Be Resonsible: Joshua 24:15

Day 17/30

"But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living.  But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." - Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

Responsibility is a pretty big deal to me.  Years ago when I was starting out in this pastoring gig, as a youth minister, I felt like I was responsible for everybody... at least everybody under 21.  Did you know that shouldering the responsibility for an entire generation's spiritual direction and growth is pretty heavy?  Did you also know, as I found out about five and a half years in, that it is also a sin?

I was doing what I felt was right - saving the world, one student at a time.  What I was really doing was working hard (at the detriment of my own family, might I add) to build the "kingdom of Steve."  The "kingdom of Steve" turned out to be a lonely and desolate place... but that is what happens when we build a "kingdom of whatever."  Student ministry had become my god, and I had set myself up as well-tanned messiah with really cool hair.  It's no wonder the whole thing crumbled.  Any ministry that serves itself instead of God is going to fail... it just is.  And any kingdom where a person not the King sits in the King's place, is going to fall... every time.

What changed for me was when I realized what I had been doing, and how I had assumed the responsibility for everyone else to "get it," all the while ignoring whether my own family did or not.  That's why, as a pastor, I absolutely love these words of the great Hebrew leader, Joshua.  You have to decide for yourselves - I am responsible for myself and my household.  Oh, I'm responsible to live according to God's vision for my life, which is to preach & teach His Word, and I'm responsible to do it in such a way that the Truth, the Way, and the Life of Jesus are understandable... I'm responsible to be a "missionary" to the culture I am called to.  But most of all, I am responsible to follow Jesus, to love God with all I have, to live by God's Word, and to teach my children to do the same.

While I do care whether or not you get it... I care more than you know... I am not responsible for whether you get it or not.  So, choose which god is God, and do it today.  Whether you choose this god or that god or yourself... as for me, and my house, we are serving the LORD.

Comments

Tina said…
This, my shiny friend, is one of the profound lessons I have had to learn along the journey as well. Thank you for putting it so well.
Queenzilla said…
Timely and well said, PS.

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