“Now obey the LORD and worship Him with integrity and loyalty. Put aside the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and worship the LORD. If you have no desire to worship the LORD, choose today whom you will worship, whether it be the gods whom your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. But I and my family will worship the LORD!” Joshua 24:14-15 (NET1)
In his final message to the people of Israel, Joshua challenges them to worship the Lord with integrity and loyalty. Another translation replaces the word integrity with “wholeheartedly.” Do you worship like that? Do you give your minds full attention and your hearts full affection to God in worship? To worship God with integrity is to worship wholeheartedly. As you prepare to worship today be proactive. Set your mind on God. Remove the mental distractions that may prevent your full attention from being given to God. Open your heart to Him. Put aside anything or anyone that would compete for your heart’s affection and love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
Joshua said that worshipping God with integrity was a choice. We can’t make God the object of our worship and hold onto other idols in our lives. An idol is anything or anyone that takes God’s place in our lives. We may not worship carved images and foreign gods today, but we have idols that can replace God; idols like money, fame, work, or pleasure. These can become gods when we concentrate too much of our time and energy on them for personal identity, meaning or security. Before long, they can control our thoughts, time, and resources.
Ask yourself, what has the central place in my life? When Joshua asked this of the people of Israel, he gave them his own answer. He said, “I and my family will worship the LORD!”
If you want to make it through the wilderness of stress and experience the peace your soul longs for, make the choice today to worship the Lord wholeheartedly.