“We Will Serve the Lord”
“Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:14-15
It was the winter of 1969. We were living in St Paul, Minnesota. We had just moved there the summer before from Amarillo, Texas. Arnie and I hadn’t been Christians very long. We had come to know Christ through Arnie’s boss in Amarillo. The only people we knew in Amarillo was his boss and his family and the people in the little Baptist church there. We were very new Christians with a lot of baggage from the past. It wasn’t too long after that when we had the opportunity to move to St Paul where his family was from, so we jumped at the chance to be near family.
We couldn’t find a Baptist church in St Paul that we really liked so we decided to try the little Nazarene church not too far from where we were living. We started attending there and really liked the people, especially the young couples that had families like us. Being around family was great but not the best influence on a couple that was not grounded in their faith. Arnie came from a family that enjoyed their drinks and their parties. It was hard to say no to his cousins when they kept inviting us to their activities. So we soon found ourselves bar hopping or partying on Saturday nights and going to church on Sunday mornings. We had talked about this a lot and really didn’t know how to say no to the things that we knew in our hearts was not what we should be choosing.
One night we had been invited to his cousins to play cards. We had been caught up in their parties before and we really didn’t want to get involved again, but to be loyal to family we accepted the invitation believing that we were the only ones getting together. We arrived at his cousin’s house a little late and pulled up to the garage. We were relieved that there wasn’t anyone else there. We hadn’t been there too long before people started arriving and coming in with their booze and cartons of beer. Things got pretty wild pretty fast. Arnie came to me and said, “We need to leave now.” I agreed and he told his cousin that we needed to leave. His cousin told him sorry you can’t get your car out, everyone is parked behind you. Arnie told him very nicely again that we were leaving and he kept refusing to move the cars. Final Arnie got angry and told him to either move the cars or he would just push them out of the way with his car. His cousin finally had the people move their cars and we left.
The next night we had been invited to get together with a few couples from the church. We decided to go and we had a really great time playing cards and laughing until our sides hurt. There was no drinking, no foul language, no dirty jokes, just good clean fun. We left there that night with a totally different outlook.
It had started to snow and as we were driving home the snow started to really come down in big flakes. As we were driving all of a sudden I saw a pair of hands in the windshield. Hands that were palms up and I could see the nail scars in the middle. I heard a voice in my spirit say, “I showed you two choices. One of the world, that will lead to disaster and one of Me that will lead you down the road I have for you. Which is it going to be? You need to choose.” I realized then that Arnie had pulled the car over to the edge of the road and was sitting there like he had seen a ghost. I looked at him and he looked at me and he said, ‘Did you see what I just saw?” I told him what I had seen and he had seen the same thing. We both knew God had given us a choice to make. Right there in that 57 Chevy station wagon be both made the choice to follow Christ and His way. We never attended another party with his cousins and began to really grow in the Lord in that little Nazarene church. It wasn’t long before God sent us back to California where we began the ministry at the Nazarene Church there as youth directors, which has led us to where I am today. We made a decision back then to serve the Lord and we have never looked back. God has blessed our lives in so many ways over the years of serving Him.
I don’t know where you are today in your walk, but I do know God has a plan for your life. If you are struggling with what He might be wanting you to do, just be assured that He will never ask anything of you that He won’t equip you to do it. I know He has always equipped us to do whatever He has called us to do.
I also know that if He hadn’t met us on that snowy night and offered His hands to us, I wouldn’t be where I am today! As for me and my house we have and will continue to serve the Lord!