17 Mar Grow – The Scriptures and Success
I’m sure it was a tenuous time for God’s people. Moses – the man God used to deliver them – had died. What would happen next?
He had been preparing for this day. Enter Joshua, whom we know had a heart of faith and had supported Moses. On Joshua’s inauguration day, God told him the key to success. It’s the same key to success for us, too.
“No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1:5-9.
The Bible clearly delineates that success flows down the line of obedience. He has clearly stated in his word how we are to live. If we will obey, God has promised success. God had called Joshua to something beyond him – something unprecedented. Perhaps you, too, have a dream that is beyond you – God desires to make the dreams he has placed in you a reality – and here are the keys:
- Keep God’s word on your lips
- Our words reflect what we believe and who we are. If we’re going to be successful and accomplish all God has for us, we are to make sure we speak what God says and not what we think or feel or what others think or feel. And what we SAY always reflects our FAITH. We already saw the importance of this by the fact that an entire generation of people died in the wilderness, not because God didn’t want to bring them into the promised land, but because they didn’t take God at his word. They grumbled, they feared, and they disrespected the leader God had anointed and appointed to bring them into their promise. After the spies returned from the land of Canaan, the people believed the negative report – neither the positive report nor God’s promise – and the result was not obtaining what God wanted to give them. Numbers 14:28 says “As I live, says the Lord, just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will surely do to you: your corpses will fall in this wilderness…who have grumbled against Me.” What we say matters because it’s what we believe. We must believe God and speak what God says.
- Meditate on the Word day and night
- How do we say what God says? We must meditate on what God says! There’s no way we can transform our thinking outside of renewing it by reading the Word. Especially if you are following God’s dream for our life – you have to KNOW what God says and not give stock to what others say or even what you feel or think or experience – just ask Joseph. Here’s a man who as a teenager was given a dream – a dream nobody believed. A dream HE probably doubted as he spent 12 years having been sold as a slave by his family, imprisoned, wrongly accused, forgotten about… But what God spoke, He would bring success to. The same is true for you. GOD fulfills GOD’s dreams. We don’t. We can’t! We must create a personal system of digesting God’s word that is constantly transforming your thoughts, thus your beliefs, which directs your actions. What’s in our heart will be on our lips (Prov. 4:23, Matt. 15:19). Read the Word, memorize it, replace your thoughts and actions by what is written in the word. Success will follow.
- Intend to do what the Word says
- There’s a big difference between reading the Bible to check it off of your To Do List and reading the Bible with a heart to hear and respond. It’s the difference between a side-line critic and a player on the field. I’m always amused (and sometimes a bit frustrated) by the “expertise” of those watching a football game whom have never played the game! But they feel like they know what it takes to win. Sideline critics are always more mouthy than those who play the game. Why? Because they aren’t aware of the dynamics that occur within the game. It’s easier to talk it than to live it. After we eat, my husband will often flash me a smile to make sure he doesn’t have anything in his teeth. If he had a big piece of pepper between his teeth and I didn’t tell him, he’s be angry! Nobody wants to have a conversation with pepper between their teeth. Yet many of us do the same thing with the Bible. We read it, the Holy Spirit convicts us of something, and we respond either by saying “oh that’s good!” and tweeting it or putting it on FB, but never make a plan as to how to respond. James 1:23-25 addresses this issue. Whoever reads the word and OBEYS it will be blessed. I encourage you to approach your devotional time with a stance of action. Like you’re in a huddle waiting for the next play call – not like the sideline critic who likes to spout off his opinions but doesn’t play the game.
Do you want to be successful in everything God has called you to? Rearrange your life around the truth of God’s word. Engage it. Read it. Become it. Do what it says. God’s promise is that you will be successful if you do.