Be Very Careful to Love God


Joshua knows he’s about to die. Joshua 23 and 24 are his farewell words to the people of Israel, including a charge to the leaders. In Joshua 23 he gives them the warning to be very careful to love the Lord their God. Why wouldn’t they love Him? Because they might fall in love with themselves.

That’s what happened to Satan. God created a perfect being. Satan was supposed to see God’s good work when he looked at himself. Instead, he took his perfection as having to do with himself alone, apart from God. He used his free will to love himself in pride instead of in humility, recognizing the Creator.

Joshua first reminds them that even though one of the Israelites can make a thousand of the enemy turn and flee, it’s because the Lord is fighting with him. This is something King David knew. He knew he had the strength to leap walls and to put the enemy to flight, but he knew it came from the Lord. While others sang of David’s ability to kill tens of thousands, praising his name, he humbled himself and sang praises to God for being the one who fought for him.

We can receive praise sent our way because we know that it was really the Lord’s work. All praise should be reflected, redirected to Him. When people praise my novel and say how great it is, I have learned to receive the praise instead of hide from it because it is really praise for God and what He accomplished. I might say in return, “Thank you. It really is a good book. The Lord inspired it. It was a gift from Him.”

I like to say to people that EP is as much a gift to me as to everyone else when they start praising my work with it. I know EP only exists because the Lord built it. Yes, it takes hours of work daily, not to mention the years put into it, but all that was given me by the Lord, from the skills to organize it to the faithfulness to keep at it to the support team He’s sent me to carry the workload.

Psalm 100 has one line that seems strange, unless you see it from this perspective. It says that it is God who made us, and not we ourselves. Of course, we know we didn’t make ourselves; God is the One who created us and knit us together in the womb. But if you think of it from the perspective of putting to flight the thousand, it makes sense. There are no self-made men. God raises up. God brings down. Acknowledge His work in your life that made you who you are.