A few weeks ago when my daily reading schedule (Bible) had me in Joshua 1, the Lord reminded me of His instructions to Joshua about being successful as the leader of Israel were not simply suggestions to follow. They were directives. If Joshua was to be effective as a leader of the army, nation, people of Israel these things were required:
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. 7 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. 8 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.” NKJV
Now I have read this over many, many times – yet when the Lord instructed me about it, life came and understanding came. Joshua was to consider what God said as his own thought and mediation subject matter. His mouth would follow what His thoughts consumed. It is always true: “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” He was to be consumed with the thoughts, spoken and written thoughts of God in the Scriptures.
Current events of our day are not to be our concern (that sounds almost like blaspheme). My families’, friends (or whomever) problems, the fear that everyone fears; on and on. We all let these matters consume our thoughts, emotions and energies – yet we can do little about them. However, when we take the instructions to Joshua seriously, everything changes and the future opens into a backdrop for the action and power of God in and through all.
I am working on this – remembering these are instructions for success – not suggestions for success. The work of the Kingdom in our hands is to be successful – there is a way.