Many people would love to be like Joshua. But, sad to say, we often do not live with resolve in our christian life as Joseph did. They see him as a man of conviction. But often, we do not act on our intentions to be like Joshua. In the pursuit of living a life fully committed to faith, a clear distinction exists between harboring good intentions and achieving authentic resolve that translates into significant change. Many aspire to embody the unwavering conviction exemplified by Joshua in Joshua 24:15. However, it is crucial to understand that one must first become the Joshua of verse 14.
"Now, therefore, fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." - Joshua 24:14-15
To move beyond mere intentions and embrace genuine commitment, certain character traits must be developed in our hearts with the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Fear of the Lord
"Now therefore fear the LORD…" - Joshua 24:14
The bedrock of true commitment lies in a deep reverence for who the Lord is. Joshua's upbringing and mentorship under Moses taught him that God is the ultimate Judge. He comprehended that God alone determines right and wrong, sufficiency and insufficiency, and administers both rewards and chastisement. Acknowledging God as the ultimate authority becomes the catalyst for genuine commitment.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction." - Proverbs 1:7
If we are to be believers who see their intentions go to settled life living for God, it will happen when we have a proper fear of the Lord as the One who rules all things in our lives.
"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences." - 2 Corinthians 5:10–11
A Commitment to Truth
"Serve him in sincerity and in truth…" - Joshua 24:14
Commitment demands serving God with unreserved sincerity and unwavering truth, leaving no room for hypocrisy. This necessitates wholehearted devotion without pretense. Pretending to be righteous before others while living in the world is incompatible with commitment. A commitment to God's Word is essential. We will mess up, but we repent and get right. Genuine confidence and success come from walking with God in sincerity and truth. Blessings come to those who meditate on His word and faithfully adhere to His guidance.
Put Away The World
"Put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD." - Joshua 24:14
Perhaps the most difficult step in transitioning from intentions to commitment is the act of "putting away." While the world, our flesh, and even the devil may tolerate our intentions, they vigorously oppose our commitment to God. Joshua declared this to his friends, family, and those around him. Although it may be hard, actions must accompany our intentions.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us" - Hebrews 12:1
What must be put away in your life so that your intentions become commitment?
A Definitive Decision
The pivotal distinction between intentions and commitment hinges on a fundamental decision. As Joshua declared in verse 14, "Choose you this day whom ye will serve." It is a choice between this world and Jesus.
Joshua made his choice, transforming his intentions into an unwavering commitment to serve the Lord. The question that remains is whether we, too, are living with intentions or authentic commitment today.