"Choose for yourself who you will serve."
That was a challenge presented by a great leader called Joshua back in the first half of the bible and I guess it will have been asked many times since, very often by leaders who had a big army to help influence the decision.
You may not be into politics or a student of American culture but you would be hard pressed to have avoided the endless news coverage of the unsavoury spectacle of the Trump - Clinton debates. I don't much like conflict or late nights so couldn't face watching them live but I was struck, when watching the tea time news, by one of the focus groups assembled to watch the last debate.
The group was carefully selected to represent a cross-section of the American voting public and were asked for a show of hands if they had moved one way or the other during the debate. The moves one direction was balanced by the moves the other so the split remained pretty even.
What I found most remarkable was that when they were asked who would prefer to be voting for two completely different candidates almost all the hands went up.
If this was a genuinely representative group of American voters it is clear that whatever happens on Tuesday November 8th most Americans will have a president they don't want to follow.
Of course they are not the first country in history to have a leader that most of the population don't want. But it does seem bizarre that this one will actually have been chosen by those very same people.
Who would want to choose someone they don't want as their leader?
Jesus called for people to follow him and over the last 2000 years many have chosen to do just that. Even those who have not chosen to follow him would generally accept that his teachings and life were beyond question.
On the other hand most people, if they were asked to follow the one who is described in the bible as "the god of this age", would shudder at the sort of person he is and want to distance themselves from all that he stands for.
But yet they still end up with him as their leader.
Why should this be?
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 4:4.
"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. "
You may not see yourself as an unbeliever but the bible makes it clear that belief needs to be active. Jesus will never be your leader if you do not understand what he did for you on the cross and consciously chose him to take that role.
The Bible again. This time in a letter written to the church at Rome in the first century AD.
Romans Chapter 10 v 9 says.
" if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
For the American public, the choice of who to have or not to have as their leader may not be so clear but for your life the difference between the candidates could not be more stark.
Joshua, the man who asked the question "chose for yourselves who you will serve", gave his answer.
"As for me and my household. We will serve The Lord."