When it comes to life, there are always many options. What will I have for breakfast? What shoes will I wear? When will I go to bed? Whom will I marry? Where will I work? These questions are ones we all must make, some questions obviously more important than others. The most important question for anyone to answer, however, is the one that Joshua asked the Israelites: “…Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15, NIV).
The Israelites were a people who had just seen God deliver them into the Promised Land. The Lord gave them all of the land that he promised them, and he drove out all of the evil, idol-following nations who were there. They had seen God’s provision close-up, but they still had to answer the question, “Whom will you serve?”
The people answered that they would serve the Lord, just as Joshua and his family had. Joshua told them that the next step was to “destroy the idols among you, and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.” (Joshua 24:23, NLT).
Destroying idols may seem like a very “Old Testament” thing to do, but in reality we all have idols that we must destroy if we are truly going to be serving the Lord with our whole heart, mind, body, and soul.
Idols today don’t necessarily look like they did in Joshua’s day; we don’t often see or possess images carved into wood that we worship as gods. But we certainly, if we think about, have other things that we worship; our modern day idols.
One quick way to check on what you may be worshipping is to look at your “books.” Your appointment book and your checkbook. These two books show where you spend your time and your treasure. Those are often good indicators about what you are worshipping and focusing on. The priorities of your life are seen by the time and money you spend.
But beyond just seeing the idols of your time and treasure, it’s important to look beyond the surface and see what your true motives are. You need to look deeper into why you do what you do. Spending a lot of time at work shows that you value work and may be worshipping that idol, but what is the underlying spiritual condition? Are you looking for financial security? Power? Prestige? Wealth? What’s driving you to make work your idol? Until you can look at the root cause of your idolatry, you won’t fare well in trying to make a change.
Matthew 6:33 says to seek first the Kingdom of God. When we truly seek God’s Kingdom first, we will destroy the idols that are in our lives and put God’s will and way above our own. We will allow God to be our first priority – in all areas of our life – not just on Sunday morning.
I would encourage you to do a check of your books, and then pray for clarity about what your underlying idols are. Then seek out Scripture that speaks directly to the root causes, repent, and pray that God would free you from those sinful attitudes.
You cannot grow spiritually when you are not completely sold out to following Christ first. Jesus said that you can’t serve two masters; which master are you choosing to follow? Yourself or Jesus? Choose this day whom you will serve.