Keeping a Clear Purpose
"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
What is your ultimate goal for your life, your marriage, and your family? One of the reasons our life seem arbitrary is because we fail to have a clear purpose for our life. While we have goals for our careers and plans of our future, we never sit down and crystalize our ultimate purpose and intent. When confronted with choices, we base our decisions upon what is expedient in the present rather than what fits our life's overall direction.
In Joshua 24, Joshua is coming to the end of his role as the leader of the nation of Israel. After Moses's death, he had been given the daunting task of leading the nation of Israel into the promised land. It would be no easy task. It would require Joshua to lead the nation in a military conquest as they became instruments of God's judgment upon a pagan society steeped in religious idolatry and moral perversion. When God first gave him the task, his heart and mind were gripped with fear and apprehension. To encourage him, God promised to be with him wherever he would go. For the next 31 years, God stood by Joshua as he led the people. In chapter 24, Joshua gives his final address by confronting the people of Israel with a choice. Knowing their susceptibility to idolatry, Joshua challenges them to choose whom that they would worship and serve.
He begins his challenge by reminding them of all the victories God had achieved on behalf of the nation of Israel. From the time God first called Abraham to leave the land of Ur until the nation had achieved victory in capturing the Promised Land, God had proven his faithfulness and grace (24:1-13). But now, as the nation stood upon the precipice of a new period, Joshua knows their weakness. Rather than remain faithful to God in their obedience to his Law, they continually acted in rebellion against God (23:14-16).
In his last address, he lays before them a simple choice to either serve the God of Israel or serve the idols of the Amorites. The choice is simple, but the implications are eternal. Echoing what the sage would say in Proverbs, he calls upon them to "fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth" (vs. 14). Then Joshua sets forth his choice, that "for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." For Joshua, this choice is a defining moment for his family. It is a simple choice that will serve to govern who they are and how they live. Joshua is setting forth his life purpose and goal that he had set for himself and his family. Every decision he makes is ultimately connected and governed by this simple choice to seek to serve God and walk in obedience to his word. What should arrest our attention is that Joshua is making this statement towards the end of his life. Not only was this purpose his guiding principle in the past, but it also continues to be his focus even now at the end of his life. Even at the end of his ministry, he still has a clear purpose that he will focus upon until he draws his last breath. No matter what stage we are at in life it is never too late to ask, “what does God want me to do and be for the rest of my life?”
Having a clear life purpose, one that is centered upon your relationship with God, is critical to making wise decisions and pursuing the right options we face in life. Without a purpose, then we are governed by the winds of chance rather than a God-driving focus. As you spend time in prayer, ask God to give you a clear aim in life that will provide you with clarity in making decisions.