In Joshua 1 God gave Joshua an impossible assignment. He said, I want you to possess the land. But in Deuteronomy 7:1 the Bible tells us in the Promised Land there were seven enemy nations, each of whom individually were larger and stronger than Israel. So in order to possess the promised land they were going to have to knock out seven major enemies. Even the Promised Land has problems. Israel needed the God of strategy.
God never asks us to do anything without His help. He gave Joshua a five point strategy for success. That’s what we’re going to look at as this year ends and a new one begins — God’s strategy for success. The word “success” is used twice in this passage of scripture. In verse 7 and 8 we find the promise where God says, If you do what I have said, I guarantee you’ll be successful. Now, let’s look at those steps for God’s strategy for success.
Joshua 1:1 “After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, the son of Nun, `Moses, my servant, is dead. Now then, you and all of these people get ready to cross the Jordan river into the land I’m about to give them [the Israelites]. In other words, this is graduation day. They’re getting ready to go into the land for the first time. I will give you every place where you set your foot as I promised Moses. Then He gets very specific and He defines exactly what Joshua is to take over. Your territory will extend from the desert and from Lebanon to the great river of the Euphrates, all the Hittite countries, and to the Great Sea on the west and no one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.”
Two Lessons From Joshua About the God of Strategy
What does this passage teach us? Here are two ways to connect with the God of strategy.
1. BE CLEAR IN YOUR DIRECTION
That’s the starting point. God specifically outlines the What? the When? the Where? and the Why? Joshua was to take over the land. He says, This is what I want you to do. You need a clear cut goal. You don’t need a vague goal. You need a precise idea: Where am I headed in life? I talk to people all the time who come for counseling and they say, “I just don’t really know what I want in life. I’m frustrated with my marriage. I’m frustrated with my job.” I say, “Can you be a little more specific?” The God of strategy wants us to know exactly where we’re headed and we need a clear (not a vague) goal.
2. BE CONFIDENT IN YOUR DESIRES.
Typically, once you set a God-given goal, immediately after you set it, you begin to doubt it. You begin to question it. You begin to ask yourself things like, “Is this really God’s will?” “Does God really want me to have this? Do I really deserve it? Is this just a selfish request? What if I’m wrong?” Then you start second guessing yourself. The Bible says “A double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” You have to not only be clear in your destination, your direction, what do you want out of life, but you have to be confident in that desire.
It reminds me of a Peanuts cartoon. It has Charlie Brown standing there and saying, “A pop fly! I’ve got it! It’s all mine.” Charlie Brown runs out. “If I catch this ball, we’ll win our first game of the season.” Then he starts praying, “Please! Please let me catch it. Please let me be the hero. Please let me catch it. Please!” The next column it says, “On the other hand, do I think I deserve to be the hero? The kid who hit it doesn’t want to be the goat. Is baseball a game really that important? Lots of kids all over the world never even heard of baseball. Lots of kids don’t even get a place to play at all or have a place to sleep or…” and just about that time the ball drops right in front of him. “Bonk!” Linus comes out and says, “Charlie Brown! How could you miss such an easy pop fly?” Charlie Brown says, “I prayed myself out of it.”
That’s typical. We start doubting the very goals that God gives us. You’ve got to have confidence. You’ve got to believe in God. You’ve got to believe in yourself. You have to believe that God wants to bless your life. You have to be confident in your desires.