What if God suddenly put you in charge of leading 2 million people into a strange land occupied by fearful warriors?
What if you had to replace one of the greatest leaders in the Bible – Moses – who led Israel out of Egypt, split the Red Sea, met with God face-to-face, received the 10 Commandments, struck a rock with his staff and water gushed out. Imagine being called upon to take his place. That’s what Joshua had to do:
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.”
I’d have said, “Who me? What if I fail?” God told Joshua to have courage. To grab the bull by the horns and get going.
Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.
Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:1-9)
Three times God told Joshua: Be strong and courageous.
Why should Joshua have courage? How could he know he’d succeed? Because God would be with him, and he had God’s word to guide him.
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.”
Success in the Christian life comes as we meditate on God’s word day and night. As we chew on his promises. As we determine to believe and obey God’s word no matter what. As we interpret the events of our lives through the lens of Scripture and not circumstances.
When we look at our circumstances they may look hopeless. Where will the money come from? How will I ever meet someone to marry? What am I going to do with my life? How will I get through this trial with my teen? Circumstances say God has abandoned you. God’s not good or faithful or caring.
That’s when we have to grab our minds by the collar, shake them and say, BUT GOD’S WORD SAYS . . .
God is in control. He’s faithful. He can provide out of nowhere. He can take a few loaves and fishes and feed a multitude. He can put a gold coin in a fish’s mouth. Hey self, BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS! He’s with you. He’s promised to be faithful. He’ll show you what to do.
The secret of success in the kingdom? Believe God’s promise to be faithful. Meditate on his word day and night, then be courageous and do it.