And I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant; now therefore fear.([reverence) the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the river and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. And if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the river, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house we will serve the LORD.”
The above passage was one I was led to some time ago and I have always been blessed by it no matter how many times I read it. In studying the writings of the Old Testament (OT) every believer must understand that everything found there is a “type” [pattern] or “shadow” of some area of our Christian walk today.
There are numerous exploits of men and women of faith, as well as many stories of great value that will help us to know and understand our Heavenly Father, and the wondrous LOVE He has for all of His children.
In the Old Testament we see God’s dealings with His chosen people, the Israelites, and His efforts to keep them separate from the rest of the nations. The Bible is filled with many constant, never-changing themes – and this is not surprising when one comes to the realization that our God is the same, yesterday, today and forever – but perhaps the most striking aspect of our Heavenly Father’s unwavering will is His steadfast desire and command for those who would serve Him to:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind”….Luke 10:27
Never has there EVER been made a provision anywhere in the Word of God for the believer to serve God with anything less than a pure and undefiled devotion.
Yet, as we look around us today, we see much within the church that is “outside’ of the will of the Father and, thus, not in accordance with His Word.
In this last of the last hour, EVERY believer must make some crucial decisions concerning their walk with the Heavenly Father [and His Word] – for His righteous judgment is upon us in the Body of Christ, and the church is now in the intense process of being refined and purified of “ALL” that is apart from Jesus Christ!
PUTTING OUR TRUST AND DEPENDENCE ON ANYTHING THAT IS NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE WORD (OR WILL OF GOD) CONSTITUTES “IDOLATRY”
In the above passage of Scripture, Joshua was reviewing the wondrous deliverance of the people of Israel out of Egypt, the house of bondage and he was reminding the people of the “promised land” that God had provided for them without “their” labor, and the cities which ‘they” had not built.
This is of course, a type of our inheritance in Jesus Christ. As we are born into the family of God we, too, come into an inheritance that has already been bought and paid for [established] by the Blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary.
Many children of God “allow” themselves to be deceived by the Evil One into thinking that they must contribute something of their “own” ability when, in reality, they are called only to obey the Word [Will] of God. While this is certainly no small task, the believer can rest assured that the Father has sent His Spirit to come and dwell in our hearts – to teach us and lead us into ALL truth.
Our Heavenly Father has made EVERY provision for us in Christ Jesus just as He made every provision for His chosen people, Israel, when they entered into the Promised Land.
As we look closer at the circumstances that were taking place as Joshua spoke to the people of Israel we come to the realization that they had been in the Promised Land for some time and had inhabited the land.
In just the same way, many children of God have been in Christ for a period of time after they were first born anew without much spiritual growth. As Joshua spoke to the people of Israel he put them in remembrance of what God had done, and in verse 14 he warned the people sternly to put away the idols and traditions which were in their past that they might serve the Lord with their “whole” heart.
As Joshua spoke by the Spirit of God it was obvious that some of the people were either backsliding by worshipping other idols (gods) or that they had become “comfortable” with some of the customs of the previous inhabitants of the land.
Sadly, both these areas are still prevalent amongst many children of God today, and our Heavenly Father is just as grieved today as He was then.
Putting our trust and dependence on anyone or anything that is not (NOT) in accordance with the Word [Will] of God constitutes “idolatry” in the life of the believer.
To say it another way, anything that we cherish or exalt in any way over our Heavenly Father and His Word is an idol, and it must be cast down from its position in our lives – for these things will only lead the child of God to experience corruption, darkness [spiritual blindness] and death in their walk.
GOD HAS NEVER SETTLED FOR “SECOND PLACE” AT ANY TIME – AND HE NEVER WILL!
Many Christians have no concept at all of the fact that “heart-fellowship” with the world is sin! Centuries of “mental assent” to the Word of God have made it acceptable to do almost anything in many areas of the church, and this is a certain abomination to God!
As believers continue on in “fellowship” with the “world” satan will easily keep them apart from the Word [Will] of God – for their eyes will be blinded to the truth, and they will continue on “unaware” that they are outside of the Covenants of promise – and, thus, have become “open targets” for the destructive schemes of the Evil One.
How important it is for every child of God to find out what the Word of God truly “says” [through revelation], and “act” on it in the power of the Holy Spirit – for this is the only way for one who has departed to any degree from the Will of God to enter back onto the path wherein the “fullness” of their destiny, in Christ, lies.
Again, it is very important for every child of God to stop the foolishness of retaining sin in their lives through the “self-desire” – a self-desire that is fueled through fellowship with the “world”, and the “spirit of idolatry” that is one of its chief characteristics. As Joshua spoke to the people in verse 15 he said, “… and if it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.” Some of the people, as I mentioned before, were truly content to settle for what “they” wanted rather than to serve the Lord – so what Joshua was really saying to the people was “make your decision today, for the Lord your God will NOT settle for second place in your lives”.
It must be clearly understood by all that who would truly serve Him: God has never settled for “second” place at any time – and He never will!
Related Scriptures: Hebrews 13:8; Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 4:17; John 15:5; John 14:26; John 16:13
This article was written to inspire and exalt the precious Body of Christ by my teacher and mentor Rev. Dr. Samuel Kurian Thomas. Be Blessed!
Bro Chim TS,
Rev. Dr. Sam Kurian Thomas, D. Min.
Dr. Thomas has been in ministry since 1972. He is the Presiding Elder of the Apostolic Council of the Apostolic Faith Church. The Mission of the Church is the RESTORATION OF APOSTOLIC CHRISTIANITY.
After handing over pastoral duties to others, Dr. Thomas through Daystar School of Leadership & Daystar School of Ministry has been actively engaged in leadership and ministry training for pastors and ministers for more than 15 years, focusing especially on Third World Nations; and providing them free training materials. His mission is to establish Apostolic Christianity.
He has been actively working with other Apostolic / Prophetic leaders of the Church to form Apostolic Councils from Africa to Fiji in the Pacific. The Council provides ordination, oversight and leadership for ministers, ministries and fellowships who desire to be part of Apostolic Christianity as patterned in the Scriptures and that is emerging everywhere today. We contend earnestly for the Apostolic Faith that was once for all delivered to the Saints (Jude 3).
Dr. Thomas is in the process of setting up these schools in Malaysia at Zenith Corporate Park, Kelana Jaya, Malaysia. The schools will begin operations in January 2016. He and his Team intend to activate the Saints through the mobile school – Daystar Apostolic School of Ministry and Daystar Leadership Training for the fulfillment of purpose and destiny, equipping potential leaders by recognizing, raising, and releasing seasoned, proven, mature, valid and fruitful ministry in the body of Christ according to Ephesians 4:13. The Lord also, is bringing His ministers, Christian businessmen / businesswomen, professionals and all believers into perfect alignment to God’s will through teaching, training, mentoring and oversight; and maintaining these relationships in the love of Christ.
At this moment, he holds revival meetings called “LIVING FREE MINISTRIES” every Sunday at 5.30 pm and speaks at various fellowships and groups.
Dr. Thomas and his wife Rosaline steward Bethesda House in Bandar Country Homes, Rawang, Malaysia. It is a home for children who have been disadvantaged due to life’s circumstances. They have been involved in this ministry of rescuing children from poverty and abuse for the last 25 years. The Home is almost entirely supported by freewill gifts that Dr. Thomas receives from Christian ministry as well as helping business people to develop leadership and sharing ideas for growth of their enterprises.
Dr. Thomas has written & compiled many books and training manuals for personal, Christian leadership and ministry development. They are available upon written request. You also may invite to speak him to speak at any of your meetings.
ZENITH CORPORATE PARK
BLOCK A-8-2 (2ND FLOOR)
JALAN SS 7/26, KELANA JAYA,
47301 PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA
Phone Contact in Malaysia : 017 3907605
Note: In your giving, remember also the needy. You can bless BETHESDA HOUSE, which is located in Rawang, Malaysia. It is a home for children disadvantaged due to life’s circumstances.
No. 4, Jalan Desa 8/4,
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48000 Rawang, Selangor,
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