Paul stressed to the Romans, in Romans 13:11-14, the importance of casting off the works of darkness and walking in the light. We have spent enough of our life sinning and now we are closer to our salvation than when we first believed. Since there is much to do and little time in which to do it, we must be diligent to put away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light and get to work for the Lord.
Some Christians are ineffective in the service of God because they are not totally dedicated themselves to God. They are keeping some things of the world with them: lust, evil speaking, covetousness, worldliness, etc. These things are weighing them down and they cannot grow properly in the Lord and are useless in his service. The Hebrew writer urges us to “lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily ensnares us” so we can run with endurance, unencumbered by the world, Hebrews 12:1.
We must either grasp God completely or the world completely. We will fail if we try to serve both, Matthew 6:24; 1 Kings 18:21. We can deceive ourselves into thinking that we are serving God while our hearts are devoted to the world. We must examine our thoughts and our actions to see if we are bearing fruit to the world or to the Lord.
Joshua urged the people to decide whom they would serve, Joshua 24:14-25. They needed to make a decision that day and stick with it. When they answered that they would serve the Lord, Joshua rebuked them telling them that they could not serve the Lord because they were too fickle. A brief study of history would confirm Joshua’s assessment. They frequently declared their dedication to God only to murmur against Him and His chosen leaders soon afterward. Like that audience, we must choose today whom we will serve and then follow wholeheartedly.