Different people in various ways define success. Success to some is the accumulation of goods. To another success may be academic achievement. And yet to another, success may be linked to the number of successful relationships in his life. Although one may enjoy success on several different levels, if he is not in a right relationship with God (Mark 16:16), he cannot truly say that he is successful in the most important endeavor of all (Mark 8:36,37). He does not enjoy Bible Success.
Joshua, the son of Nun, was a successful man. He was both the assistant and successor of Moses (cf. Joshua 1:1; Numbers 27:18-23). He was a man of faith and trust (Numbers 14:6-10; Joshua 24:15). He was a great military mind (cf. Exodus 17:13, Joshua 8,12). He was the one who would lead the people into the Promised Land allotting to each tribe its territory (Joshua 11:23). He was given a difficult task to carry out (Joshua 1:2,6) yet he did it with skill and grace. In every way, Joshua was a success.
In the first chapter of Joshua, the Lord set forth the basics or ingredients for Joshua’s success. If Joshua were to adhere to the instruction therein he would enjoy “good success” (Joshua 1:8). These same instructions will allow us to stand successfully before God as well. Joshua’s success was dependent upon:
1) Choosing Proper Role Models (Joshua 1:1-2).
Moses had been a faithful servant of God and a great prophet (Numbers 12:3; Deuteronomy 34:10). If Joshua were to be successful in the same role, he would need to mimic the strengths of Moses. This he did. At the end of the book that bears his name, he is referred to as “the servant of the Lord” (Joshua 24:29). If we will follow in the steps of our Lord (1 John 2:6), faithful men of the Bible (1 Corinthians 11:1) as well as godly elders, deacons, preacher, Bible class teachers and members we can have good success as well.
2) Knowing What It Was that He Sought To Accomplish (Joshua 1:2,6).
Joshua had a God-given goal to achieve. He would be the one who would lead the people into the land of Canaan. This was to be His focus and mission. Our focus and mission is to glorify God in all we do (1 Corinthians 10:31; Isaiah 43:7) that we might enter spiritual Canaan (cf. Hebrews 4:9; Revelation 14:13). This is made possible when we understand what our goal is and that it can only be accomplished through single-eyed devotion (cf. Philippians 3:13,14).
3) Trusting God No Matter The Situation (Joshua 1:3-5).
Joshua had big shoes to fill. He was assigned to do what Moses could not accomplish. How would he pull off such a feat? He would do it by trusting in the Lord to carry Him through. We too can have the same confidence that we can be pleasing to God in every situation if we will obediently trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5,6). Whatever God would have us to do is possible (Philippians 4:13). He is for us (Romans 8:31). Therefore let us trust that by His grace we can carry out our mission of faithful living (Rev. 2:10).
4) Living Courageously (Joshua 1:6,7,9).
Success in any field begins with courage. It takes courage to try new ideas, to stretch one'l;s self, to leave the realm of the comfortable to the realm of real growth. Joshua had a huge task in front of Him (Joshua 1:2,6). He would have to overcome the enemies of God and remain faithful to the Law of the Lord (Joshua 1:7,8). This would take courage. Courage is needed in standing up for Jesus. This courage is made possible by understanding, as Joshua did, that the Lord will not leave us nor forsake us (cf. Hebrews 13:5). He has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Therefore let us be willing to “wage the good warfare” (1 Timothy 1:18) and to “fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12).
5) Knowing God’s Word and Doing It (Joshua 1:7-8).
Joshua’s success would be dependent upon observing the Law of Moses, not turning to the right hand or to the left (Joshua 1:7). The Law of God was not to depart from his mouth but rather he was to meditate in it day and night for the purpose of carrying out all of it (Joshua 1:8). Spiritual success is still dependent upon knowing God’s Word and doing it (James 1:21-23).
6) Possessing Proper Thoughts (Joshua 1:9).
Success comes when we think successful thoughts. The Lord provided Joshua with all the comfort needed (Joshua 1:5,9). Therefore, there would be nor reason for fear or dismay. Proper attitudes breed successful living. How is your attitude? Do you murmur and complain (Philippians 2:14)? Or do you rejoice in the fact that you are a child of God headed for Heaven, the Lord being with you every step of the way (Matthew 28:20)? Let us think proper thoughts that aid in our spiritual prosperity (Philippians 4:8).
All of us should desire real success, the kind of success that is based upon the fact that we are walking faithfully with our Maker. Again, this success is made possible when we incorporate the above admonitions into our character.
Three words, “CAN”, “WILL” and “NOW” help lead to spiritual accomplishments. I “CAN” live, as God wants me to live. I “WILL” live, as God wants me to live. I will live, as God wants me to “NOW”. Are you successful? If not, why not? God’s Word contains all the basics of successful living.
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