My husband and I sit down for dinner most nights and when we think about it (3-4 times a week) we read a Scripture verse together and then pray. Last night we flipped to a new verse and he had me read it.
Funny part: I quickly read the address and thought it said John 1.8. As I started reading I said to myself, boy, this sounds like it should be in the Old Testament!” Go figure, it said Josh 1:8 instead.
“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 succcess.” – Josh 1:8
In business, ministry, personal life, Christian walk, there is usually something written on how to succeed. Just go look at any local bookstore and you will find more than you could possibly read on the subject.
So, here was the nation of Israel coming out of years of wandering, crossing into the land the God provided them, the death of their faithful leader was in their recent memory and a young guy comes to lead them. Joshua was brave and faithful when others weren’t. But, what does God tell him to do in order to be successful at all that may come his way (and the Israelites) as he led them? DO NOT let the Word depart. That means just what it means in Deut 6:4-9: think, read, say, do the Word ALL THE TIME.
Joshua needed to be successful. God gave him the way to do it. God had given His people His law and He demanded they keep it (and side note: since they couldn’t keep it, He had to make provision to by sending His Perfect Son who could keep the Law to be our perfect atoning sacrifice).
Success doesn’t come with making more money. This isn’t the health, wealth, prosperity verse of the Old Testament. If you take it with the rest of Scripture, you will find that even the faithful face many trials and even death (we all face death – but Jesus made death die).
Success doesn’t come with having a broader and bigger ministry. God may give you success by being in your home with your children, writing for a few, or speaking to none, or maybe you will have the opportunity to speak to nations or write a best-seller.
Success doesn’t mean life is perfect. As many successful people will say or at least the line of a Dan Seals country song “for everything you win there’s something lost”. Success hurts some people. Folks don’t know how to handle the success they are experiencing and some things (family, other relationships) completely fall apart. I saw a preview for a new “reality” show where 3 successful, handsome, most of the time shirtless men are looking for love. They are successful but still don’t have the love of their lives and think that a reality show is going to help find that for them.
God does promise (and He always keeps His promises) that we will have success in this life when we follow His rules. He is the Governor of this world. His success isn’t the same as our success. But, I know I would rather have His success than my own!