Right out the gate, I have to make this statement…Everyone and everything can’t go with you! Often we know what God has spoken for our lives and we are headed in the right direction, but we struggle when it comes to leaving people and things behind. Leaving people behind does not make us better than them and it doesn’t mean they are off course. It simply means we have reached a fork in the road and “right” may not be the direction of choice for everyone.
For Joshua, it was more than a fork in the road; instead, it was a dividing line. As Joshua plainly put it, “But if you are unwilling to obey the Lord, then decide today whom you will obey. Will it be the gods of your ancestors beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites here in this land? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua was clear. He knew he had only been successful because God was with him. He attributed the safe passage through the Red Sea to God. His walking across the Jordan River on dry ground was a miraculous feat only because of God. The victories against the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, all the “ites” were accredited to his relationship with God. He admittedly knew he lived on land he did not work for, in a city he did not build, and enjoyed food he did not plant. He had gotten rid of Achan and was now unwilling to allow anything to separate him from his Father or cause him to stumble. If his memory served him correctly, God had previously warned Moses, in the book of Exodus, about the gods of the people who lived in the promised land and God’s final word to them were, “You must have nothing to do with idols” (Exodus 34:17 TLB).
So today I want to ask a couple of questions…Have you reached that fork in the road where a decision has to be made? For where God is taking you, can everything and everyone go with you? Are you unwilling to let go because “we grew up together”? Or does your unwillingness to change lead you to believe “they will just have to accept me the way I am.”
This year, be unwilling to move forward with things that are or could become a hindrance. Don’t compromise your integrity (or like my grandmother would say, your good name) because of an unwillingness to release people who are no longer on the same page with you. Over the years, I have had to let go of many people and many things. From time to time I would find myself unwilling to let go because I did not think my actions or even my friends were “that bad.” But I believe an unwillingness to let go is a sign to God of our unwillingness to trust Him wholeheartedly.
Joshua was unwilling to continue with certain people but here’s a list of things, we should all be unwilling to hold on to if this year is going to be better than the last:
Declare, I am…….
Unwilling to believe this is all God has for me
Unwilling to let my past be the predictor of my future
Unwilling to harbor unforgiveness in my heart
Unwilling to walk with those who always agree with me
Unwilling to be only a hearer of God’s Word
Unwilling to be judgmental
Unwilling to withhold the truth when it needs to be spoken
Unwilling to hide my flaws
Unwilling to be without an accountability partner
Unwilling to only speak faith but not act in faith
Come on now! I know there are other thing you could add to the list. What else should we be unwilling to do or put up with. It’s your turn….GO!