To me, one of the most important declarations in the Bible was made on Joshua 25:15. Joshua, who was the leader of Israel, was reminding the people of all God had done for them. He told them of the blessings that were promised to those who followed God’s ways. He also spoke of the consequences of choosing to disobey His commands. After that he said, “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord” (NLT).
Joshua couldn’t speak for everyone just because he was their leader. Each person had to make their own decision on how they would live. There’s only two ways really. One is in obedience to God’s ways and the other is disobedience. There’s not a half and half. No one else can choose it for you either. Each one of us have to come to the point in our lives when we declare our independence from our sinful nature and pledge our allegiance to God.
Galatians 5:17 says, “The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.” Joshua understood this war that goes on in each one of us. He knew that he was susceptible to failing, that’s why he made the declaration.
Today, you and I fight the same battle. Some days we win. Some days we lose. When I lose, I fall back on Romans 8:1-2. It says, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” We have been freed from the power of sin, but not from our sinful nature. We must keep declaring, no matter how bad or how many times we fail, that we will serve the Lord.
I refuse to live an ordinary Christian life. I will not be in the habit of going to church, I will be the Church. I will be the hands and feet of Jesus. I will choose to open my eyes to the needs of those around me and fight for those who have no strength. I will not turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to their plea. I will give all my strength to defend the weak and the broken. I cannot sit idly by and hope someone else will do what God called each of us to do.
I will stand for what is right and true. I will honor God in my word, deed and life. I will be a leader and not a follower. A pioneer who is not afraid of the unknown. I will forge ahead when the nights are dark, the roads are blocked and the mountains are too steep so that I can accomplish that which I am called to do. I will not fail or allow others around me to either. I will push, challenge and motivate them to continue on even when they are out of hope, breath and faith.
I will not wait until the battle is nigh before I prepare. I will pray up, store up and lift up so I will get up, build up and live up to my calling. I will cast down every stronghold, tear down every imagination and beat down the fear that would try to prevent me from walking this path and running this race. I will sharpen my Sword and grow my Shield by being a man of prayer and God’s Word. I will do what it takes to win this war.
I will build the wall with one hand on a brick and the other on my Sword. I will stand ready to defend the work that God has called me to. I will not falter. I will not waiver. I will not be distracted by the things of this world. I will remain focused on the fight and keep my eyes on the prize. I may get struck down, but I will not be destroyed. I may be mocked, but I will not cower. I will stand in the gap where others have fallen.
I know that Christ is coming and time is short. I must choose to act now and not procrastinate. The sun is setting. The night is near. I will not rest. I will not let up or give up. I will work until He comes and gets me. And when He comes, He will have no trouble recognizing me. I will be in His fields laboring as He asked. I will have spent time with Him and He with me. It is only then that I will hear Him say, “Well done. Come and find your rest.” Until then I won’t let up, slow down or give in. There is too much to be done and too many others living ordinary Christian lives.