“Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.
“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 23:14, 24:14-15 New International Version (NIV)
Joshua is one who fought the good fight. God guided him to finish the work He had begun in Moses to deliver Israel and make good on His promise to Abraham for their inheritance. From this we see another reason for hope in our call to trust in Him. God has done great things. Great is His faithfulness! But He desires that we choose to be faithful to Him. God will not force us to love Him because love must be given freely in order to be the authentic emotion He designed it to be. It must come from our hearts.
The fact that God can examine our hearts and minds may give us pause, but that doesn't change anything. Jesus died for those He already knew were sinners. We are an imperfect people created in the image of God, by God. Yet, as He knit us together in our mothers' wombs and decided to make us in His image, He also chose to give us free will. If is as if He wanted to watch us live our lives and see if the loving, serving, compassionate and faithful part of His character would also prevail in us. Often I have felt that God gave us free will to see if we would realize the best thing to do is give our will right back to Him.
Joshua spoke to people who had tangible evidence of God's faithfulness. Yet, he told them with all they had been through and seen God do, they must make a choice in whom they would serve. Today, we are called to do the same. I don't know how anybody else sees it, but God has done too much for me, seen and unseen, to not receive His glory. Therefore: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."