“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel ” (Joshua 1:1-2)
Have you ever had that feeling that you were standing on the cusp of something big? Or have you ever felt that God had a big task for you and you just needed to step up to the plate to follow through? Or have you ever known that God had a huge blessing planned for you, but that the road to that blessing was paved with tasks that required obedience and devotion to Him? I’m sure we’ve all been there. From following when the Lord calls you to be a missionary to following when He calls you to visit your elderly neighbor, God’s calls do come and they are to be followed.
Joshua experienced such a call when the Lord commanded him to take the Israelites across the Jordan and into the Promised Land. For years Joshua had worked under Moses, but now Moses had died and it was Joshua’s job to take the people into the land the Lord had for them. What a task! The Lord did not tell Joshua to take the people across without instruction, though. He gave Joshua specific commands that when followed led to amazing blessing. God’s commission to Joshua, found in Joshua 1:7-9, applies to each of our lives as well. It is a perfect list of marching orders for any task we may find ourselves with. By following these marching orders, I believe, we’ll find ourselves blessed as well.
Order 1. Stay on the Road of Obedience
“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” . (Joshua 1:7)
The road to the promises and blessings of the Lord is paved with obedience. In Joshua 1:7, the Lord tells Joshua to observe the law of God in all his dealings and that as he moved the Israelites across the Jordan, he must ” turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” . The Lord was telling Joshua to walk according to His commands because prosperity and success lay on God’s path. In Matthew 7:13-14, Jesus gives us a similar command, ” Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it “. Jesus is saying here that the way that leads to life is found along a narrow path, and that to wander to the left or to the right leads to destruction. When we find ourselves with a task to do, how are we to do it? We are to walk the straight line – a walk of obedience to God’s commands and holiness in all that we do. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord ” (Hebrews 12:14). My friends, our marching orders here are clear. A life lived for God is a life of obedience to God’s commands. He gave us commandments because He loves us and He wants to protect us. We obey Him so that we can show Him that we love Him.
Order 2. Keep God’s Word in your Heart
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” . (Joshua 1:8)
God’s Word is the second key to the blessings and promises of God. Just as the Lord told Joshua to walk in obedience, He also told him that he couldn’t succeed without the word of God. ” But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God ” (Matthew 4:4). God’s Word is key to the life of the Christian, without it we cannot truly live. Just like Joshua, we need to meditate upon God’s Word day and night, that we might know what it says for our lives. ” Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth ” (II Timothy 2:15). As workers for God with tasks ahead of us, we cannot expect to be successful, unless we have God’s Word in our hearts and minds – ready to be applied to our lives at a moment’s notice.
Order 3. Walk in Faith – not Fear
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” . (Joshua 1:9)
Lastly, we need to remember that when God calls us out to a task, we never walk alone and because of this fact, we can walk in faith and not in fear. The Lord ” is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:9). Hebrews 13:5 reminds us that God promised never to leave us or forsake us. As believers, we walk by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7). It is our faith that must guide us along life’s paths. We cannot let the circumstances around us guide us, instead we must follow God regardless of the circumstances. Hebrews 11: 6 is clear, ” But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him “.
So what are our marching orders? First, we need to live holy and separate lives in order to walk on the path that God can bless. Secondly, we cannot live without the Word of God in our hearts and minds. It is key to living the Christian life. Lastly, we need to remember that we never walk alone. God is with us wherever we go. He promises to hold our hand and uphold us with His righteousness (Isaiah 41:10). My friends, no matter when your task is for the day, take these marching orders with you. They are key to success in God’s Kingdom.