Wherever you are today, I can guarantee you one thing: life is full of challenges. Even if we SAY, “Failure is not an option”, it always is. So, tell me, do you want to be successful? If you do, today’s reading applies to you. Moses died, leaving his people to face a dangerous campaign into hostile territory. The Israelites had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, and stood poised on the outskirts of the Promised Land. The most dynamic leader any of them had ever known was gone. People wondered if their chance for success had gone with him. At this critical moment Joshua son of Nun stood took the reins of leadership and stood before God, who said this:
“6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”” (Joshua 1:6-9, NKJV)
Moses, the greatest leader in Israel’s history (and arguably one of the greatest leaders in all of history) was gone. Joshua was given the task of leading the stubborn and unpredictable Hebrew people into the Promised Land. Success would not come easily, but Joshua had already proven his mettle back in the wilderness of Paran, where he and Caleb brought back a good report from Canaan and advised Moses to go take the land even against great odds.
Now, the children of Israel were poised to end their wanderings and complete their quest. There would be danger and difficulty. People would need to be motivated and shepherded into a hostile environment. The Lord told Joshua to look two places for help. The first advice was very practical, something all of us need to remember from time to time. First, God told him to look within himself, to “be strong and very courageous.” The Lord knew that there were untapped reserves within Joshua that even Joshua wasn’t aware of. Think about that. He told Joshua to “dig deeper” in order to find courage and strength. Not only did this apply to Joshua, but it is undoubtedly true for all of us! It’s true for me, and it’s true for you.
Where Do Faith and Courage Come From?
I think it’s important to note that even in a life of faith, where God wants us to depend on Him, He still tells us to dig a little deeper in order to achieve success. So the next time you are frazzled, the next time you doubt, the next time you feel unsure about expressing your faith, “be strong and courageous.” God’s Spirit is given to us to offer us sufficiency and encouragement. Meditate on His Book. Claim His power in prayer. Dig deeper.
The second place God told Joshua to look was in the secret weapon He had given Moses. God’s Book of Wisdom provided a template for success and the Lord told Joshua to do more than skim over it, read the Cliff notes, or listen to somebody else talk about it once a week. The Lord promised Joshua that if he spent time in the Book of the Law, if he meditated upon God’s wisdom “day and night”, and if he followed it rigorously, he would be prosperous and have good success. You want to succeed? The secrets to happiness and success are in God’s word. Dig deeper.
The Book of Success
Moses was gone. Israel waited. So Joshua, son of Nun
Stood up before the people and exhorted everyone:
“Be strong and be courageous! Trust the Lord, and do things right;
Meditate in the holy Book of the Law both day and night.
Keep it in your heart and follow everything it says,
And God will give you wisdom, and His guidance all your days.
Observe the law; receive the blessing, do not ask for less,
Your way will then be prosperous, and you will have success.”
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