“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15, New International Version 1984 (NIV1984)
I made my choice to serve the Lord in 2004. When I accepted Jesus as my Savior, I did not suddenly have an epiphany and know exactly what that meant. Honestly I struggle each day with what this means, but I think that the struggle is a good thing. My struggling with understanding this helps me to want to do it and figure it out.
I know that part of serving God is to do God’s will. How do I do what God wants me to do? First of all, you must have a daily time alone devoted to God to read His word and pray. Many times you will understand what His will is for you through this practice. Keep in mind, God is not going to give you everything at once; He will go at a pace that you can keep up with.
God will also use other believers to reach you. He will use pastors at church, on television, or even on the Internet. God will use small group Bible studies to reach you. Sometimes it will be your spouse, your children, your parents or friends God will use.
No matter who, what, or how God reaches you and you gain that understanding of what His will is for you and your life, we as believers must then react and be obedient. God will take you out of your comfort zone. God will stretch your faith, even to the point that makes you question what is happening, but then all of a sudden, He fills that faith even more.
Sometimes we end up wrestling with God. There’s nothing wrong with this, because at least we are going from trying to work it out on our own, to taking it to God. When you are wrestling with God, it is important to seek His blessing. It is important to wait on God through your prayers. When God blesses you, it is will usually be from serving Him.
Serving can be but not limited to the following; serving your spouse, children and family by working, cooking, cleaning, providing for them. Serving can be getting involved in your church in whatever capacity God has prepared you. Serving can be helping in the community; serving the homeless, helping at shelters, helping the poor, the orphans, and your neighbors. Even cleaning up the bathroom after a messy bunch of boys can be serving God.
How do we get there? As a pre-Christian, we are like Jacob. Jacob was a grabber, in other words just like a lot of us who are chasing worldly things and desires. How many of us have spent years chasing better jobs, more money, more cars, more possessions, more vacations, and the like? We are out to grab all we can to keep for ourselves.
But once God blessed Jacob, after the wrestling match, God renamed him Israel. The new name Israel meant striver. Now Jacob has become Israel -the one striving to serve God. It’s God that taught Jacob how to become a servant. It didn’t happen overnight. It was a lifelong process. But God blessed Jacob (Israel) for this, and in turn his family was blessed. Because of Israel’s serving and receiving this blessing, we have been blessed. Israel still lives, because God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and He is faithful to those that served Him wholeheartedly.
That’s what I want. I want to go through the same process, and I believe that I am. Over the past eight years I have gone from grabber to being a striver. As I move closer and closer to being a man blessed by God striving to serve Him more, and further from being a grabber of worldly things, I serve my children by leading by example for them to grow to become servants as well.