SUCCESS IN LIFE; HOW DO I GET IT?
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[c] 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” (Joshua 1:8)
Most institutions have completed their financial year. They have come through that time of annual stock-taking or inventory checking. Probably, they are now in the process of compiling reports to inform their stakeholders how successful they have been by looking at their key performance indicators and these vary. Businesses measure success by the amount of income that has come in from their customers. Schools measure success by the grades of their students or by their number of graduates. Some churches measure their success by their attendance figures or by the number of baptisms or by the number of programs or by the amount of money they collect. Many Christians would consider themselves to be successful if they go to church regularly, have a stable job with some money kept aside. However, the bigger question is; “What is success in God’s eyes?”
The principle behind that answer is found in our scripture text for this week taken from Joshua 1:1-9. BACKGROUND
This scene is set on the banks of the River Jordan. The Israelites had been to this place before and could have taken the land then, if only they had obeyed the Lord (Num. 14:1-4). As a result of their rebellion, God made them wander in the wilderness until the entire disobedient generation had died off. Now, 40 years later, with a new leader, Joshua, succeeding Moses, they were on the brink of entering into the land God had promised them.
The land that God had promised them was not vacant. It was inhabited by numerous tribes and kingdoms that were very hostile and strong. Some of the nations had giants. Probably, the question on Joshua’s mind was, “Will I be able to do this? How can I guarantee success”?
GOD’S STEPS TO SUCCESS
If you plan on getting success in God’s way, then you have got to do things God’s way. It cannot be the ordinary way of doing things. It starts with changing your perspectives and practices and embracing God’s perspectives and practices. In Joshua 1:7-8, God gives us three steps we must take if we are going to live a life of success His way.
The first step is found in both verses. Joshua was told, “observe to do according to all the law”. The word “observe” used here literally means “to guard.” This gives us the picture of a sentry or watchman who must stay alert and carefully guard against disobeying the Word of God or neglecting it.
The second step is found in Joshua 1:7. Joshua is told to be so diligent in his following the Law and “not turn from it to the right hand or to the left”. This paints a picture of someone traveling a defined path and being careful to keep himself from deviating from it. In other words, Joshua was to function not only as a guard to ensure that God’s Word was always obeyed, but also to stay always on the right path of God’s Word.
The third step was to meditate on the Word of God day and night (Joshua 1:8). This means that he would have to focus his thoughts on portions of Scripture, ponder over them, and reflect on them until he understood them and how they are to be applied in his own life. As we keep meditating God’s Word, the Holy Spirit shows us where to apply them in daily life. Our actions then begin to follow our thoughts. And if we persist in those actions, they form themselves into new habits. This is how we can develop healthy habits like praying, giving, confessing our sins, loving others and giving thanks!
In summary, our success begins with our personal commitment to the Word of God! Joshua’s success as a leader depended on how well he lived according to the Word of God. As long as he continued to follow God’s Law, he would prosper. If he stopped, his prosperity would cease. The same principle applied to the whole nation of Israel and it applies to us today!
If we want to live successfully as Christians, and to prosper in everything that God has given us to do, we cannot do it without making a commitment to learning all that is written in the Bible and faithfully applying it. This is the secret of having good success. There is really no substitute for this. There is no other way or method or formula for success. GOD BLESS YOU.