An Unqualified Yes

I spend quite a bit of time in the trees of Bible Study, so I try to discipline myself to stop and look at the forest on a regular basis. This year, I'm reading through The Message. It wouldn't be great for intense Bible Study - it isn't a "translation" of the Bible, just a paraphrase. But, it's a really good paraphrase and I regularly find that it shines new light on a passage I've read a hundred times somewhere else.

For example: I love how Eugene Peterson handles Joshua's challenge to the people of Israel at Shechem in Joshua 24.  These are Joshua's last words to the people of Israel and they're determined to convince him that they'll be faithful long after he's gone.

He knows better.

He walks back through Israel's history with them and reminds them that Israel has always been unfaithful, but that God has remained faithful nonetheless. Time after time, Israel was unfaithful even after watching God work miraculously, but time after time God took them back.

The people say "Count us in: We too are going to worship God. He's our God" (Joshua 24:18).

Joshua knows better.

Joshua challenges them again: "You can't do it; you're not able to worship God... He won't put up with your fooling around..." But the people remain convinced.

Joshua knows better, but he draws a line in the sand for them, and I love this:

Joshua said, "Now get rid of all the foreign gods you have with you. Say an unqualified Yes to God, the God of Israel."

Say an unqualified "yes" to God, the God of Israel.

It's easy to say to God, "Yes, but..." or "Yes, if..."

Joshua's words make it really clear: God desires the unqualified Yes. For Him, it's the difference between worship and idolatry.

In what area of your life do you need to say an unqualified Yes to God, the God of Israel?