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Which God Will You Choose?

FaithFi: Faith & Finance | Apr 1, 2024


Show Notes

Historical Context and Modern Implications

After crossing the Jordan into the promised land, the Israelites fought the battle of Jericho. Joshua was their leader, and the Lord gave them the victory. In Joshua 24, the general reminds his people of God’s faithfulness to them at Jericho and through their history.  He ends by making that memorable statement of faith: “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

As Christians in a non-Christian culture, we are also called to take a stand. We can either choose to serve the gods of this world, or the Lord. It’s not easy for us, and it wasn’t easy for the Israelites. There were temptations everywhere to serve other Gods.  That’s why Joshua reminds the people over and over, 

“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous.

In the New Testament, Paul echoes Joshua’s call to the Israelites in 1 Corinthians 16:13: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.” It takes courage, determination, and trust in the Lord to withstand the worldly desires and impulses that assault us every day.

Facing Today's False Gods

So, what are some of the false gods we deal with today? Larry Burkett used to say that a false god is “anything that detours our commitment to God”. So, anything you focus on, depend on, or put your trust in other than the Lord is a false god, or an idol. Let’s look at a few of today’s idols:

  • Financial Security can become an idol. You might be depending on your retirement plans, savings accounts, and investment income to see you through, but financial security won’t save you in the end.
  • Another false god is government provision. Do you expect welfare programs, federal relief checks, or government handouts to meet your needs? These are only temporary fixes. God is your ultimate provider. 
  • For some folks, power is what they trust. Personal status, reputation, and financial influence might seem desirable, but these don’t have the power to bring peace.
  • Another idol you’ll see everywhere is the idea of personal autonomy.  “I did it my way” seems empowering.  “Follow your own desires” looks appealing, and “I deserve this” feels right, but all of these represent a world view that puts you on the throne of your life.  Selfishness and pride are sins that leave no room for the Lord.

It’s possible to be strong in a worldly way, either physically, or by sheer human determination. But I don’t think that’s what Joshua meant when he challenged his people to “be strong and courageous”. True strength is defined by its source, and when the Lord is your source, your strength is from him. Our faith in God is our trust in him to be our strength in times of need.

As it says in Psalm 20, God’s people can “rise up and stand firm”, because “we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” But what if you don’t choose to serve the Lord?

Well, the consequences of trusting in false gods are severe. Throughout God’s word you’ll find warnings against bowing down to idols. Israel suffered God’s judgment many times for their unfaithfulness. On the other hand, there are many benefits to trusting the Lord instead of false gods.

A Call To Choose Christ

One benefit is a closer walk with Christ. Following biblical principles in your financial choices means you’re listening closely to what God wants for you, reading His Word and trusting Christ to lead you. When you invite God into this important area of your life…you’ll begin to understand 1 Timothy 6, “godliness with contentment is great gain.”

Another benefit that comes with trusting God in your finances is peace.  When your financial choices are made “in Christ”, the result is peace, because God is in control.  As it says in Romans 8:6, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

While worldly desires and attitudes will lead people astray, pursuing God’s way in your financial life can bring spiritual growth. 1 Peter 2:1-3 gives this advice: “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”

Another benefit to trusting God in your financial life is the blessing of generosity. When we give…willingly and generously…we are acknowledging God’s lordship over everything. 1 Chronicles 29:14 says, “…For everything is from you, and we only give you what we have received from you.”  

You can make your financial decisions according to God’s principles…or according to secular, worldly ideas. Like Joshua, you must “choose for yourself this day whom you will serve.” We pray that you will choose to serve Christ, and trust the Lord with everything.

On Today’s Program, Rob Answers Listener Questions:

  • I rolled over my previous annuity to a F&G annuity about two years ago. The way it was presented to me was that I was supposed to make some money and sadly it hasn’t grown at all. So I didn’t know whether to try to roll it into something else or what. I also have the ability to take out $20,000 a year without any penalties and we’ve got some house repairs that we wanted to take care of before I retired. Would it be wise to do that? 
  • I’m 70 and my wife is 69 and we want to do a reverse mortgage but don’t know where to start. We probably owe between 35-40% of the home’s value left on the mortgage. We also have an investment in a local credit union where we’re getting 5% every 11 to 13 months. Also, do you have any suggestions for how to maintain the lowest prices for home and car insurance since all of those prices seem to be going up? 

Resources Mentioned:

Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Faith & Finance is also available on the Moody Radio Network as well as American Family Radio. Visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.

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