These are interesting times. Though difficult, they usher in new seasons for the people of God. They remind me of the Joshua generation full of faith as they did exploits for God, entering into the promises of God. Unlike their fathers, they took God at His word. Today’s devotional looks at, what I call, the Performance Manual.  Enjoy your reading. Have a great week.

Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.3  Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.4  From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.5  No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life;  as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.  I will not leave you nor forsake you.6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

I have been in relationship with the Lord long enough to know that when He makes a promise, it means you are authorized to access the promise. However it will require faith on my part and a readiness to do battle for the promise to materialize in my life. I wish it were not so, but that is the way it works. He shows you the end, and then takes you on a journey from where you are to the place of promise.

I have been writing about the fact that new seasons are with us. The Lord has released abundant blessings to us as His body. At this time we can lay claims to abundant promises in His word, but there is the need for us to engage purposefully and intentionally in prayer, the Word and action in faith.

So as I begin to read the book of Joshua, I identify with him. Like Joshua, we have the promise of abundance, but we must cross the Jordan, we must take Jericho and all the other cities to live in the land flowing with milk and honey.  So God gives him specific instructions that would ensure he enters the land of promise.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe 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.9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

First the Lord tells Joshua to keep the Word before him day and night and make sure he does as it says. He said it will

  1.  Make his way prosperous
  2. Bring good success

What is the ‘way’ that the Lord was talking about? For me it would mean the life I live-my marriage, my family, my children, my business, my ministry, my plans, my dreams, the things I know God wants to do in my life. What does ‘good success’ mean? Attaining all the good plans God has in store for me. Being able to say like Paul, ‘I have run my race to the finish line God intended for me’ would mean good success.  The Lord assures Joshua that meditating on the Word day and night will guarantee his success.  Meaning that Joshua would be fruitful in his way.

Then He tells Joshua

  1. Be strong
  2. Be of good courage
  3. Don’t be afraid
  4. Don’t be dismayed
  5. The Lord is with him

I know that one must be physically strong to fight battles, but more importantly, the Lord was telling him to be resolved in his heart. The New Testament calls it to be strong in the inner man. Joshua must be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

Courage means to do something dangerous, or to face pain or opposition without showing fear.  God did not mince words- this will be a battle, there will be tough moments, there will be scary moments but be of good courage. Why did he qualify the courage as good? I would say courage that does not fail. Courage that goes through. Courage that ends the fight. He starts and holds God till the end.

Do not give in to fear. Another definition of courage is action despite fear. The presence of fear need not deter our actions. Fear only takes over when courage fails. But we have not been given the spirit of fear but of love power and sound minds. Our minds have the ability to comprehend what God is doing in our lives by faith. We understand and so we will not fear. Like the sons of Issachar we understand the signs and seasons of our lives.

Do not be dismayed. Dismay means to entertain sad or bad feelings if there are unpleasant circumstances. So God was warning Joshua ahead of time, there will be circumstances that will be unpleasant, don’t be dismayed. Don’t be sad

Then God told Joshua, ‘the Lord your God is with you wherever you go’.  I think this is the best part. This is not a promise; it is a fact of our existence as believers. God is always with us, whether it feels that way or not.  He will never, never, never ever leave or forsake us. We ought to take His presence with us for granted. We carry Him in us. He cannot not be with us.

I believe this is the performance manual He gave us to ensure that we do the things we need to do to get to the places we are looking forward to. The conclusion of the matter is that if we follow the manual, we cannot fail. Just like Joshua did not fail, we will not fail. We will be who God says we should be, we will have what He says we should have, we will do what He says we should do. That is good success my friends. Ck