“Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD God of Israel.”Joshua 24:23
Joshua was the son of Nun and Moses’ assistant. He led the Israelites after Moses’ death and during the conquest of Canaan. This was the second time he told the people to throw away the idols and yield their hearts to the Lord (Joshua 24:14). Joshua was about to die and he wanted the people of Israel to understand that idol worship was against what God commanded and would cripple their momentum toward receiving what God had promised.
What idols do you have that you need to throw away so you can give your whole heart and undivided attention to God? We have idols all around us today, and they are a big distraction to our relationship with the Lord. Is it:
- Your cell phone? – Just walk into a public place. How many people do you see with bent necks gazing into their smartphones, while ignoring their family members during dinner at a restaurant? How many people do you see in church, on the street, and on their jobs scrolling the pages of social media?
- Your family or friends? Of course, we shouldn’t throw them away. But at times we had to separate from those who are living in sin especially if they are trying to pull us in another direction. When Abraham’s name was Abram, God called him away from family and friends so He could bless Abraham and his seed. (Genesis 12:1-3)
- Your career, your personal agendas, your plans, and your plans?
- What about you? Yes, we can get in the way of being totally devoted to God.
This passage is a daily call for us to put away the foreign gods in our lives. In the list above, numbers one through four have become idols to many people. Let’s incline (yield) our hearts to the Lord. God wants our undivided attention because His love and plans for us are much greater than the distractions in our lives.
Our Father in heaven, who is holy and whose kingdom is coming, we need you to help us put away the idols of our day. The children of Israel had work to do, and we have work to do today where your kingdom is concerned. Help us to turn away from anything that distracts us and give you our undivided attention. In Jesus’ name – Amen.
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