I was reading Joshua 1 this week and in it I found a great point. Follow all of God's Word completely and He will bless your life. But don't "hedge" on His Word, or you might miss His blessing and fall of into the wrong direction. Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
As you can read in the above verses God was bringing home the point to follow Him completely. God's promises are real, but many times our doubting him can limit those promises coming to fruition. Joshua did trust God's Word and the end result was the walls of Jericho coming down, just like God said they would. What could cause Joshua to even doubt God? Try this. Joshua 1:7 The Lord told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. 8 Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’”
9 So Joshua told the Israelites, “Come and listen to what the Lord your God says.10 Today you will know that the living God is among you. He will surely drive out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites ahead of you. 11 Look, the Ark of the Covenant, which belongs to the Lord of the whole earth, will lead you across the Jordan River! 12 Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 The priests will carry the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth. As soon as their feet touch the water, the flow of water will be cut off upstream, and the river will stand up like a wall.”
Ok, you may miss the point here if you don't focus in. God is telling Joshua to do a very specific thing, like "walk in the river and carry the Ark of the Covenant for just a few steps and stop there, and so on. Everything God told him to do Joshua did and everything God said would happen, did happen. Duh!! Try this one on for size: Joshua 5:13 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” 14 “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told. In today's spoiled, cynical world we might say something like "Why do you want me to take off my shoes?" and miss the whole thing. Don't hedge or try to figure out a different way than God's perfect way.
There were many more things God told Joshua, but none bigger than this. Joshua 6:1 Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in.2 But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.3 You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days.4 Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns.5 When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.” Now C'mon. Walk around a city protected by walls and blow horns after walking around for seven days and then circle the city seven times and blow your horns and the walls will fall down and you will have victory over that city?
As you can see, Joshua following God's Word completely was very important and he had many victories because he did just that. How much more important it is for those of us who have the Holy Spirit to walk in the power of God's Word and actually believe it is true and follow it completely. We are in a spiritual battle and God has given us a weapon to defeat our enemy at every turn but we must trust God's instructions and be prepared for the road ahead. In the next few blogs I will detail some instructions given to us by God and bring forth their importance for living a Spirit-filled life of victory. Stay tuned and ask God to show Himself through His Word to you today.
The Pilgrimage Continues