Skip to main content

Follow the Instruction Book

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6-9 NLT)

We are probably most familiar with the last verse of this passage, but I don't want us to miss several important points God covered with Joshua as he is about to lead the people of Israel into the Promised Land. We understand courage as the strength of MIND to carry on despite the presence of threat or obstacle. Strength is that matter of ENERGY to accomplish the task at hand. We can be full of great ideas and lack the energy to accomplish a single thing, right? We can have all the energy in the world and lack one solid idea of what to do with it! When it comes to giving instructions to Joshua, God tells him to possess both - don't miss that God told Joshua he needed to be VERY courageous. In other words, he has to have all the right thoughts behind the actions he is about to take in order to have his energies expended well!

You are the one: 
There are probably more times we look around for someone, anyone, to step up to the plate when a need exists. We might observe it just as much as the next fellow, but we want someone else to take the task into hand. We might even have ideas about how something might be accomplished, but we want someone else to exert the effort! It is truly a frightful thing for God to tell us very clearly and concisely YOU ARE THE ONE designed to take the action at hand. We need to be cautious about "handing off" to another what God calls (and equips) us to do.

Be careful to obey the instructions:
Probably one of the hardest things to do is to take action without letting our own ideas waylay us along the way. We get caught up in the "what if we did this" kind of thinking, rather than "the instructions say we do this" kind of obedience. That's probably not been working to well for us, though! The instructions are given for a reason - they aren't merely suggestions - they are the blueprint we are to follow to the letter! Energy is a good thing - directed toward one's own "methods" of accomplishing God's plan and all the energy isn't going to make a difference. The plans will somehow "fail" in comparison to what would have come about if we had just followed HIS plans!

Study:
We probably lack a little exuberance when it comes to "putting in the time" to study God's word on occasion. We get the general idea of what he wants us to do and then we head off in some direction, thinking we understand it all. God reminds Joshua to study the Word, not because God won't be telling him new stuff, but because the stuff God has already done and promised can give us insight into what we are about to face today. When we neglect the study of the Word, we can get waylaid by untruthful advice and "signs". We interpret things through our own "set of knowledge" and that isn't always all that trustworthy!

Don't give into fear or discouragement:
God never says we won't fear things that come our way, or get a little discouraged by the amount of time or effort something requires. He tells us to not give into that fear and to keep moving in spite of the discouraging reports! We might want to turn tail and run - don't. We probably don't want to go on when things get uglier or harder than we imagined - put one foot in front of the other and march! 

They seem so simple, but our mind has to catch up with our energy sometimes, and vice-versa. The mind can be very willing and the body very weak. The body can be raring to go and the mind just cannot possibly conceive the next steps to take. This is where we need to lean into God's teaching, rely upon his instructions, and trust him that WE ARE THE ONEs to accomplish the task at hand! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce …

Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdra…

Period!

When someone tells you that you need to wrap your mind around some concept, they are telling you that the subject at hand will take some effort on our part to actually get enough of a hint of it in order to even remotely understand it. The subject is complex, even a little overwhelming, and we will have to apply ourselves to really grasp it very well. We cannot wrap our minds around God's wisdom and knowledge - because it is infinite and our brains are sadly finite. We can only 'think' so far and then we have to 'trust'. Some of us think there is nothing we can trust if we cannot 'think' it through, but this will never work when it comes to our faith. Faith requires trust in what is unseen and not fully comprehended. The truth we believe is really building our trust, but until we approach God with more trust than 'thought', we will never fully grasp some of the things he has prepared for us.

We cannot wrap our minds around God’s wisdom and knowledge…