Day 17 into our fast, what has God NOT said to us yet?! Day 16 we had a word from God about asking, seeking, and knocking (look at Day 16 blog). We often get really discouraged with the knocking part of God’s promise and because of the discouragement we often turn that YES from God into a no, which usually send us into a downward spiral of feeling like God is against us. Today we will be focusing on increasing our faith and how to not be discouraged by the knocking part of Gods promise. The scripture we will be looking at today will be from Joshua 1:7-9.
Joshua 1:7-9 is a passage where God spoke words of encouragement to Joshua while he was leading the Israelites after Moses had died. Joshua 1:7 say,
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left…”
Now, I would like to look at the first part of this verse on its own. It says, “Do not turn from it to the right or to the left”. This first part of the verse reminds me that the world and the people will always have opinions of who we are (identity), what we should do (future) with your life, this should not dictate or determine who God has called you to be. We cannot be tossed back and forth and let, what is external, influence who God has made us to be. Don’t be influenced!!
Part two of the verse says, “…that you may be successful wherever you go.” If we keep to what God says about us, then we will be successful in EVERYTHING we do!! That is EVERYTHING. God gives the best to his chosen ones, to his sons and daughters, he will never give you something harmful and something you have never asked for (Matt 7-9-11.)
Let us continue, Joshua 1:8 says,
“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.” This basically means that, whilst not being tossed around by what the world says, we need to study the word and guard it in your heart on this journey because everything comes from your heart, the way you think, act, talk, all flows from your heart (Proverbs 4:23). Then the rest of verse says that, ‘Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Just to side track a bit, I love how God already gives us a step by step instructions to success. (What great news for people who love to follow instructions. *Cough* #me!) God tells us what to do and he PROMISES at the end of each verse a blessing of success. Now we must keep in mind that when God makes a promise he keeps his promise, he cannot break it, ever (Hebrews 6:13-20).
God tells us in Joshua 1: 9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” In the Message Bible, it says, I won’t give up on you therefore give everything that you have, heart and soul. Practice and you will get to where you going and succeed with the help of God! What a great encouragement and promise from GOD!!!
After looking at the scripture, I would like to pose a question to you. Can we as leaders (people called to reigning in the area we are called to be) have enough faith and courage to boldly take up the cause God has in our life?
Just like Joshua in his time, we to, struggle with daily challenges that seems to push our faith to the breaking point but yet God can still be glorious in it and we can honor him with our faith through growing and persevering (James 1:2-4). The problem comes, not when we think we can’t face the challenges and sufferings in our lives, but rather when we refuse to follow him into situations that are risky to us, the result of that can be devastating to our spiritual growth; the consequences of disobedience can be (In Touch Ministries):
- You will never become the person that God wants you to be.
- You limit your usefulness to the Lord.
- You are willing to live a life of rationalized disobedience.
- You’ll be governed by fear rather than faith.
- You risk losing not only rewards in heaven but also blessings on earth.
All these, paint a reality of disobedience, just like the Israelites, we can live a life we want but we will have an empty spiritual life, full of complaining and dissatisfaction. In psalms 106:15 it says, ‘So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease among them.’
We can live a life of not believing or refusing God’s call in our lives, but we need to have faith and trust that he is for us and not against us. Whatever his plan is in your life you need to trust that he will see it through. Therefore when you go ‘knocking’, go knocking with God on your side. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go!