Wednesday, November 22 – Joshua 23:11-13
So take great care for yourselves that you love the Lord your God. For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain with you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know with certainty that the Lord your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land which the Lord your God has given you.
For better or worse, we are shaped by what we love. The things we love motivate the things we do. In this passage, before the warnings of what could happen if the people went astray, Joshua’s call was simple, “take great care for yourselves that you love the Lord your God” (v. 11). The consequences for sin could be avoided if this one principle captivated the people. When God is our primary love, we still see the allure of the things of the world, but we see it clearly as empty promises that will not fulfill. When we love God rightly, we want to be close to Him and despise anything that takes us away from Him. When God is our first love, we are fulfilled, knowing we don’t need anything outside of Him.
We can avoid so many heartaches and troubles when He is our priority. Our lives won’t be perfect, and we will still face difficult circumstances, but we will live as God designed, trusting Him as our provider and first love. How much are you pursuing this type of love for God? Are you seeking Him at every moment, or is He a side thought that only comes to mind once or twice a week when you come to church? Genuine love for the Lord will guide you and keep you from the deceptions of the world and give you the everlasting peace that only comes from Him.
- When have you loved something of the world that led you astray?
- How can you seek to grow your affection for the Lord?
- Pray and ask God to help you love Him more each day.