Summary: The thing that pointed me to God when I was in the sewer of life, was not a story, or an illustration, or an impassioned altar call, it was God’s word.
THE PRIMACY OF GOD’S WORD JOSHUA 1:1-9
Josh 1:1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them--to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
The writer of Joshua uses the word STRONG AND COURAGEOUS three different times in the first 9 verses, each with a different emphasis.
The first time he uses those words, he describes the POSSESSION that God has given His people. And in verse 7, he explains that after He has given us the POSSESSION in verse 6, he clearly shows us the PERSEVERANCE that is required of us to claim the PROMISES that He mentions in verse 9.
In vs 6 He says "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them."
As Joshua stood there and received his instruction from the Lord he had to be awed. He could see for miles in every direction, mountains in one direction, the ocean in another, incredible expanse every where he turned. And God describes the possession as he tells him, "3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west. 5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life".
Think of it! The land is yours, everywhere you walk, go in and clean it up, and clean it out. No one will be able to stand against you, because it is God who has gone before you.
When you stop to think about it isn’t that what God gives the believer? Christ has won the victory for us and by faith we are able to claim it, because it is His to give. The incredible expanse of the Christian life that God gives, the entire vista is ours! If we are devoted to Him, we can not measure it.
I think it’s safe to say that we can compare our Christian walk with the entire book of Joshua. If you look at verses 3 and 4, He mentions the desert and He mentions the great river. If you are a believer, growing in grace, walking with the Lord, I guarantee you’ve seen, or are going to see some dry places and some very deep water, right? And if He mentions in verse five that no one can stand against you, you KNOW that there’s going to be someone who going to try to do just that, right? It’s almost like the writer of Joshua knew what we as believers would be going through years later. The same battles that Israel fought against a physical foe we battle on the spiritual front. For many of us, while we are confident of our salvation in Christ, it still seems that almost every day there is conflict. Sometimes that conflict is a skirmish, other times, it’s a knock-down, drag-out, full blown battle.
Why is that?
From the moment we believe, we have Christ’s promises of peace of conscience, and rest for our soul. We can claim all the promises that our new found faith confers. We have God’s assurance that He will never leave or forsake us, that He gives us peace that passes understanding. We are forgiven, redeemed, a new creation As I Corinthians 1 reminds us: We are in Christ!