As For Me and My House
Early May found the men of the District preparing for a special event happening on the third weekend of the month. The District Men’s Retreat held at Lake Ossipee Conference Center right on Lake Ossipee in Freedom, New Hampshire is a time for men to get away from the every day things that happen, the tasks we have to accomplish, and to spend a day hearing about and concentrating on God. This year the theme was to be “Rise and Do Battle”.
The first night of the retreat, the theme of the night was, “The Battle for your Heart”. The men heard of the lures and tactics of the enemy, and the battle plan of God designed before the creation of the world. God’s tactics were different from the tactics of the enemy. His plan was based on something the enemy could not understand, because to win our hearts, God used love. A love so great that when it is talked about, it is referred to in terms like sacrificial, undying, and in phrases like ‘he loved me before I knew Him’, and ‘while I was still a sinner he died for me’. So the battle is being fought between the enemy who will use deceit, treachery, lies, desire, and anything else to win our devotion and desire, and our God who uses truth, and His great love for us to draw us to Him. In the end, the outcome of the battle is decided by choice. Will we choose to serve God with all our heart, or will we choose to serve another?
In Joshua 24, Joshua reminds the people of all the great things God had done for them over the years from the time of Abraham right up to their present day, and then in verse 14 he challenges them to choose.
So honor the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away the idols your ancestors worshipped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Eqypt. Serve the Lord alone.
But if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, then 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. (NLT)
Joshua realized that a battle for the hearts of the people was taking place. Some were still clinging to the ancient gods from hundreds of years before, some were looking back to Egypt, and many were losing the battle by choosing to follow the ways of the Canaanites. They were being enticed to turn their hearts away from the God who had saved them, protected them, and given them the land. They needed to confirm their choice, they needed to renew their commitment. So as Joshua heard their declaration to serve the Lord, he took a huge stone and rolled it beneath an oak tree. This was to be their marker, their reminder of the commitment they had once again made. At the men’s retreat, we took time at the end of the service to commit ourselves again to the Lord, and set a reminder, a marker as many of the men said yes they would serve the Lord in everything He wanted them to do.
What about you? Is the enticement there? Has the desire begun to wane in your relationship with the Lord? Is it time to once again make the choice? What is your answer? Who will you serve? Find a place of remembrance, set a marker, your huge stone, and speak those words to the Lord from your heart,
As for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD