The great probing
Ye cannot serve the Lord. Joshua 24:19
Have you the slightest reliance on any thing other than God? Is there a remnant of reliance left on any natural virtue, any set of circumstances? Are you relying on yourself in any particular in this new proposition which God has put before you? That is what the probing means. It is quite true to say—‘I cannot live a holy life’; but you can decide to let Jesus Christ make you holy. “Ye cannot serve the Lord God”—but you can put yourself in the place where God’s Almighty power will work through you. Are you sufficiently right with God to expect Him to manifest His wonderful life in you?
“Nay, but we will serve the Lord.” It is not an impulse, but a deliberate commitment. You say—‘But God can never have called me to this, I am too unworthy, it can’t mean me.’ It does mean you, and the weaker and feebler you are, the better. The one who has something to trust in is the last one to come anywhere near saying—‘I will serve the Lord.’
We say—‘If I really could believe!’ The point is—If I really will believe. No wonder Jesus Christ lays such emphasis on the sin of unbelief. “And He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” If we really believed that God meant what He said—what should we be like! Dare I really let God be to me all that He says He will be?