Summary: No matter how spiritual we are, it is a difficult time to raise children to become real radical Christians.
No matter how spiritual we are it is a difficult time to raise children to become a radical Christian. I’m not talking about modern Christianity where they go to church will little evidence of being any different throughout the week than everyone else. I’m talking about biblical Christianity which affects their entire life enabling them to say no to temptation. To raise that type of child is difficult. The Bible says that in these last days there will be a great falling away. Sixty years ago it is estimated that 65% of Americans were Christian but 20 years from now the estimate is only 4%. That’s almost none! It’s almost impossible! There is hope. In the book of Joshua they were a lot of similarities to America today. (Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua… Joshua 24:31a). This would include his children wouldn’t it?
If you studied this book called Joshua you would discover several similarities with Israel and with America.
They left Egypt, we left England They fought to inherit the land we fought to inherit this land. They kept turning to idols, we keep turning to “idols”.
At the closing of the book of Joshua, Joshua gave everybody a strict challenge, a challenge to serve the Lord whole-heartedly not half-heartedly. They were serving Him half-heartedly like many today.
If we really want our children to be different let’s get some directions for dads from this dad who was different.
JOSHUA A FOLLOWER OF GOD v. 15 When you study out the life of Joshua to put the word follow anywhere close to him seems like an oxymoron. He led the army into battle. Even when Moses was alive, he wasn’t a follower of Moses, he was a follower of God. (Num. 32:12)
Wholly means fully. His walk wasn’t wavering. He didn’t walk with God on Sunday and different on Saturday. One day Joshua made a decision to turn and follow after God. To walk with God means to change direction. Amos 3:3 says can two walk together unless they agree. It means He is my Lord and I follow Him. To walk with God means He leads me. It’s to admit that I don’t know how to raise Godly children. It’s the mindset of “Lord, I really need you.” That’s opposite of most men’s mindset-we’re so independent.
JOSHUA WAS FOCUSED ON HOME v. 15 To help us better understand this, notice three different words: parent, promise and practice. The parent is making the decision here, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.” The promise, “We will serve the Lord.” The practice, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
Don’t misunderstand me, I believe we should let our children grow up and make their own decisions. You’ll find this strategy in Luke 15. The choice-The consequences-The compassion. THE CHOICE-The finances ran out, the fun ran out, the food ran out. THE CONSEQUENCES-It is consequences that usually teach us better than anything. Sometimes parents are far too quick to rescue. THE COMPASSION-He never got on to his son, he just loved him. This parent let his son make his own choice and there was a reason but he did not allow him to compromise in his house. He did not allow him to practice wild living in his house. If he had then this parent would be conforming to the world himself and possibly would have never won his son.
JOSHUA WHO FINISHED HIS RACE v. 27-29 This guy was 110 yrs. Old and still ministering. He followed the Lord to the end! What would have happened if he wholly followed the Lord for three years and quit or for thirty years and quit? Notice how serious this is in v. 20. Forsake means to leave. Why would anyone forsake the Lord to serve foreign gods? v. 15 It’s called idols. An idol is anything we allow to be priority in our life other than God Himself. (Sports, entertainment, self) If we’re not careful it could cost us our relationship with God and even cost us our own children. The temptation out there will be more likely to get them.
Are you fully following the Lord? Are you focused on home? Are you finishing this race?