"Take the next exit and you'll find success on your right."
Wouldn't we all love for it to be that easy?
Being successful in life is the desire of every person that has ever lived, yet it doesn’t come to everyone. Why is that? Is it possible to be very rich and still be in poverty? Absolutely.I suppose it all boils down to what each of us counts as being successful. Our opinion of accomplishment and being wealthy shouldn’t be measured or compared to the world's views. If we are to experience the real value and worth of what it means to be successful, we need to seek the One who puts the value on these things – God.
Feelings of discouragement often set in when we feel we have failed at a task or even at life. Is there a special formula we are to follow in becoming successful and prosperous? I believe there is, and God has shown us how to have a “no fail” life along our journey. Are you interested in knowing what that system is?
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Spiritual Groundwork Must Come FirstIt’s true that God wants us to be successful in providing for our families, caring for the elderly or sick and being an over-the-top kind of giver, but He also wants us to be spiritually prosperous.
Being spiritually fit shows God that He can pour out His blessings and favor on us for greater things.What are we to do in order to prosper and have good success? For there to be lasting outward success in anything, there must first be inward spiritual growth. There are many people who we may consider “rich” but without God’s backing, it is only earthly wealth and won’t amount to anything.
There have been more times than I can count, that I have become discouraged with my relationship and walk with the Lord. I'd think, “What if I read my Bible or pray more … that will make me more “spiritual,” but something would come up and change my schedule so I didn’t follow through with my good intentions.When I failed at that I would try volunteering and giving to more places outside my church, thinking surely that’s where I messed up. Then again, those things wouldn’t be consistent and I’d be right back where I was in the beginning – feeling discouraged that I failed God.
The main reason I was feeling that way was because I didn’t understand my part in what God wanted me to do. A desire to please God was there, but I kept thinking I needed something else, because I didn’t see the results I thought I would in serving the Lord my way.I didn’t understand that my obedience was such a main issue in my relationship with God, and that it was more important than sacrifice.
By AuthorityAny time God gives an assignment, He gives us everything we need to carry it out. We have His authority, blessings, favor and power. Our part is to recognize the tools we have been given, and use them effectively in finishing the job. (Psalm 68:35
and Luke 10:19)
Moses was a great leader, but his earthly journey had come to an end. Joshua was given the mantle and responsibility of Moses to finish the job of getting the Israelites into Canaan. It was a task that Joshua didn’t think he could fulfill. (Reference)
I remember my first full time teaching position. Filling the shoes of the teacher that I replaced seemed impossible and there were many months my days ended in tears. Halfway through the year things began to change as I stepped up to the challenge. One thing that I had to keep in mind was that I had the promise of the school administration behind me 100%.Knowing that I had authority and backing to do what I was hired for helped me gain ground with my classes and colleagues. Success came because I didn’t forget what I had been given by the school board (their word), and I have carried this attitude with me everywhere I have taught, preached or lectured.
Joshua needed to be reminded by God of the tools he was given spiritually in order to have material success. What things could he count on from God in reaching his goal?
A command had been set with specific orders from the Lord. Joshua was told to “Go.” OK, now he knew what he was supposed to do. You can imagine there were some questions Joshua had concerning the “when, where, how and why”, so God spelled it out for him right from the start.
The first thing God told Joshua was something we would all like to hear. It was a word of comfort and encouragement before Joshua started the job.“Like I was with Moses, I will be with you and not forsake you your entire life.” (Joshua 1:5)
|Imagine all the miracles Joshua witnessed. Do you think Moses had a bit of fun at times?|
That is a huge promise! If I were Joshua I’d be making a mental note of the miracles that happened under Moses’ command, like the parting of the Red Sea, Manna from Heaven ... and so forth. Having that kind of power could go to one’s head don’t you think?God gave the law to Moses and now the mantle fell on Joshua. All the places he stepped would be his just like God did with Moses. How could he possibly get discouraged knowing that all the things God did for Moses He was now passing on to him?
Maybe you think that God isn’t the same as He was in the past, and that He doesn’t bestow the same blessings on the church today. That’s not true. If He did it for them, why not me I asked?
Yes, why not? God can do it for you, me or anyone who will follow His plan. Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
So the first thing in a "no fail success plan," is that it has to have a promise to succeed. Only God can make such a promise.
|The Promised Land Today|
Onward Christian Soldier: God Commanded JoshuaWhen a soldier is given a command by a higher officer, he is expected to carry out the task regardless of the way he feels. If that soldier has to go to battle, even the encouragement of the boss doesn’t take away the fear of the battle.
That soldier has to grasp hold of something emotionally to help him follow through with the assignment.
|I'm with you ... now get going!|
The second "no fail" ingredient of the plan we read in the scriptures, is that God expected Joshua to be strong and courageous no matter what he came against in delivering the people to their promised land.
In trying to get the point across to Joshua He said it three times! (Joshua 1:6,7,9)
If Joshua was going to win, he had to develop a winning character and attitude so he wouldn’t fall back into discouragement or quit. That meant taking a new approach (A.N.A.) in order to change the way he thought and how he saw himself.
“Joshua, (said the Lord) don’t be afraid or dismayed.”
That was a direct order straight from headquarters. To be dismayed is to lose focus on what we were doing. We lose direction and allow discouragement to creep in causing feelings of hopelessness. Like Joshua, we have been given orders to stay on course. (Joshua 1:9)There have been times when I was given a task that I really wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. Have you felt that way? Since the job description wasn’t clear, I would do other things to fill my time trying to be a good employee. To an employer, that could look like a person didn’t know their position or didn’t follow instructions well. When I clearly understood what I was responsible for I had no trouble doing the job.
God wanted to make sure there was no confusion for Joshua in what He wanted him to do in conquering the city. So He spelled it out for him.This is what you are to do: go take the land for a possession that is within these borders. Every place you step will now belong to you.
There was no doubt of his assignment, and we don’t have to be in doubt either. If we study God’s Word our task will become clearer. We will remain strong and courageous to the end.
The Action PlanWhy was staying strong and courageous so important if God promised He wouldn’t leave Joshua?
Didn’t he already have everything he needed? After all, God Himself was going to be with him throughout the entire journey. We learn from scripture that God was only going to do His part. If success was to come, Joshua had to do his own part of the plan.
God has given each one of us a plan of action so we can do what is asked of us. It is not just reading the Bible or praying either, but both are involved in the overall strategy for success.If the Bible is to work for us we have to read it with the intent to obey what we read. "Observe to Do."
Reading it and not doing what it says will not lead you into a prosperous spiritual life.
There was a man who recently talked to my husband about not understanding the Bible translation. With much discussion he was instructed to get another version to go along with the KJV, so that when he read a passage he could understand in order to do what the scripture said. There is no point in reading the Bible if we are only reading it to gain historical knowledge. God’s Word is a manual for life that is meant to be implemented. It’s a how-to book for life.I bought a small cabinet this week that came with instructions. If I want that item assembled I have to get my husband to do it. OK, I'm kidding.
If "we" want that cabinet to work for us, we have to follow exactly what the manual says or it won't be completed or useful.
God gives us written directions/instructions in His Word so that when we learn it, we will do it (observe is to carry out the assignment) without being told.
For those who do not plan on practicing what they learned from the Word of God, nothing will be revealed to them. The more we do what God has written the more blessed we will be. There is no need for revelation to those who don’t follow the plan of action.Why study God’s Word? So we can do it. When we follow the plan we don’t lose focus or get discouraged, and keep moving toward the goal. Joshua had to stay focused to win and so do we.
For years I followed a program called D.E.A.R. The kids never knew when it would happen, but at any time on any given day I’d call out, “It’s D.E.A.R. time.” That meant in the middle of an assignment, test or anything, our position was changed. Everyone, including myself had to drop everything and read (DEAR).
We were permitted to read anything we wanted, and no one could do anything else (that included me). What was the plan? Our goal was to encourage kids to read at home without being told so their literacy skills would increase. The plan worked because we all followed it.
Most times I would pull out my Bible and meditate on certain passages. It wouldn’t be long before something happened and I was glad I had those scriptures to draw on in decision making. Success came because the plan was activated when I did my part.God gave specific requirements for reading His Word. (The law back then was the books of Genesis-Deuteronomy called the Pentateuch. That was the entire Bible.) Joshua was to meditate on it at least 2 times a day (day and night).
He was told to memorize the passages so that they became the controlling factor in how he went about his day. For example, when you know God says “Do not steal,” you don’t steal.
It’s that way with anything God says. You act on what you know. If you’re not reading God’s Word, you can’t know what is right or wrong according to His plan and you’re bound to mess up purely out of ignorance. Memorize God’s Word so you know what to do.
Just Do ItJoshua was to believe and do the law without any doubts, questions or changes to it. He had to observe all of it and had no choice as to which he did and didn’t do.
In testing my students. I sometimes gave multiple choice selections, but God doesn’t do that. Joshua didn’t have a choice of following another plan. The Israelites new commander was told that he would have success in everything if he followed God’s plan only (no wavering from the guidebook).In today’s world, some Christians want to compromise on what God has clearly stated in His Word concerning right or wrong. We want to be politically or culturally correct and forgo being spiritually one with God.
A “No Fail” plan has to be followed according to the rules of its Creator. If we want the benefits of being successful, we have to go by the plan that leads us to that destination.When God says here is my plan of action, He isn’t asking for our input nor is He giving us a plan B. This is what the plan is, the only plan.
Scripture says, “Thou shall not,” but we say, “Just this once, maybe next time … that doesn’t apply to me.” God says, “Do not judge others or you’ll be judged.” We judge others and think we can escape judgment.
How clear did God make those instructions? Yet we change the rules, and take our own action plan expecting God to bless us with His favor.Winning is God’s plan for our lives. He has given a plan of action that will succeed if we remember these three things:
1. Only one plan comes with a promise to succeed. God's plan.
2. We must be strong and courageous on the journey.3. Memorize the “plan book” (Bible) to obey and do the plan.
We’re in this Together
|A written plan of action just like God's Word.|
God’s lesson plan book always gives the direction concerning any course of action. He expects us to go by it so everyone on His side wins. I want to succeed on my journey, don't you?It is satan’s plan to de-activate God’s success plan for our lives; and he is behind discouragement and failure, not God. Joshua never failed because he followed a plan to success.
|Plan to succeed - READ God's Word 2 x's a day.|
I have a saying on my kitchen wall:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
God planned for us not to fail, so let’s get with the plan starting now.Memorize scripture to observe (go into action). Press on and forward.
Don’t be afraid. Be strong and courageous…. We’re not alone!
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Be Strong and of a Good Courage!
Until next time, remember God’s favor is with you.
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