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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Whom Do You Serve?

“Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.” — Psalm 2:11 (ESV)

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 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 in the region 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.” — Joshua 24:14-15 (ESV)

Singer, songwriter, and poet Bob Dylan emphasizes a truth with his lyrics in his song “Gotta Serve Somebody”:

You may be an ambassador to England or France,

You may like to gamble, you might like to dance.

You may be the heavyweight champion of the world;

You may be a socialite with a long string of pearls.

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed,

You’re gonna have to serve somebody.

No matter who we are, our role, or how independent we believe we are, we are created to serve. The question is: Whom will we serve?

The Psalmist reminds us to serve the LORD with fear (reverence, respect, and awe) and to rejoice with trembling. “Serve,” “rejoice,” “fear,” and “trembling” are appropriate responses in worship. These words describe our intentions to live in submission, not rebellion to the One we serve. Having an appropriate fear of God reflects deep reverence and respect for the One we serve.

Joshua addresses all of Israel, reminding them of God’s covenant with them. It was a necessary reminder. They’re surrounded by many “gods” appealing for their allegiance. But Joshua reminds them they are to fear the LORD and serve YAHWEH in sincerity and faithfulness. To God, fidelity matters. He instructs them to put away the gods their fathers served and only serve the LORD. The choice was theirs to make.

Every day we are tempted to serve someone, some ideal, or something. Our gods of choice may be drugs, sex, power, fame, or fortune—all of which appeal to appeasing ourselves. But our decisions will ultimately be self-serving unless we recognize WHOM we serve. Here are some questions to frequently ask ourselves:

  • Will this decision honor God?

  • Will this decision advance God’s mission?

  • How will this decision impact me? How will it impact others?

The decisions we make reflect whom we serve. Choose wisely.

Are you looking for a place to receive spiritual direction and encouragement in these challenging times? Please consider joining my mailing list. Each Wednesday you’ll receive my latest blog posts with practical content designed to support you in your life and faith.

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