Faith sat down on the edge of her bed and reached for the Bible. It was already past 10:00 and she had to get up early the next day, but she couldn’t go to bed without spending some time reading her Bible and praying. She loved her special time of talking to God before going to sleep at night. Somehow it gave her such a peaceful feeling, and a knowledge that God would be close to her all through the night.
But for some reason, that peaceful feeling didn’t come tonight. Instead, Faith felt troubled—a little heavy inside. She tried to ignore it. I’m just tired, she thought. I had a big day today, with tests in two classes and a lesson right after school. But the feeling didn’t go away.
Her Bible opened to Joshua 14. She had her marker there because that was the text for next Sunday’s lesson. Her eyes fell on Joshua 14:8, “. . . but I wholly followed the Lord my God.” It was just like the words jumped out at her. “I wholly followed . . .”
She knew what was troubling her. It was no use trying to pretend that she didn’t. I feel God is asking me to really give Him my whole life, she admitted to herself at last. I know this has been weighing on my heart for several weeks, ever since Brother Gary preached about entire consecration.
Up until that night she had been just going along, happy in her Christian life and sure everything was the way it should be between her and God. She had been asked to sing in the young people’s choir, and that was fun. She always studied her Sunday school lesson, and entered into the discussions in her Sunday school class. She even helped out once a month or so in the church nursery.
But after Brother Gary’s sermon, she realized that God wanted something more from her. What she was doing was fine, but He wanted a wholehearted commitment—a purpose in her heart that she would let God make all the important decisions for her, that He would be her Guide and she would follow wherever He led.
Can I really let God decide everything for me? she wondered. Not just which classes to take next year when she started high school, but even the friends she chose, what she did with her spare time, and things like that. And looking ahead into the future—the guys she would date, the job she would train for, where she would live, who she would marry, . . .
What if God wanted me to do something that would keep me poor all my life, she thought. Or maybe He would tell me to go to some strange country, far away from all my family and friends. What if He decided I shouldn’t get married?
The words of the Bible verse she had just read went through her mind again, and she looked back and read the whole story of Caleb. She saw how God’s punishment had fallen on a whole generation of Israelites, because they had feared to go in and possess the land God had promised them—all except for Caleb and Joshua. Then she turned again to Joshua 14 and read how Caleb told Joshua that he had wholly followed the Lord and how Moses had promised him that the land he had walked on would be his and his children’s forever.
I know God’s blessings are real, and they are sure to follow those who wholeheartedly commit their lives to Him. Can I say yes, or will I be like those thousands of Israelites who turned their backs on God? Faith pondered.
As she knelt to pray, the tears flowed down her cheeks. “I give every part of my life to You, to use as You see fit, Lord,” Faith said earnestly. And into her heart came a sweet peace and an assurance that she had done the right thing.