The RECIPE for TRUE SUCCESS in our lives: The story of the Israelites continues after the death of Moses when God appoints Joshua to govern instead of Moses, and gives him instructions and encouragement (Josh 1:1-9) to cross over the Jordan River into the land of Canaan. The time has come for the new leadership to continue the work under God’s direction. A wise leader does not completely abandon the past, but builds on the work already accomplished and progresses towards the future. Moses was mentioned fifty-seven times in the book of Joshua, which is a good indication that his leadership was still revered and emulated. Just like Moses was mentioned twice as ‘the servant of God’ in Josh 1:1-2, Joshua was also mentioned as ‘the servant of God’ in Josh 24:29. We should note that the important person in the story is not the servant but the Master.
During the course of giving instructions and encouragement to Joshua, God also gives the recipe for true success, which is also very much meaningful for our lives:
- God’s favor and presence should be with us in everything we do. God told Joshua: "...as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you" (Josh 1:5b). Our Lord Jesus has also promised to be with us always, no matter what: "...I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt 28:20b). For He (Jesus) Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" (Heb 13:5b).
- We should be strong and of good courage. God told Joshua: "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" (Josh 1:6-7a). We have also received a similar exhortation: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might" (Eph 6:10). To aid in that attitude, we are told to put on the whole armor of God and supplement with watchful prayer at all times (Eph 6:11-18).
- We should read and continually meditate on God’s Word. God told Joshua: "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night..." (Josh 1:8a). Bible reading and meditation is an integral part of God’s recipe for true success.
- We should do everything that God’s Word tells us to do. God further told Joshua: "...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" (Josh 1:8b). The Book of the Law can be equated to God’s Word for us. Total obedience to God’s Word will give us lasting and real success.