July 19 — Joshua 1:1-9
The story of the people of God in the Old Testament, the Jewish nation, is one filled with sorrow and tears. No other people in the history of the world have endured such hardship. When we look into the Old Testament we see a crazy set of events; a roller coaster of emotion. We see a generation walk with God and then fade into idolatry and immorality, and the cycle would continue.
This may sum up the spiritual life. One day in union with Christ, the next in union with sin and the flesh.
It is a battle that must be fought on all fronts with no vacation days. It is important for us to focus on a few things so we can learn to live out the faith that we claim.
First of all we must Recognize God’s Faithfulness
One of the most beneficial things you can do in your life is close your eyes, remove distractions, and use your mind to recall how faithful God has been in your life. He will do it again.
It would go against the character of God, who He is, to break His Word. He is faithful, and He will be faithful. The good news is, when you are not faithful, He will continue to be faithful.
He is honoring His word in the book of Joshua because He made a promise to Abraham, and to His descendants.
He has promised not to leave you. Even in the middle of a pandemic.
We have stopped looking at things spiritually because we have stopped going to the source of spiritual truth. We are seeing things through an earthly lens because we have allowed our minds to be consumed by earthly influences and our minds have been shaped by it. To help us see the world and our circumstances clearly we invest in Scripture.
We must also Remember God’s Word
God warns his people to meditate on the Book of the Law, their Holy Scriptures, day and night so they can be careful to do what it says (1:8). We have to know God’s Word in order to know his promises so that we can stand on them in our time of need. We also need to spend time with God in his Word in order to know him better and fellowship with him in his presence.
If you broke down how you spend the minutes of your day, on average, how much time do you dedicate to being in God’s Word? If you are like me, probably not enough…
When we back up and think about these things, we see how foolish we really are, dont we? We have God’s Word, the living, breathing Word of God. We should allow God’s Word to renew our minds, not allow the circumstances of the world to shape our thoughts. When we do this we can experience the presence of God in our lives, and this will transform you. Those who do not know Christ will never understand this.
Lastly, we must Rest in God’s Presence
Several times in this passage, God commands Joshua to be strong and courageous as he leads the people to finally enter in to their land. God tells Joshua this, not to focus on the fact that Joshua can accomplish this by his own strength, because he can‘t, but to remind him that God will always be with him.
The ark of the covenant is where God’s presence on earth rested during the time of the Old Testament. It was this presence that miraculously pushed back the waters of the Jordan River so the people could cross over (3:9–17).
— To experience God’s presence you must spend time with Him
This is not a hard concept to understand for us. If you have ever had any kind of relationship in your life you know that the only way a relationship grows is by spending time in fellowship. You an live in the same house as your spouse all your life and never see your relationship become what it is meant to be. You can label yourself a Christian all your life and never experience the presence of God in a real way.
One thing I have learned, people make time for what is important to them. So the “I dont have time” excuse doesn’t work here. You have to prioritize, I get that. But spending time with God should come before everything else, not after everything else.
— To experience Gods presence we must be in community with other believers
I know we are in the middle of a pandemic, and I know there are fears, but hear me on this, it is not spiritually safe, it is not Biblically sound, it is not healthy for you and I to be separated from our brothers and sisters in Christ. You are meant to be a part of the living, breathing, working body of Christ that is the church. I want you to do what is best for your family, but you better be in community. Your walk with Christ will be lacking if you are not doing life with His people! Why would you try and go it alone and not be involved with other believers? You will set yourself up for attack and failure.
I may not know much, but I know whom I have believed in, and I know that He is able to keep that which I have committed to him until the day of redemption.
Just like Joshua, you can be strong and courageous, because if you know Jesus, you will never be forsaken.