I’ve always had a fear of heights, but one day some friends talked me into rock climbing. About halfway up my foot slipped. I felt a jolt of terror as I fell in that fraction of a second before the harness caught me. I grabbed my handholds with a white-knuckled grip and pressed my body into the wall, terrified. The word “cling” took on a whole new meaning.
Joshua knew what it meant to cling to the Lord. At the end of Joshua’s life, he called the leaders of Israel together for a farewell address. God had done great things for Israel, but there was still work left to do. Although the Israelites had settled in the promised land, many of the peoples of the land still remained. Joshua knew that the Israelites would face the temptation to intermingle with these people and worship their gods. He urged them instead to hold fast—to cling—to the Lord and the Lord alone.
The word Joshua uses here is a strong verb. “To hold fast” or “to cling” describes the way a husband and wife cling to one another in marriage or the way Ruth clung to Naomi and refused to abandon her. Clinging means holding on to someone so tightly that no daylight comes between you. Clinging to God means embracing him exclusively and fully so that no idol and no other false god can get in the way of your relationship with him.
Like the Israelites, we face the temptation to cling to something other than Jesus. It’s easy to pick on other people’s idols, but the most dangerous idols are the ones we are blind to. An idol can be anything we find security in or give excess authority to direct our lives. Materialism, convenience, distraction, technology, relationships, financial security—all these things can become idols when we follow their advice or demands without considering what God has to say.
We face the same choice the Israelites did: Who will you cling to? God has been faithful to you. Will you be faithful to him? Today, cling to the Lord. Don’t let even a hint of daylight—or idol–come between you and him.
How can you cling to the Lord today?