“Then Joshua built on Mount Ebal an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the Israelites. He built it according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses—an altar of uncut stones, on which no iron tool had been used. On it they offered to the Lord burnt offerings and sacrificed fellowship offerings.” (Joshua 8:30-31)
After Joshua and the army of Israel had defeated Ai, Joshua built the altar to the Lord, as Moses had commanded. In building it according to the Book of the Law, he was being specific and detailed, as well as offering burnt and sacrificed offerings to the Lord. They gave thanks and honor to the Lord, who had delivered them. They were seeking God’s approval in hoping to please Him in what they had done. The endeavor to please God was not just based on what they did and accomplished, but making offerings to Him, and seeking his approval in obedience.
I heard of a testimony by Pastor Francis Chan, who after starting his church in his home and growing it to thousands; he one day asked and starting seeking God’s will on whether God was pleased with what he thought he had accomplished. The church had done many good and great things over the years. He sought God’s approval of what the church under his leadership had done, and was doing. God spoke to Francis, and gave him the answer he did not anticipate. Francis subsequently stepped down from his church, and sought God’s will and assignment for himself; an assignment that would be pleasing unto the Lord. Francis offered his church, God’s church, in sacrifice, and all that he had accomplished as the leader, through the church for many years, to the Lord. It would be in anticipation of the new assignment that he hoped would be pleasing unto God.
Wow, what a revelation! That we can do good and great things; but are we pleasing God, by being in His will? I do not want to be known by God for good and great works, but wrong assignment. This speaks to me, since I have a propensity to say yes to so many things. However, are all the things I do for the Lord, the things He’s called me to do, and therefore being pleasing unto Him. I must know my calling and assignment so that when I offer what I’ve done, to the Lord, it will be pleasing to Him. May I not get distracted to good and great things, that he’s not called me to do.
Dear Lord, thank you for reminding me that through my love for you, that I will serve you in what you’ve called me to do, so that it may be pleasing to you. May I not get caught up in doing everything, but only those things that you’ve called me to do in order to please you, to be obedient, and be in your will..