“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:7-8
In a day and age where we are all pressured in climbing the ladder of financial success and prosperity, (even now in the church unfortunately), it is a rare treasure to find people who define success & prosperity the way God truly defines it in His word. Even now as a pastor, I’m having to re-shift some career priorities due to the pressures of climbing the monetary ladder of prosperity. We’ve all felt it; some ways different than others, but the in the end, it reaches to every young adult in college, every middle management personnel, etc.
The historical context of this scripture is God speaking to Joshua the apprentice (now in command) immediately after Moses dies. You can read this passage from verse one through to verse nine. No doubt that Moses was deep “shoes to fill,” so one could only imagine what pressures Joshua was feeling to step up to the plate leading the people of Israel, and not fail. God knew this, and fervently encouraged Joshua that He would be with him “whithersoever thou goest” (vs. 9) So God does something truly profound: He tells Joshua just exactly how to be successful and prosperous in his new position.
Let’s take a real look at the opening passage again, and notice EXACTLY WHAT GOD SAYS is the criteria to “make your way prosperous” & “have good success”
- “observe to do according to all the law”(obedience to God)
- “turn not from it to the right hand or to the left”(consistency & endurance)
- “meditate therein [the book of the law] day and night”(devotion & worship)
I find that one of the biggest heartaches within the modern church is that the message of the gospel has become so unapologetically selfish pursuing more money, wealth, and “things” of this world that don’t amount to anything eternally speaking. The devil has without a doubt crept in swaying the minds of our pastors enticing them to pursue what is pleasing to the flesh and somehow attempting to justify it by twisting scripture out of context; just like Satan does so regularly.
“The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.”
― Leonard Ravenhill
Remember: When we came to God, it was about us surrendering to Him, and giving our lives for His will; not us treating God as a “genie in a lamp” to do our bidding. It’s no different each and every day for us to take up our cross and follow Him.
“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” 1 John 5:14
If we truly want to be successful, we start by recognizing where true success comes from: God.
- Love Him
- Live for Him
- Stay the course!
It’s that simple!
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21
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