Giving a Voice to Your Choice!

Giving a Voice to Your Choice!

by Steven James

 

In Joshua 24:22, we find that after you and I make the choice to serve the Lord, we need to give our choice a voice, just as God’s people did.

Let’s explore the whole context of this memory verse, from v. 14 through v. 28, and see what kind of a voice we can give to our choice.

 

A Voice of Responsibility

Leaders go first. I don’t mean in the food line at our fellowship meals, or having the best parking spots or seats “in the house,” but when it comes to making course-changing, sometimes difficult, choices. This is the first voice. Leaders have the responsibility to “know the way, show the way and go the way.” By the way, all of us have influence and an impact upon the lives of others. All of us should take responsibility in making the choice and giving it a voice.

 

A Voice of Reason(s)

The people followed Joshua’s lead and voiced their choice as well. As they did so, they conveyed their reasons for choosing God—because of what He had done (and would continue to do) for them, we will do for Him.

This was a common mindset in their pagan culture: If we scratch the backs of our gods, they will scratch ours. How often do we do the same? How often do we feel, if not vocalize, the sentiment of “God, we’ve done/are doing for You and therefore hope that You will do for us”?

Most pastors would love to hear their people make such a commitment of choosing and serving God! Yet Joshua cuts them to the core of their hearts and their motives. While choosing God for what He has done has huge merit and motivation, it isn’t enough in the long run.

Joshua conveys that if their choice is based solely on what God has done, then they can’t really choose and serve God. There has to be a higher motivation (like, God is holy and jealous).

What are your reasons for choosing God? Is there “something in it” for you or is it solely because of Who God is?

 

A Voice of Response-ability

The people then respond even more with their ability to choose God. God wants us to know what we’re getting into. Hence Jesus making sure that the crowds knew what it meant to follow Him. (Mark 8:34-38; 10:44-45). There is no fine print with God. He’s very clear—sometimes painfully clear—as to what it means to love Him, serve Him, follow Him… to choose Him.

Having considered Who God is, the people respond strongly that they have the ability to choose God. Period. How about you?

 

A Voice of Relationship

Joshua says that to choose God involves giving Him their hearts. That’s what God desires most of all—our hearts of love for Him above all others. When we love God (and others) with our hearts, that then impacts our “hands” (our actions) and our “heads” (our attitudes). Are you choosing God because you love Him?

 

A Voice of Remembrance

Lastly, Joshua brings in the dynamic of accountability: that the people have given a voice to their choice, and that they are “witnesses” against themselves that they have done so. They were to hold one another accountable for their choice.

This is similar to how we include in our church covenants wording about watching over one another for good and convey in some way the dynamic of holding one another accountable for the covenant we are making.

The occasion of giving a voice to their choice was also marked by writing down the people’s choice and the words of their voice, and having a visual reminder of the occasion as well (a rock under an oak tree).

Perhaps we, too, when making direction-changing choices as God’s people, should lovingly hold one another accountable, as well as mark out the occasion in special, memorable ways.

 

If you are choosing the Lord, what’s the voice behind your choice? That too… is your choice.

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