How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household.

Typically, you might see this scriptural verse adorning someone’s doorway at home, or as a plaque they keep in the kitchen or on their mantle in the living room. It’s a recognised verse of the Bible that many attribute to their belief in how they should live individually and as a family.

How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15, NKJV) were the concluding remarks given by Joshua, one of the two spies who encouraged the Israelites to proceed into Canaan, despite the giants that lived there, and who was appointed the Israelites’ new leader after Moses’s death.

It’s a bold proclamation made that many Christians even today seek to follow in their daily lives, but what should be realized is that a meaningful declaration made centuries ago can be lived out today as though it were just spoken yesterday.

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How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household

What is the Background of This Verse?

This verse comes as Joshua tells the Israelites about what God has done for them since the beginning: bringing Abraham into a new land and sending the Jewish people out of Egyptian bondage, through Moses and Aaron, to where they were presently—following Joshua to the God’s Promised Land.

Joshua had witnessed several shameful behaviours exhibited by the Israelites as they wandered the wilderness with Moses, from the creation of the Gold Calf to what he had seen prior to his statements from the Lord in Joshua 24. He pleads with his people to turn away from the gods their fathers worshipped while in Egypt and while travelling in the wilderness. (Josh. 24:14) His hope was to show them through his re-visited history about God’s love and provision in their lives and in their ancestors’ lives, that it was better to serve the Lord who took care of them than false gods who “demanded” unholy sacrifices but did little to help.

His concluding statements to the Israelites are for this day of his speech to mark who will be following God in service and who will continue the treacherous path of serving false gods, bolding claiming his family would be serving the Lord. (Josh. 24:15)

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How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household

Joshua Reminds the Israelites of God, Their Provider

The people choose the path of righteousness by telling Joshua they would serve the Lord and forsake their former gods, re-dedicating themselves to the covenant with the Lord. This prompts Joshua to call them all witnesses for their verbalised allegiance to the holy God. (Josh. 24:22)

So, we learn from this revolutionary speech that Joshua brought awareness to the Israelites, reminding them that all their provision and survival in the wilderness over the past several years was from a loving God who had done the same, generations before them, and would continue for generations to come.

How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household

We Can Pray to God Anywhere, Any Time

That declaration from Joshua and the Israelites centuries ago is still relevant today, as we examine and honestly assess whether we are living lives in service to God.

For the Israelites, the Law was what governed them the most: the proclamations made to Moses from God at Mount Sinai that brought forth the Ten Commandments, the Tabernacle, and laws appointing the proper attire and actions of the priests and demeanour of the people.

Through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus, we, as Christians, no longer need a holy priesthood to go to for interacting with the Lord, as we have direct access to God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Instead, we can go to God at anytime, anywhere, and share with Him our hearts’ desires, our pains, our questions, and our praises to the Lord who loves us. (Hebrews 10:19-22)

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How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household

Be Careful Not to Follow Gods of Comfort

Yet, just as Joshua admonished the Israelites for continuing to embrace their fathers’ gods, we are still at fault for following false gods who promise us comfort, understanding, and love (social media, other religions, careers, even our family and friends). Truth be told, several of us have chosen to go to others who know less about our situations than the Father who created the heavens and the earth.

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matt. 6:24)

This speech from Joshua calls for us to be witnesses just as he calls the Israelites: that we have to not just speak these words so we “look” like Christians, but proclaim them boldly to ourselves that, from this day forth, our houses, our families, and ourselves will serve only the one, true Lord.

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How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household

What Does Living in Service to the Lord Look Like?

If we don’t want to endure the same hardships of the Israelites from years ago (forty years of travelling aimlessly), we need to take to heart what it means to have one’s home in service to the Lord.

Firstly, it does not mean that you only present yourself and your family as “surface” Christians, which means that you walk, talk, and interact as Christians but deep down live for oneself or in pledges to other gods/idols. Just because you are adorning the walls of your home with beloved scripture verses and end your statements with, “I’ll be praying for you,” doesn’t mean that your service to the Lord is true and evident.

Secondly, being in service to the Lord in your home doesn’t mean that you only serve the Lord when it is convenient for you or when you are in a period of blessings from God. God doesn’t listen to your prayers or intervene in your life when it’s convenient for Him or when He will receive benefits from you; God helps mankind because it is part of a greater plan that will benefit and grow us in faith and in love for Him.

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How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household

Pray Genuinely, from Your Heart

What does it mean, then, to live out this verse of “for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”?

It means being the Christian that Jesus describes in Matthew 6, not doing deeds or saying prayers with the goal for others to see and be proud of you. If you are in true pursuit of worshipping the Lord through service, Jesus says that you are performing a good service for the Lord and not others: “…do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by others.” (Matt. 6:2)

When you pray, it is okay to pray with others and seek petitions from God for the things you need and/or the needs of others, however; the “hypocrites” Jesus depicts in the Scriptures are those who speak words in repetition to sound more scholarly and self-righteous, wanting more the applause of others than the appreciation of God. He advises, instead that, “when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matt. 6:6)

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How To Serve The Lord, You And Your Household

Serve the Lord out of Thankfulness

For those of us who are parents, making the choice to follow God’s decrees in raising your children and leading your household is standing firm on the belief that serving the Lord is important. Being “slow to anger” produces greater understanding (Prov. 14:29) while training our children in the Lord from the beginning will help them not depart from this path when they are adults. (Prov. 22:6)

The bottom line is that we, as Christians, need to know serving the Lord isn’t for the glorification from man for our “good deeds;” it is serving in thankfulness for all the Lord has done, is doing, and will do when we leave these earthly homes for an eternal one.  It is also for the pleasure of serving Him and following His will, in that we can help others draw closer to God and make the choice to allow Him into their lives through the acceptance of Jesus.

You are the witness to this proclamation to serve the Lord, as Joshua said to the Israelites long ago, so make the choice to put your service to God before everything else and know He will be greatly pleased with His good and faithful servants!

 

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Blessing.
Have a great day Brothers and Sisters of the CJCN, The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you,
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

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Deception of the Saints in the contemporary world.

My brother and friend Paul wrote a series of articles entitled “Tactics of the Devil” that describe ways the Devil is waging war against the Church in our day. This article below shows some ways that the Devil deceives the saints.

So many are afraid to talk about the Devil, worried that if we do he may get us. But the way he gets us is in our ignorance. We can stand strong in this truth, “ …He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

My prayer is that more saints would be equipped to battle the lies of the Devil with the truth of God.

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The Devil makes us fear talking about him lest we might then deal with him.

The truth will set you free, but you must let go of the lies first. “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren” (James 1:16).

The tactics of the Devil never change, because they don’t have to. People just keep falling for the same things.

The greatest weapon Satan uses against you is yourself. He will draw from the deep reserves of your own doubt, fear, shame and worthlessness – then use them against you.

The Devil will take what happened to you as a victim and continue to victimize you with the shame. Call the Devil a liar and seek the inner healing that you need.

Shame is the fence Satan builds between you and God. Stop caring what others think of you and start seeking what God can do in you. “…Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You” (Psalm 25:20).

Bare your life to God that the Devil would have nothing to expose. Satan cannot shame you by stripping you if your already bare in front of God.

The Devil shames you in what you have done that you would hide from God. I did ministry for many years with a mighty deliverance minister that used to always say, “tell the truth, shame the Devil”.

Confess at the speed of your sin lest the Devil catches up to you.

The Devil uses the weapon of your pride, that you would not seek help for a demon on you.

It is to the Devil’s delight that a Christian argues so strongly that demons cannot be on Christians. It is not a matter of possession but of influence. Break the chains already.

Stop worrying that you might make the demons uncomfortable in your church and just preach deliverance. If Jesus set people free everywhere He went, then so should we.

Satan does not have any dirt on you if God has made you clean. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

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Satan wants me to sit and crouch in shame, but the Lord desires that I would stand corrected.

The words of the Devil always condemn, whereas the words of the Lord are meant to convict. One is meant to destroy you, the other to restore you.

The Devil reminds me of all I have done against the Lord. The Lord reminds me of all He has done for me.

You know who is talking to you by whether it causes you to get nearer or further from God. “…Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…” (James 4:7-8).

One way to know who is talking to you is Satan speaks of your past and God speaks of your future. Don’t look back, you’re not going that direction.

Only the Devil can convince us that God does not have our best interest in mind.

If the Devil cannot get you to turn away from God, he will encourage you to complain against Him. Just as the Lord inhabits our praises, the Devil makes his camp in our complaints. “Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused…” (Numbers 11:1).

Your feelings are the leash the Devil leads you by. Your feelings of low self-worth are the crevices the Devil grips onto. Tell the Devil to go away, because you were made in the image of God.

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The direction you look reflects the position you are in. The Devil wants you to look down on others or yourself. You must be high to look down. The Lord Jesus calls you to look up to Him. You must kneel low to look up.

The Devil cripples believers, not by invasion, but by invitation.

Satan will compliment you all the way to hell if that is what it takes. “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think…” (Romans 12:3).

The Devil does not fight fair. In fact, his greatest attacks are when he is pretending to help you. He is not your helper, but your enemy.

The Devil overtakes saints not by his authority, but because saints do not realize the authority they are to walk in. Jesus said, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Luke 10:19).

Satan will quote scripture, but he will twist it into a lie. Know the Word to know the truth.

You can’t win the war if you won’t prepare for the battle. And that preparation begins in knowing the truth. You need “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).

Truth is to lies what light is to darkness.

Blessings to you, now and always.