Success—finding the will of God and doing it. I like that, but how? Where? What? When? So many questions pop into our minds when we consider success according to God’s standard!
Joshua stands on the threshold of his life calling. He will replace Moses and lead the children of Israel. Ever been there? Have you been asked to fill a pair of really BIG shoes? I’m sure Joshua felt overwhelmed. But look what God does:
- He speaks to Joshua (Joshua 1:1-9) God speaks to us. Every time we read His Word or open our hearts to the preaching and teaching of God’s Word, He speaks to us. We speak to Him in prayer and He may “speak” to us as we commune with Him there, guiding our steps for the day. (WARNING: God will NEVER tell us anything that is contrary to His written Word, the Bible.)
- God directs Joshua to go over Jordan with the people into the promised land (Joshua 1:2)
- God promises that every place he walks is his (Joshua 1:3-4) God even gives the location and boundaries!
- God promises victory: “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life” (v. 5).
- God promises His presence: “I will not leave you nor forsake you” (v. 5).
- God commands:
- Be strong (v.6)
- BE VERY COURAGEOUS (v. 6)
- Divide the land
- Be strong (v. 7)
- BE VERY COURAGEOUS (v. 7)
- DO THE LAW (7)
- Go straight forward (7)
- MEDITATE ON HIS WORD day and night
- Observe to DO ALL that is written
- Be strong (v.9)
- BE “OF GOOD COURAGE” (v. 9)
- DO NOT BE AFRAID (v.9)
- DO NOT BE DISMAYED (v.9)
- God promises to be with him wherever he went (v.9)
It all boils down to this:
God has something to saY
He sees us. He knows us. He created us for a reason and purpose. He WILL direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5,6) but He allows us the freedom of choice. Joshua could have said, “Not interested. I’ve seen firsthand how Your people treated Moses and I want nothing to do with it!” But he didn’t.
God does not stutter.
Notice how many times God tells Joshua “Be strong.” THREE TIMES! Doing God’s will and succeeding is not for wimps. We need to be strong in character and in spirit by being dead:
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Be courageous THREE TIMES! I think we often forget that we serve the same God as Joseph, Joshua, David, and Daniel AND we can have the same courage! The word courage is mentioned 22 times in the Bible. The last reverence is in Acts 28:15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.How exciting to think that we can give courage to others!
God is on our side.
I love that God looks into Joshua’s heart and sees his fears. And then God tells him not to be afraid or dismayed. We are afraid of what is coming at us from the outside. We are dismayed at what is happening on the inside of us. Synonyms for dismayed are discouraged, distressed, and disappointed. Ah, but the antonyms or opposite meanings are optimistic, delighted, and comforted. Trusting God gives us all three!
We know the outcome of Joshua’s life. We can read about his successes and failures. Learn from him and put feet to your faith. Can you _________? You fill in the blank. Pinpoint what is holding you back from success and nail it to the cross. Jesus died for all our failures. He lives in us to accomplish His successes.