July 20, 2020 First Baptist Church of Thermopolis



By: Pastor Cole Howe

Joshua 24:14-25 (v.14-15)

Every one of us faces “giants” throughout our lives, and these “giants” must be dealt with. Some of them are “sin”, others are not; however, not dealing with them could potentially lead to some sin.  The fact is, God’s people down the millennia have faced giants, both spiritual and literal, and won the victory.

We’ve heard the statement, “That molehill became a mountain”. What starts as something small can soon grow into something gigantic. We must be careful.

Beginning in Genesis 6:4, the Bible introduces us to the Anakims, or the sons of Anak – the giants. These had persistently plagued God’s people, Israel, for generations.

One of the reasons for the Children of Israel’s hesitation in entering the Promised Land was the giants. Forty years later, eighty-five year-old, Caleb, emphatically requests of Joshua to give him that mountain in Hebron as his inheritance, even though it was infested with giants (Joshua 14). Teenage David battled the giant, Goliath, in 1 Samuel 17 and won.

Making decisions can be quite difficult for folks, some even to the point being emotionally paralyzed by it.

The most intimidating moments of choice usually center around the transitioning in life-stages: high school to college, college to career, single to married, working to retirement, etc.

Here’s the important “rub”: no one can make decisions for us. They can pressure, influence, lobby, pray for, threaten, harass, buy, push, steal, or bribe, but they can never make a decision for us when the decision is ours and ours alone to make.

Joshua, toward the end of his ministry as leader of Israel, gives us some tips on decision-making.


Joshua to Israel (v.15), “…choose you this day whom ye will serve…” We will serve someone or something anyway, so let it be the Lord.

Typically, we have a tendency to think of the choice as being between BAD and GOOD, between SIN and RIGHTEOUSNESS. No doubt, there are definite instances of choices like these. Yet, for the Christian, the decisions are most generally between what is better and best.

Daniel “purposed in his heart” to serve the Lord (Daniel 1). Shadrack, Meshack, and Abed-nego resolved to serve the Lord regardless of the intimidating and daunting fiery furnace (Daniel 3).

WHOM are you serving?


We live in a complex world with real issues, hot topics, troubling circumstances, and weighty problems. This presses home the need for simplicity.

To simplify the decision-making process, let’s emphasize the WORD OF GOD. When it came down to it, Joshua sided with God, “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Remember, the Spirit of God will never lead us contrary to the Word of God, and the Word of God will never send us to shame the Son of God.

We live in a time when we must be emphatic about this: WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?

This is a great way of saying, “What does God say about this?” This roots our decision-making, our choices in absolute Truth.

3.   CHRIST – Joshua 24:14-15

With your decision, can you serve the Lord? It’s a simple question – it’s a can or cannot answer.

Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. once said, “Don't sacrifice the permanent on the altar of the immediate.

Too many young people, and many adults too, have made decisions without any thought for the future, and CANNOT serve the Lord as He would have them.

In our decision-making, in our choices, may we have an eye for the future, our eyes in the Book, and our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ.

Pastor Cole Howe is a Wyoming native and Hot Springs County High School graduate (1989). He has served as the pastor of Moab Baptist Church in Moab, Utah, since November 1998. Prior to moving to Utah, he ministered as the Assistant and Youth Pastor at First Baptist of Thermopolis. Cole, and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of three children - Caitlyn (Bob) Oswald, Catrina (Stefan) Christensen, and Caleb (soon-to-marry Makinna) Howe. They have four granddaughters and one grandson.