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Pick a Side

“Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord,choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell.But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15

One of my favorite movies is the original Karate Kid. I think if you grew up in the 80's and 90's, you couldn't help but see that movie on every movie channel (we got them when they were preview weekends), or as the movie of the week (this was before we could save, before on demand, and before streaming). or on the rare occasion we went to the video store and got to rent it (sheesh, I guess this makes me old!). In one scene, Mr. Miyagi, who's taken the main character, Daniel Laruso, under his wing to teach him is telling Daniel he needs to commit: “Daniel-san, must talk. Walk on road. Walk right side, safe. Walk left side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, [makes squish gesture] get squish, just like grape. Here karate, same thing. Either you karate do, yes, or karate do, no. You karate do, guess so, [makes squish gesture] just like grape.”

In many respects, Christian, God is showing us, daily, that we need to pick a side. I can't be affiliated with a political party as my identity, I can't be defined by my background, I can't allow for my life choices to define who I am AND identify myself in Christ. Christ must be my identity in all parts of my life, or I am trying to live my life like Israel in the Old Testament: trying to serve false gods that serve my base and fleshly nature while pretending to appeal to the one True God in acts of piety in the temple. I can't be on the side of the world, on the side of my flesh and be on the side of God at the same time. I will eventually have to choose which side of the road to walk on, or gets, as Mr. Miyagi puts it, get squished like a grape. And, truth be told, though it is not, necessarily a "safe" road, the narrow path to Christ is the only path that leads to life. The choice is being given to us, and entertainment, institutions, flesh, desire, and the world lie on a wide path, while Jesus lies at the end of a straight and narrow one. We need to choose, TODAY, whom we will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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