This post came to mind when I read a passage this week in Joshua. Below are a few of the scriptures that made me reflect on this topic and understand the importance of the choice I made.
… you well know with all your heart and with all your soul that not one word out of all the good promises that Jehovah your God has spoken to you has failed. They have all come true for you. Not one word of them has failed.Joshua 23:14
Now if it seems bad to you to serve Jehovah, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve, whether the gods that your forefathers served on the other side of the River or the gods of the Amʹor·ites in whose land you are dwelling. But as for me and my household, we will serve Jehovah.” At this the people answered: “It is unthinkable for us to abandon Jehovah and to serve other gods.Joshua 24:15-16
So Joshua said to the people: “You are witnesses against yourselves that of your own accord, you have chosen for yourselves to serve Jehovah.” To this they said: “We are witnesses.”Joshua 24:22
Choosing to serve God is no small thing. Throughout my life I believed in God but as I look back, up to 2009, I was not serving him in a way that was acceptable. I was of the mindset that believing and praying for forgiveness was enough. Those things are important but in addition, I needed to stop doing things that were displeasing to him. I was practicing sin and asking forgiveness and not even thinking twice before doing the same thing again.
Jesus told the apostle Peter we should forgive up to 77 times (that does not mean a literal 77, that means continually). God knows we are imperfect, he knows our weaknesses and he knows our hearts. Therefore, he knows when we are genuinely trying and when we are willfully disobeying his commands. The difference is willful disobedience, like a child when they willfully disobey a parent, there are consequences for the action.
As I came to learn more and get to know my Heavenly Father, Jehovah, I learned his qualities, the dominant ones being Wisdom, Power, Justice, and most of all Love. I grew to love him for all he has done and all he will do for me; this drew me closer to him. After a 4 year trek studying the Bible and learning the truths that many think are a mystery which are actually answers in plain sight, I decided to dedicate my life to serving Jehovah. That meant big changes for me. During the four years, I started putting away things that were displeasing to him, I changed my lifestyle and the crowds I ran with started changing, that is the natural evolution of change. It does not mean I quit caring about the people I used to spend time with, but the things we had in common were going away from my life. It is not reasonable to spend time with people who do not have common goals and expect that they will not rub off on you. Change is necessary.
Given all the above, I continued making progress, all the while my goal has been to work out my relationship with Jehovah and Jesus. The Bible tells us over and over that Jehovah is a God of exclusive devotion, we must have no other Gods before him, things that we least expect can become like a God in our lives, money, famous people, sports figures, sports themselves, tv… you get the drift, anything that distracts us from serving God. These things themselves are not bad, but when we put seeking or doing them above God, that becomes the problem; it’s all about balance.
Do I regret choosing Jehovah? Never! The choice I made means my life.
My life, although drastically changed, has never been better, I have never felt so much happiness and fulfillment. I have a huge, worldwide spiritual family and I am a better daughter, mother, wife, sister and friend. I learned the truth about God, something I had never been taught before and I appreciate the willing sacrifice by his son Jesus and Jehovah’s tender affection, loyal love and support he provides to me by various means.
I had to make many sacrifices and changes in my life; I am coming up on 6 years since my dedication to Jehovah, I still struggle with making needed changes, and the “old me” comes out sometimes, but I am a work in progress and I have a long way to go. I can say that hands down, no question about it, I would not change my life today for the life I had before! This is really the best life ever!!