I often hear about men asking questions like “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose?” or “What is God’s will for my life?” There’s something inside all of us that wants to know what it is we’re supposed to be doing to be truly successful.
I admire the great care and pains Joshua took in his final attempt (he’s getting quite old) to get his people to remain faithful to God and stop worshipping idols. He gathered the all the leaders and recounted all the things God had done for them. He charged them with a pledge to be faithful to God. He got them to confess their loyalty to Him. And, he made a monument for them to remember their promise.
19 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy and jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve other gods, he will turn against you and destroy you, even though he has been so good to you.” 21 But the people answered Joshua, saying, “No, we are determined to serve the LORD!” 22 “You are accountable for this decision,” Joshua said. “You have chosen to serve the LORD.””Yes,” they replied, “we are accountable.” 23 “All right then,” Joshua said, “destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
What is our legacy? Are we here simply to work, climb the corporate ladder, accumulate “stuff”, and then die with as many “friends” as we can at our funeral?
No, we too are charged with serving God with all our hearts, our minds and our strength. Careers, possessions and even relationships can become our idols and Joshua’s dying wish is for us today as well.
The encouragement for me in this last chapter of Joshua is to live a life that will also be an encouragement to my children and those under my leadership. There are several important life lessons for me here concerning my purpose in life:
- I want to tell people what God has done. One thing I’ve noticed about these chapters in the OT is that they’re much like the age-old sales missive:”Tell them what you’re going to tell them, then tell them, then tell them what you told them.” Do I spend time with my children telling them what God has done for us? How about my friends?
- I want to encourage people to commit to faithfulness to God. It’s more than just telling about what God has done. For me, it’s about hearing God and acting on what He tells me to do to encourage others to grow in their relationship with Him. What am I doing to encourage my kids and my friends to get into the Word, to fellowship with other Christians, to spend time with God?
- I want to establish a monument that people can always have to remember what God has done. I’m still working on this one, but I love the way Joshua put the huge stone under the oak tree:
26 Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. As a reminder of their agreement, he took a huge stone and rolled it beneath the oak tree beside the Tabernacle of the LORD. 27 Joshua said to all the people, “This stone has heard everything the LORD said to us. It will be a witness to testify against you if you go back on your word to God.”
What am I doing to establish habits or memorials in my children’s lives and those of my friends that will last far beyond when I’m outta here?
The book of Joshua has been powerful and I’ve never read it through before. I thank those of you who joined me and encouraged me to read every day.
The adventure continues…
Tomorrow we start reading in Psalms and I’m really looking forward to that as well. I’ve heard several comments from people we haven’t heard from in a while who are planning to join us in Psalms! Great! This would be a great time to refresh your commitment to God to reading His Word every day. Jump back in! It will be a great adventure…
Lord, thank You again for Your Word, and for the life it brings just by reading it. Thank You that I do not need to be a Bible scholar to understand the truths you have hidden in these pages. Thank You for the treasures I find every single time I make time to read. Please send encouragement to my children and my brothers to get to know You more by reading Your Words – give them life and refreshment as they are obedient. Establish memorials in their lives and in their families that will last for generations – reminding everyone of what You have done for us. You are so awesome and so worthy to be praised. Bless Your Name!