A Time for Preparation and Action
Following the death of Moses the children of Israel, led now by Joshua, made preparation to enter into the Promised Land. The Lord commands Joshua concerning how the new nation would go forward and be successful (Joshua 1:1–18).
We too need to make the necessary preparations for our entrance into the Promised Land of Heaven. As the children of Israel did not merit or deserve the land God gave them, but where led therein by the captain of the Lord of hosts, so we too do not merit or deserve the home Jesus has gone to prepare for us (John 14:1–3). But His leading us into that land demands that we prepare ourselves and faithfully follow Him and fight the good fight in order that we may receive the victory in the end.
Be Strong and Courageous. Joshua and the people are told to be strong and of good courage. They were going into battle, but God was with them. Doing God’s will is never easy. No one said it would be! The minute one decides to act on the Lord’s commands one’s faith will begin to be tested. Satan himself will put seeds of doubt into your mind. Friends and family members will belittle you, try to pursued you, and even forsake you. It’s easy to live and act like everyone else, but the worldly are like water and electricity, always taking the path of least resistance. The successful prepare and labor in the face of every obstacle!
Be Obedient. The people are told to “observe to do accord-ing to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you” (1:7). Many today will tell you that you do not have to do anything, that obedience to the law of Christ is noth-ing more than “legalism” (a word that is thrown around quite a bit without understanding the true definition of the word). These naysayers are friends of those mentioned above. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My command-ments” (John 14:15). This includes repentance of sins (Acts 17:30), confession (Romans 10:10), and baptism for the remission of your sins (Acts 2:38; 1 Peter 3:21).
Be Faithful. The children of Israel are also told not to turn away from the law, “to the right hand or to the left” (1:7). There may be no more important word in all of sacred scripture than the word faithful. It is what is required of every steward (1 Corinthians 4:2) and is the word every Christian longs to hear (Matthew 25:23).
Be Meditative. The children of Israel are told that they should meditate on the law “day and night” (1:8). Preparation for eternity means spending time with the word of God. Daily Bible study and times of regular group study are impera-tive to knowing, understanding, observing, and remaining faithful to the law of Christ. Remember the noble Bereans (Acts 17:11).
Be Successful. The Lord promises Joshua and the people that if they will do these things they will make their way “prosperous” and then they would have “good suc-cess” (1:8). Without proper spiritual preparation and action there is no spiritual prosperity or success.
The people responded, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you…Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death” (1:16–18). A spiritual modern day parallel applies here too…we either prepare and act or we too shall be put to death (Matthew 25:46). Have we made the necessary preparations? Are we faithfully following the Captain of the army of God? Be faithful!