So many things in this life try to define who we are. One of my favorite verses in scripture is Joshua 24:15, “…choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” In this verse I see two things that were trying to define the Israelites as they were settling into their Promised Land. I believe that these two things are still trying to define who we are today.
“Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served?” The first thing I see here that tries to define us is our past. Maybe it’s a generational curse of addiction, broken marriages, or poverty that you had passed down to you and it has defined your decisions into adulthood. Maybe it is trying to disprove what other’s spoke over you (or you spoke over yourself) and in trying to leave that lie behind you find it determining what decisions you make. Maybe it is just plain old regret and ‘what if’ that are driving what you are allowing to define you. But I would say to you that your past does not determine who you are, God determines who you are. Isaiah 43:18-19, “But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new.”
“Or will it be the…land you now live” in? The second thing I see here that tries to define us is culture. How easy it is to let the driving thought of the day drive my opinions of right vs. wrong. True vs. lies. Justice vs. injustice. Cool jeans vs. ugly jeans (am I the only one that wishes we could wear shorts all year?!). But could I suggest that popular opinions are only popular for a season - and while its ok to let them drive our sense of fashion (sometimes), it is not ok to let the popular opinion determine our morality. I would say that there has to be something that is solid enough to build on in the ever-changing opinions of this culture. Psalms 33:4, “For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.”
“But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” I want to challenge you - don’t wait for something to try to define you, choose right now what defines you. Let it be Jesus. Let it be His Truth. Let it be His Words. I pray this over you today - In His Name,
Bangor Campus Pastor