Who's the Boss of Me? You Gotta Choose!
My absolute favorite thing about being an elementary school substitute teacher, is listening to the conversations between the children. One minute they're talking about super heroes and video games, the next minute their conversations have moved on to birthday parties and how many teeth they've lost.
While on the playground recently, an argument broke out between two pint-sized kindergarteners. It peaked with both students, hands-on-hips, nose-to-nose, shouting back-and-forth at each other, "You're not the boss of me!"
This comment was volleyed between the two until they both just walked away…desperately looking for some adult to tell their side of the story. Several minutes later, with no luck for either of them victoriously pleading their cases before the playground justice system, the two were back playing together again, not even remembering what they were arguing about, or that they were even at odds with each other.
But their statement did make me think…
"Who is the boss of me?"
You Gotta Serve Somebody
In 1979 Bob Dylan wrote and released the song, You Gotta Serve Somebody. It won the Grammy Award for best Rock Vocal Performance by a Male that year. Regardless of what your personal opinion is of Dylan, the lyrics to this song are definitely on target. Here is a verse and the chorus:
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
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you're gonna have to serve somebody
The song contains multiple verses that reflect a variety of contrasting lifestyles and professions, pedigrees and idiosyncrasies. However, the chorus always leads the listener back to the fact that confronts us all…"But you're gonna have to serve somebody."
Serve the Lord Alone
In Joshua 24, the Lord's covenant is renewed with all the tribes of Israel. Joshua begins this chapter by reminding the people all the Lord, the God of Israel, has done for them – the provisions, the miracles, and the victories.
Joshua is very specific about what must happen next, if the people of Israel are truly serious about serving the Lord:
"So fear the Lord and serve him wholeheartedly. Put away forever the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord alone.” Joshua 24:14 NLT
Did you catch that?
Serve the Lord alone.
In the next verse, Joshua put it out there and let everybody know exactly where he and his family stood about serving the Lord. They were all in.
“But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 NLT
He said it. It's out there now. No backtracking, crawfishing, or being taken out of context.
"But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord."
Joshua remembered all too well the past rebellion and sins committed by the children of Israel. That is why he warned them and challenged them, and even doubted their ability to truly serve the Lord. But this time, the people of Israel were serious.
“The people said to Joshua, ‘We will serve the Lord our God. We will obey him alone.’ So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day at Shechem, committing them to follow the decrees and regulations of the Lord.” Joshua 24:24-25 NLT
And serve the Lord they did.
“The people of Israel served the Lord throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him -- those who had personally experienced all that the Lord had done for Israel.” Joshua 24: 31 NLT
That generation chose well whom to serve.
Refresh Your Souls with Salvation
We all get weary from time-to-time. For whatever reason. Life can be difficult. We all carry some sort of burdens, with varying degrees of weight. We all have messed up. We've all sinned.
But Jesus invites us all to come. "Come to me, all…" It doesn't matter what you've done. It does not matter who you are, or who you think you are. Come…right now! Just as you are.
That's Jesus' personal invitation to us all…come.
"Come to me, all who are weary and heavily burdened (by religious rituals that provide no peace), and I will give you rest (refreshing your souls with salvation). Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me (following Me as My disciple), for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest (renewal, blessed quiet) for your souls. For My yoke is easy (to bear) and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 AMP
You gotta serve somebody. Serve the Lord alone. His yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Make Jesus Christ "the boss of you."