Courtesy: Pastor Steve Ellison
When God speaks, we should listen. When God asks a question, we should contemplate the answer carefully. Examining the question and answer sessions others have had with the Almighty, could save us a lot of grief. Moses led God’s people for forty years. God was the answer to every question, dilemma, and problem they faced. Moses had been training Joshua to take over as the human leader and now the time had come. Previously the Lord had spoken to Moses who passed necessary information along to the people. Now the Lord began to speak to and through Joshua. God started by stating the obvious. He let Joshua know that He was fully aware that Moses was dead and that he, Joshua, would now bear the burden of leadership to bring this people into the Promised Land.
Next, God gave Joshua great encouragement. He told Joshua that no one would be able to stand against him all the days of his life. More importantly, God told Joshua that He would be with him as He had been with Moses, and that He would never leave him or forsake him. Those facts ought to be enough to encourage Joshua or anyone else for that matter.
Third, the Lord reminded Joshua of the law He had passed down through Moses. The Lord told Joshua that his strength, his courage, his success would be directly related to following the law of God. Joshua was further instructed to meditate on this law and be ready to speak it and obey it. A promise of prosperity and success was attached. Then came the inevitable question from the Lord, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9 NASU) Surely you noticed the fact that God also gave the strongest possible encouragement and strengthening for Joshua before he even had a chance to answer. There was no need to be afraid or worry about anything because the Supreme Creator of the universe and the covenant God of Israel was with Joshua at all times and in all places.
Joshua’s guarantee of success would be to do that which the Lord God commanded. My guarantee of success is to do that which the Lord God commands. Your guarantee of success is to do that which the Lord God commands. That is a simple idea that all of us easily understands and readily agrees with, in theory. Trusting God is evidenced by our obedience. Things have to turn out right if we faithfully follow God’s commands. But please know that you and I cannot possibly understand what is the right way for things to turn out. Only God knows that. Part of our confusion is rooted in our difficulty in agreeing with the Lord about what success is. He calls us to be faithful. Our being faithful, our being obedient is success. Faithfulness and obedience do not lead to success; faithfulness and obedience are success. We want to be seen by our peers as conquering heroes. God has a different desire for us; He wants to remake us in the image of Christ. Once again, in theory, we would like to be remade into the image of Christ. God knows that means we need to be conformed to the image of the Suffering Servant of the first coming. We want to bypass that stage and instead be immediately conformed to the image of the Ruling, Reigning, Victorious King who will return one glorious day.
Courtesy: Pastor Steve Ellison