But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. – Joshua 22:5
The 2.5 tribes that had been given their share in the inheritance on the east side of the Jordan River had to promise Moses and the other 9.5 tribes that their able-bodied fighting men would go ahead of the others and assist them in clearing the land of Canaan of their enemies, so that the 9.5 tribes would be able to have their shares as well. Once they had done their duty and fulfilled that mission, Joshua came to them and informed them that they could return to their homes east of the Jordan River. However, he cautioned them to do all that Moses commanded Israel in serving and loving God.
The warning that Joshua gave to the 2.5 eastern tribes is still applicable to us today. Let’s review what he said. Joshua told them to be careful to follow the commands and Law God gave them through Moses.
- To love the LORD your God.
- To walk in obedience to him.
- To keep his commands.
- To hold fast to him.
- To serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
We may not live under the Law anymore, but we still have to obey the commands of God. In essence we “keep” the Law not out of obligation anymore but out of love for God. When our hearts are truly set on loving God and serving Him, we will not want to disobey the commands of God. In fact Jesus said that loving God with all our spirit, soul, and body and loving our neighbors as ourselves is the summation of the entire Torah and prophets and writings (the OT). Another way of looking at it is in the phrase, Walk not after flesh. If we walk in the Spirit of God, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
Did you notice that little part in there about holding onto to God? Joshua said, “hold fast” which means the same thing. IF we don’t hold onto God through trusting Him and obeying Him, then we might as well toss in the towel because we cannot live the Christian life without God. It’s only through the empowerment of God’s grace via His Spirit that we can even attempt to live this life pleasing to God.
Thus the follow-on question could be and should be, “Do you really love God?” I ask that because so many of us confess with our mouths that we love God but deny Him in our daily lives and actions. If we look like the world, sound like the world, act like the world, and think like the world, are we not of the world? Has there really been a heart transformation and a creation of a new being in you when you were converted to Christianity? Even Shakespeare wrote that a rose is a rose and by any other name is still a rose. Also, there is the old adage that if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck. Are you truly a Christian, or a sinner in disguise? Jesus said that in these last days there would be many false prophets/teachers appearing that would be wolves in sheep’s clothing with voracious appetites and looking to devour as many “real” sheep as possible.
Serve the LORD with gladness, come before His presence with singing, and enter into His courts with praise. Choose you this day, tell me who will you serve. Let nothing stand in the way. Give the praise He deserves, but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Why? Because we truly have given our lives to Him and are the sheep of His pasture. He is our Great Shepherd. We know His voice and will trust none other. Do you?
Also the Bible says that those who serve Him with all of their heart and soul will prosper in all they set their hands to do. Don’t you want that for you and yours? I do. May God’s favor and blessing be upon us.
Father, I come before You today and present my petition through the blood of Your Son, Jesus, and in the power and authority of His name. I choose to serve You with all my spirit, soul, and body. I hold fast to You and Your Word, Jesus. For in You there is light and life. Help me to fulfill the mission in this life that You have given me. It is not an easy one because it requires me to ferret out and expose false doctrine and false teaching. Many will come to hate me and disregard me because I shed the light of Your Truth on their darkness, into which they retreat. The world hates me because I am not one of its own but am Yours. They hated You first, and they hate me because I dare to stand against the tide of rebellion that is ordered by the prince of this world. I want to hear those fated words, “Well done,” when I see You in glory. Amen.