Friday, November 7, 2014

God is With You: Lessons from Joshua 1

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.” (Joshua 1:5-9 NKJV)

I have a question for you. What would you do if you knew that you could not fail? What would you do for Jesus if you knew that He would give you success? What would you "risk" if you had the assurance that God was with you in everything that you did? I'm asking myself these same questions. I would probably "risk" a lot more than what I am now. Let me be honest and say that my service is often stunted by fear. I do not serve with the abandon that I wish I had because I am afraid of the consequences of living with that sort of abandon to Christ. Maybe I don't really believe that God is with me. Is the promise that God gave Joshua available to us as New Testament believers? I think it is (which means I need to believe it but more on that later). I want to show you from the New Testament scriptures that we have the same promises given to Joshua.

1. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.
This verse made me think: Wow! I want that promise! And then the Spirit called to mind Romans 8:31 "If God is for us, who can be against us?" God is for us! He proved it at Calvary! Therefore, no one and nothing can stand before or against us as long as we live! Wow! Thank You God!

2. I will not leave you nor forsake you.
This promise is repeated almost word-for-word in Hebrews 13:5 "He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

3. You will make your way prosperous and you will have good success when you meditate on the law of the Lord.
This promise is certainly to every believer. In His High Priestly prayer our Lord prayed that God would sanctify His people in the truth and He said, "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17). To be sanctified is to grow in godliness or Christ-likeness, and whatever Jesus asks for on behalf of His people the Father delights to answer that prayer, so you can be sure this prayer will be answered. We will prosper when we meditate on the Word of God.

4. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Again, we have Hebrews 13:5, but as that promise is stated negatively as a promise that God will never leave nor forsake us, do we have a promise stated in the positive like this one? If you're like me you might be struggling to think of a verse. But think again, believer. How is the Lord your God with you wherever you go? Yes! The indwelling Holy Spirit! 

Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. (II Corinthians 1:21-22 NKJV)

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14 NKJV)

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. (Romans 8:9 NKJV)

So be strong! And very courageous, Christian! You have the same promises Joshua was given! Therefore be brave, be strong, let all that you do be done with love.

Now that you know them, believe the promises!

What will you do with God on your side?

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