Make It Ordinary!

“‘And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.’

“The people answered, ‘Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods, for it is the Lord our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. The Lord drove out before us all the peoples... Therefore we also will serve the Lord, for he is our God.’” Joshua 24:15-18

“When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and… of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the Lord had done for Israel. And Joshua.., the servant of the Lord, died… And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel.

“And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals.” Judges 2:6-9a,10-11

It is hard to imagine how Israel could neglect their covenant God and forget all He had done, yet lesser gods enticed them away. What had been an ordinary rhythm of life became as strange as the new gods after which they whored. They lost their first love. (Revelation 2:4)

Pledges made in earnest are kept for just so long. Righteous devotion flames, but over time loses its fuel of love, remembrance, and gratitude. Somewhere between past fervor and today’s stupor is a link broken by disinterest, puffery, and love of ease. Even when warned, fickle flesh will not, cannot, remain faithful apart from Christ. Why has it become so extraordinary to follow steadfastly the high and holy God? (Exodus 1:8; Joshua 24:14,19-24; Judges 2:12-15; Matthew 26:41)

We need to make living for Jesus ordinary! We need to elevate conversation and the substance of living! The vibrant Christian life, to serve and honor Him, should take no exceptional commitment or unique ability- it is who we are and what we do! But when the world around us forgets or has never known what He has done, society grows devoid of acknowledging His influence and worthiness. We must maintain- in every effort- that He’s intimately involved in all our ways. (Psalm 139:3-6)

What will we do to spread and live brightly His light and truth? How are we conveying to the next generation the great deeds of the Lord, and the comfort and blessings of knowing and following His word? How will we stem the tide of idolatry and complaint by exhibiting the normality of joy in obedience, and gratitude?

Father, deepen my trust in Thee as the only way to live. Check and convict my deceitful heart, and lead me daily in Your everlasting, fruitful, ordinary-for-the-faithful way, to Your glorious praise. (Psalm 1:1-4; Jeremiah 17:5-10)

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