The Three Chairs
How real is God to you? How committed are you to living a life that leads others to Him? There is something very profound we see in the story of Joshua, something that Bruce Wilkinson pointed out to me years ago, and something I believe every reader needs to understand today—there’s always a generational slide. In other words, your children are at risk of sliding a little further away from God than where you are now. The further you are from God, the greater the possibility that the generations after you will not even know Him.
Joshua was committed to God; he sat in the chair of commitment. Then, the next generation sat in the chair of compromise. But the third generation from the same family didn’t even know God; they sat in the chair of conflict.
Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
Joshua was sitting in the chair of commitment. He said he followed God “wholeheartedly.” He lived in a spiritual state. But when Joshua died, his people moved from the first seat of commitment to the second seat of compromise. All they had to do when Joshua died, was drive the enemy out of the land. The battles were already won! But they didn’t, instead they co-existed with the enemy. They intermarried with the enemy, thereby taking on their gods and their idols. In other words, they “struck a compromise.” They still feared the Lord … but they also served idols.
By the third generation, they had moved from commitment, to compromise, to total conflict. They were called God’s people, but there was no relationship with Him. They were in the seat of conflict. They actually began to worship other gods.
I believe everybody is sitting in one of The Three Chairs: commitment, compromise, or conflict. Where are you? The committed chair is the spiritually minded person who is indeed living by the spirit. The second chair is one of compromise, and these people are carnally minded. They are living by the flesh and making decisions they know are wrong, but they’re ok with it. The last chair is one of conflict. In this chair we find people who are solely self-serving and living in a natural state where they’re not aware of God or spirituality.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
When we choose each day which chair we’ll sit in, we’re not just choosing life or death for ourselves. Yes, our eternity is at stake—but so is our marriage, our family, and the eternity of our children and the generations after them.
Are you in a relationship with Jesus? Or are you merely an acquaintance?
There’s a battle for our souls and our minds, and the enemy would love for us to sit in the seat of compromise our entire Christian life. Because if he can keep us there, what can he do with the next generation?
God’s calling us all out of the second chair and the third chair. Even those of you who are lost, and indifferent, and far from God - you haven’t gone so far that Jesus cannot reach you. But you must choose this day whom you will serve.
My word to you today is simple. Strive for that number one chair. Not just for you, but for your children and your children’s children. Where are you leading your family?