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 1:8-9 ESV)
I have to admit that I seem to find other things to do besides what God has called me to do. Reflecting on why I do this brings out an ugly truth about my heart of which I am repenting. I am asking God to help change my heart to be more like Jesus. What if Jesus had done what I do? What if in the garden at Gethsemane He decided it was too scary and too painful to go through the crucifixion? We would all be doomed to hell. He didn’t do that. He asked God to change it if He could and when the answer came that it would not be changed, Jesus quietly and courageously walked that difficult road filled with suffering trusting in God’s plan. He willingly laid down His life for you and for me.
Confessing my sin of hesitation and procrastination is the beginning of change. Confessing it to others is another step in the right direction.
Joshua was told to be careful to do all that was written in God’s Word. This was immediately followed with be strong, do not be frightened or dismayed. Boy does God know the hearts of men! Discouragement and fear are two of my big hurdles. Pain comes right on their heels. I am weak in these areas and I need to take God’s courage and His strength, just like Jesus did. I know in the depths of my heart that God’s ways are best for me and for those around me. But always walking in His ways and in His calling on my life is an adventure into a land of anxiety and discomfort that comes with a heaping pile of blessings that are often unseen at the beginning of the journey.
This passage in Joshua says that following God’s ways leads to prosperity and success. He reassures us with the knowledge that God is with us wherever we go. Let me pause here for a minute as I don’t want to fall into the false teaching of the prosperity gospel message. Let it be known to all that God’s definition of prosperity and success are COMPLETELY different from the world’s definition. When we have the heart and mind of Jesus Christ, we see success as building God’s Kingdom, sharing the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in its entirety, and living with grace and mercy for others even unto suffering for ourselves. (Isn’t that just what Jesus did?)
So forgive me Lord. Forgive me, those who are in my life, for not putting my best effort into God’s calling. I am striving to follow Jesus and complete the tasks that God has laid before me to accomplish. No more excuses. No more filling up my schedule with other things. No more fear and procrastination. No more discouragement or complaining. Lord Jesus, help me to strive for excellence for the glory of Your great Name. Amen.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 ESV)
Be strong and courageous beloved. For the Lord God goes with you wherever you go. No more excuses. Stay focused on what God has called you to do. Be encouraged. Press on.