Give God All of Yourself not Your Leftovers
As we close out Joshua 4 I wanted us to consider once again the purpose and point of God causing the people to cross the Jordan in the way that He did. He was teaching them that they could trust Him. The issue is that this lesson only lasts as long as their memory of the events that led to the lesson. This is why they are to pass the lesson on to the next generation.
If you compare this section of Joshua with Deuteronomy 6 you will see many parallels in the instructions and rationale for the commands given. The key issue is that the people remember that they are to fear the Lord and Him alone. God’s people are to understand that God alone is the One they need and no other. If they will love Him with their everything then there will be no temptation to betray the One who saved them.
We are to give God our whole heart, like the place in us that wants things. We should order our lives and desires in such a way that our “wanter” is aimed at the things of God. Also our whole soul, soul here translates a word that means whole being or life. Your life force, your whole self is to be given to God, you can’t serve God with one foot in and one foot out, He deserves your whole allegiance. To give Him anything less is to be double minded and set yourself up to fail in your attempts to follow after Him. And all your might. Your physical exertion and energy ought also to be aimed at serving our great God.
This level of commitment on the part of parents will serve as stone monuments in mind of your children. If you live this way your kids will want to know why you are so committed to serving the Lord. Here is my question of the modern Christian parent. When is the last time your children were told no to an activity or event with the reason being that it would take away your commitment to serve the Lord? Then to ask another way, how often do you forgo your commitment to serving the Lord due to your desire to do something that has nothing to do with Him? Can you live this way and even get close to doing what God is calling you to do in Deut 6 and Joshua 4? I wonder if that is the reason for so many young people walking away from the faith when they come of age or at least choosing to worship in other churches where the people take their commitment to serving God more seriously than they do their worldly commitments? We do not want to repeat the mistakes that Israel made of not passing on their faith otherwise there will come a day that the same thing that is said in Judges 2:10, "And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel," will be said of our churches. My prayer is that this is not what will happen, but that they will build up monuments in the lives of our children through our monumental faith.
I don’t want to throw stones on this Friday morning, I would just encourage you to pray and ask the Lord if you are building up stones of memory like Joshua had the people do here in our passage or are you tearing down your own children’s understanding of the importance of serving the Lord by your lack of personal commitment to Him yourself. Be careful where you are building your monuments and what memories you are giving your kids of what truly matters. You have so much pressure on you from every side, I know that it is difficult to navigate the waters we find ourselves in, trust God’s Word not yours or someone else’s opinion when it comes to caring for the most wonderful treasures the Lord has given you.