bible has LORD in all capital letters, it signifies that the Hebrew word here was the proper name of God, YHVH, often written as Yahweh. When it has Lord, with both upper and lower case, it is often the Hebrew word Adonai, a title that means “master” or “sovereign”.)
Many plaques can be found hanging outside of Christian homes that have the final phrase of that verse on them. But my question to you is harder than you might think: Do you really serve the LORD? Is he truly the God of your life?
Over the course of the last several months, I have written many columns, most of which contained concepts that are not taught regularly in Christian churches, but come right out of the Bible. Topics have included worshipping God on His terms by keeping His holy days such as Sabbath, Passover and Pentecost instead of days of pagan origin like Sunday, Easter, and Christmas. Yet in a country where 84% of adults claim to be Christian, only about 47% of American adults go to church regularly, and only a tiny percent go on the day that God has set apart and declared holy. (Source: The Barna Group) So I ask you, is God really God in your life? Or do you put your own pleasure, or church tradition, or convenience, or reputation, or security, or following the crowd above the word of the God that you claim to follow?
About eleven years ago, when I first was baptized and started reading Scripture daily, without preconceived notions, it was soon obvious that his holy day was the seventh day Sabbath. At that time, I was in private practice as a massage therapist, and my Saturdays were filled with standing regular clients who came in every Saturday without fail. It was always my top income producing day. Making the choice to serve the LORD according to His ways instead of mine was going to mean losing all or most of those clients, who worked during the week and had families to feed in the evenings, so Saturday was the one day they would take a precious hour for themselves. If I wasn’t going to see them then, I would lose them as a client. Was it an easy choice? Yes. Having come out of many years of New Age deception, I readily chose to serve God over mammon, and never looked back. God provided in ways I would have never dreamed. His ways are always higher than ours.
Over these past eleven years, I can’t begin to count the many events that I have missed. Special events like the recent Porterville Air Show, one day sales at various stores, etc. The list is long, but in all honesty, I’m having trouble even coming up with examples now, so apparently I haven’t missed much. Not only do I miss the event, but I’m often ostracized by others for deciding to truly serve the LORD. I’ve had concerned family members repeatedly try to “save” me from the error of my ways, although they call themselves Christian. Was it an easy choice? Not always, but it is getting easier as the years go by. In fact, it has become a delight. On a few occasions, I would choose to do something that was not in keeping the day holy.
One event I attended for several years was the Bakersfield Business Conference, where I had free tickets (valued at about $400) to hear speakers like former Presidents, foreign heads of state, and top-draw entertainers. The first few years I attended was before I was a Christian. The next few years I justified going with various excuses – after all I’m not being paid so it isn’t work, etc. The last year I went, I was miserable. I knew I was putting myself above the one I claim to call LORD of my life. So the final year that they had the conference, I didn’t even go. What a victory! Now I spend my Sabbaths with a small circle of like-minded believers, eating from the bread of life, and drinking from the water of life.
When you learn a new truth, such as that the 7th day is still the Sabbath, that is the most dangerous time. Satan will do all in his power to tempt you, to keep you from following the new truth that has been revealed. It will be easier to turn your back on truth because the truth can sometimes complicate your life. But to do so, you are really turning your back on God. Additionally, how can you expect God to continue to reveal further truths to you, if you refuse to walk in the truths that he has already revealed?
What sacrifices have you made for your faith? Are you following the example set forth by Yeshua (Jesus) and his post resurrection followers? If you are not, then be honest with yourself. He tells us in Matthew 7:21-23 that not everyone who calls him Lord, and who has prophesied and done wonderful works in His name, will enter the kingdom. Instead, He will tell them, “Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Mark 7:6 quotes Isaiah 29:13, “These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Don’t fall into that group, please.
This is no time to “play Christian” like a little boy playing cowboy until he gets tired of his stick pony and throws it aside for a new pleasure. Matthew 7:13-14, “…Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction ,and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” If you are going in the wide gate with the crowd, realize that you are turning your back on the narrow way that leads to eternal life.
If any of my columns have pricked your conscience, but you are counting the perceived losses (like your regular Saturday morning routine that you so enjoy), let me assure you that a year from now, you won’t even remember, and an eternity from now, you’ll be at the feet of Yeshua. The choice isn’t as hard as satan is telling you it is. Choose this day whom you will serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.