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Surrender: Walking in Faith by Doing Our Part

The white flag is an internationally recognized sign of truce and also used to symbolize surrender. Signs often signify a mantra or a way of life. Many families have a sign in their house that quotes Joshua 24:15..."As for me and my house we will serve the Lord." We use this verse at weddings and baby dedications. I admit I am guilty! A bronze metal version hangs above our kitchen sink. This is a verse that challenges me daily to practice a foundational pattern that begins with a simple choice. Whom will I serve today?

Let's get some context. The Israelites have undergone a change of leadership. Joshua has taken Moses's place and the Israelites have been wandering in the desert for 40 years. Joshua is now charged with the task of leading the people of Israel into the Promised Land. They have taken their step into the Jordan River and walked by faith in their defeat of Jericho, and here at the end of Joshua's life he gives them a choice. Whom will you serve?

He knew the Israelites struggled with idolatry and sin. He knew they were tempted to forget what God had done for them. And here you find him in Joshua 24 passionately ask them to persevere in faith and to throw away the gods and patterns of their previous life and choose to serve the Lord.

Everyday is a choice to do our part and surrender. So many times our pattern is to give in to fear rather than to choose faith. We choose the idols of this life rather than a God who has patiently and faithfully walked with us, given us hope and a future in heaven. The verse from the hymn Come Thy Fount of every Blessing speaks so clearly to our propensity to sin …

“Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;

  Prone to leave the God I love:

Take my heart, oh, take and seal it

  With Thy Spirit from above.

Rescued thus from sin and danger,

  Purchased by the Savior’s blood,

May I walk on earth a stranger,

  As a son and heir of God.”

Whom will I serve today? Myself, my pocketbook, my schedule, or the Lord?

I must develop a daily rhythm of choices that turn into patterns. I must be aware of my propensity to sin and self focus. I must choose to put my faith in a God who promises when we serve Him, and choose Him to lead our life our marriages, our families are forever changed. The generations following us will be impacted for eternity. 

There is a quote in our entryway that was given to Dan and I when we were young (and a bit green) leading a congregation. It has forever changed our outlook on life and ministry. Doing our part and surrendering to the Lord is choosing to obey and leading those around you to Jesus with your life, and most of the time no words are needed.

"You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips." Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774)

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