If choosing to serve God is the critical concern of Joshua’s final message to the nation, what exactly does it mean to serve him? I think we all know that serving implies elements of submission and obedience. But there are two important aspects of a Christian’s serving God that go beyond this, and are done to glorify God and compel others toward his glory. Our submitted obedience to him ought to draw attention to his inherently supreme value, and be done in a way that displays our joy in serving. There are ways in which we can serve God that only draw attention to his authority, rather than the fact he is our greatest treasure.

Human to human serving is often in the context of meeting needs. For example, domestic help serves a family’s meal, cleaning, or child care needs. The hired help submits to the authority of the household because it is his job, not because of the inherent value of the master of the house. In fact, we would want to affirm the authority difference has nothing to do with human value as both the household head and domestic employee are made in the image of God. In contrast our service of God is not about meeting God’s needs, for his existence does not depend upon anyone or anything else but himself:

Nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Acts 17:25)

Something to Praise:

Whoever serves, [let it be] as one who serves by the strength that God supplies – in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 4:11, emphasis added)

Whatever our serving the Lord is, whether it be serving him directly, or indirectly through our service to others, it is done for his glory and by the strength he supplies! To serve the Lord by faith, means to answer his call – no more or less than what he asks, and to serve by the strength he supplies. Since he gives us “life and breath and everything” our service is neither burdensome nor anxious. His strength allows us to “serve the Lord with gladness. (Psalm 100:2)” With such serving God is displayed as no less authoritative, but infinitely more desirable!