Thursday, March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012 … The Prescription for Spiritual Success

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Joshua, Chapters 1-4 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Added Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Joshua 1: 1-9 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Highlight Reference Passage : Joshua 1: 8 … Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

My Journal for Today: My chronological read in the Bible today takes me from the “Book of the Law,” i.e., the first five books of the Bible, penned by Moses, into the chronicle of God’s people, led by Joshua, moving into the promised-land. And the highlight passage from these four chapters, which I was led to read/study today, and to which you’re linked above, was easy for me to pick. Joshua 1: 8, which was God’s specific prescription to Moses for spiritual success, is a passage which has helped to shape my life; and hence I have a particular personal/emotional investment in this blog this morning.

First, the key verse today lies at the outset of Joshua’s charge and encouragement – by God Himself – for Moses’ hand-picked leader to take the people across the Jordan, moving from what is now the country of Jordan into the designated and God-given promised-land in what we now know of as Israel. This was certainly a daunting task for the man who had been Moses’ right-hand warrior and co-leader for so many years. But here was Joshua, tagged as the complete and singular leader of God’s people; and he wasn’t used to wearing the mantle of leadership which Moses had held. So, at the outset of Joshua 1, verses 1-9, we read of God’s pep-talk to Joshua, encouraging him with a remembrance of the covenant that God would give Joshua and the people every parcel of property where they walked into the new land; and with their obedience to His word – past and present – God would be with Joshua in all he did.

But the highlight verse today, Joshua 1: 8, is key in this task directive God imparts to Joshua. And the Lord tells Joshua that for this task to which Joshua has been selected by God, Joshua must discipline himself to be in and stay in God’s word (and that would be those first five books of the Bible) day and night, being “… careful to do everything written in it;” … and if Joshua did this, God promised him success and power in carrying out God’s charge [i.e., His will].

My reading friend, I hope you can see the immediate application for you and me for this prescription for success when we are moving in life across whatever Jordan we must cross and when we move through life toward God’s promised-land. But whenever we know where God is leading us (i.e., His will or direction for our lives), it usually involves some decision to cross a “Jordan River” in our lives. Perhaps you know that you need to begin living in a manner which involves courage to change some habit or lifestyle pattern. At one point in my life I knew that God wanted me to turn from pursuing sexual sin and other habitual patterns of idolatry and/or covetousness in my life. The decision to repent and move from ungodly behavior to Godly behavior was my “Jordan.” Well, it was a mentor, the Moses in my life, who helped me, as his Joshua, to see the application of Joshua 1: 8 to the task that God was laying out for me … i.e., to be obedient and follow Him (much like Jesus instructed His disciples in Luke 9: 23).

So, using the instruction and personal interpretation of Joshua 1: 8 for the life choices which lay ahead of me, my mentor helped me realize that I was going to have to be in and stay in God’s word daily and continuously, letting God’s word and His purpose guide me, … much as is put forth in other Scriptures like Isaiah 55: 11 and 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17. So, needing desperately to reform my life under God’s will and direction and away from fleshly pursuits, with the help of my mentor, I got involved in a rigorous daily scripture memory process; and he helped me begin and develop the discipline of a daily morning Bible-led devotional, where I would be in God’s word daily and getting God’s word deeply into my being in a disciplined way. And that, my friends, is the essence of what God was instructing Joshua to do to be successful in carrying out the will God had for his life.

My dear one, how much is God’s word a part of your pursuing personal success with regard to God’s will in your life? Is there some task or direction which you know God is leading you toward; but you have retained selfish desires to satisfy your flesh rather than fulfilling God’s will successfully? Well, if so, have you tried carrying out and following through with the Joshua 1: 8 prescription?

And one of the scripture passages I was given by my mentor to contextualize, memorize, and internalize years ago was Psalm 119: 9,…11, where God’s word states - How can a young man (i.e., an immature Christian) cleanse his way? … By taking head to Your word. … Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.

My friend, I don’t know about you; but I want to be a Christian who is successful in the way I live, avoiding sin in my life, and being able to live in fulfillment of God’s will. And today’s prescription for success in living this way is the same for me (and for you) as it was for Joshua; and if we desire to be successful as “Christians,” being in, living in, and living out God’s word is the key to that success.

My Prayer Today: … Oh, Lord, how I desire to stay in Your word everyday of my life, letting Your word guide me and empower me to be successful in shining Your light in a very dark world. Amen


sari said...

nice article, i like it

Bill said...

Sari ... Do I know you, sister? But, no matter, I'm humbled by your reading my blog and your comment. I write these mostly to express what God is saying to me; but when others can be effected by God's Spirit in some way through what I write, I'm touched and deeply grateful. ... Bill