7 "Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go."
Joshua 1:7 (ESV)
Joshua couldn’t get enough of God’s exhortation. He was going to need every ounce of encouragement he could get to rally the stubborn Israelites to finally cross the Jordan River into the land.
God spoke courage to Joshua, but He also instructed him, giving him a warning as well as a promise. He told Joshua if he obeyed the law, he would be successful wherever he went.
That sounds like a great return on Joshua’s investment of obedience.
If we’re to be inspired by Joshua’s God experience, we need to understand God’s spiritual principle of obedience. Then we can take this truth and begin to run our own race of faith on a path that God blesses.
The spiritual formula for living a blessed life is simple:
(God’s sovereignty + God’s goodness + God’s plan) x (my obedience) = SUCCESS (God’s glory + my good)
Scripture makes it very clear that God is in charge of all things, that He is good, and that He has a plan for my life (John 3:16). If I trust and believe and follow in surrendered obedience (Romans 12:1,2), the course of my life will not only bring God glory, but it will ultimately result in my good too (2 Corinthians 3:17,18).
I want to live by this spiritual principle all the days of my life. Therefore, when I look at my part of the equation – my obedience – the logical question I must ask myself is, “Do I obey God’s law?”
We could take a look at the Old Testament law handed down through Moses and study it in detail, or we could look at how Jesus answered the religious leaders when they asked Him to identify the most important commandment from the law.
Jesus summed up the law and pointed us to His path of Christian obedience.
“Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” ‘The second is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these’” Mark 12:29-31.
If I’m obeying the Lord’s law, then I’m radically loving Him and others.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” Galatians 5:13.
If I’m obeying the Lord’s law, then I’m radically serving others in love.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:13,14 (NIV).
If I’m obeying the Lord’s law, then I’m radically forgiving others and living in community unity.
Athlete, obeying the law of love will be transformational in every area of our lives, because intentional, purposeful and sacrificial love is the most powerful force in heaven or on earth.
A prayer to consider: Lord, help me stay on the straight path of obedience by pouring out Your supernatural love in my heart.