Our lives are filled with opportunities for new beginnings. For me, those new beginnings have always been closely tied to a new perspective or understanding of God. Something in my life happens to rattle my cage, wake me out of a slumber, shock me with new awareness or praise my way to new submission. When the Israelites were entering the Promise Land, a new beginning was taking place. Early on Joshua instructs them with the foundation of their future as he implores them to “revere the Lord.” Some translations say “fear the Lord” but the instruction of his words is the same for them and us.
The words mean to stand in awe of God. The Israelites are encouraged to view God in a different manner than they have previously viewed Him. It is a view of God that calls for His people to be uncomfortable. It means to view God in a way that will not allow casual, common or cliché to be attached to it. It is a holy reverence for God.
Many believers understand the word “holy” means to be set apart. That is the basic foundation that guides Joshua’s instruction. It is about choosing to engage God in such a way within our lives that He is set apart to a place that is garnished with importance.
The goal is not to make God a priority; the goal is to make God the priority within our lives. Joshua’s reasoning was simple: Life takes on a different perspective when we take on a different perspective of God. The parable of the teaching is this: Change your view, change your life.