Have you ever seen a movie where the will is read and there are conditions that must be met before a person can receive their inheritance? Many of God's promises are also conditional. God says, "If you will, I will." Sometimes it is as simple as asking, "you have not, because you ask not."
In the book of Joshua, the time for fulfillment has come. The time of fulfillment comes right after a great grief. Moses has died. What now? I imagine that Joshua and all of Israel were discouraged and afraid. God speaks to Joshua, in the midst of the grief over Moses death and says, "get ready to cross over into the inheritance that I will give my people". Then, God gives Joshua some instructions on the conditions from which fulfillment of obtaining the land of inheritance will come.
Be very brave and strong. Why would you have to be told this? Because it is frightening. We say someone is strong and brave because they are doing it. These are things you do, actions. Be brave. Be strong. Joshua, chapter one, says this four times and it is a command. It is not optional. We must be brave and strong to inherit the promises. It will feel scary and you will feel weak, but don't listen to your feelings and do God's will anyways. God's will is what is written. Remember when Jesus answered the Devil with, "it is written"? We also have the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth and empowers us to do God's will.
When you are brave and strong, it will be said of you that, you didn't know you had it in you.
To be told to be brave and strong means that passivity will not cut it. God is about to do something big, something we have been waiting for. But we must do something too. Be brave and be strong.
Be very brave and strong as you carefully obey all the instruction that Moses my servant commanded you. You have been instructed and you have much knowledge. It is time to put the knowledge into action. The goal of instruction is obedience unto a godly life. We don't learn from God so that we can just be knowers, but we learn so that we can be doers. Godly people are people walking in God's ways. Godly folk are being godly and also doing godliness. God's way is to work through you and me. To know and not to obey is to not believe. The life, life in God, life with God, is lived out through obedience empowered by love and done in faith. It's not enough to be instructed, but we must do the instructions.
Don't deviate even a bit from it, either right or left. Then you will have success wherever you go. The secret to success in God, in life, is obedience to God's word. Want success? Obey God's word. Disobey Gods word, you get failure. Deviation is when we mix God's ways with the world, the flesh, or the devil. It won't work. The mixture will corrupt the pure. Compromise is when we go off God's path that is laid out in the scriptures in an area of our lives and it infects the whole of our lives and we are brought down. Stay on the straight and narrow, says God, and find life and wholeness and success.
Never stop speaking about this Instruction scroll. Recite it day and night so you can carefully obey everything written in it. Then you will accomplish your objectives and you will succeed. Become a person overflowing with the Word of God. Read the Bible. Study the Bible. Memorize the scriptures. Apply the Word to your day to day life. Let the Word be the path you walk on. Make the Bible your prayer book. When you need to pray because you are in a fix, browse the word until you find your prayer. The Psalms are good for this. Many of the worship poems or songs in Psalms are written prayers to God. In Paul's letters, he goes into prayers. Instruction and prayer go together.
I’ve commanded you to be brave and strong, haven’t I? This is the fourth time that God says to be brave and strong. It is like God is saying, "I can not emphasize this enough". God knows that it is going to be a wild ride ahead and says, "buckle up". Check yourself. Are you being brave and strong? If you don't have bravery and strength, it is time to get some. God does not tell us to do something without giving it to us. You've got the gift, but it looks like you are waiting for something. Be brave and strong.
Don’t be alarmed or terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. We must be obedient to the Word or life will not work. Being obedient Word people puts us in a position to partner with God. We will be destroyed if we do not walk in the Word as we partner with God. The power to save comes from God, but you may be the one God uses to deliver the message. The power to take territory comes from God, but God needs us to occupy and steward the land.
The book of Joshua is not just history, it is also filled with principles of how God works. God has plans for his people, an inheritance. God says, "I have an inheritance for you, an inheritance that you have waited for; but to receive it, you must be brave and strong; you also must be obedient to my Word." That's it.
We must be brave and strong: take courage, and we must be obedient to the Word of God. We must live in a Word life, not a self life. Remember that Jesus is the Word, so don't get hung up on not wanting to be a legalist. The message is, stop being rebellious and lawless and selfish. Crucify your flesh rather than feeding it. Stop nurturing the old man and instead let the new, resurrected person come forth. Say yes to the fruit of the Spirit and let it grow in the fertilizer of negatives in your life.
The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. We are meant to be people of the Lord God, who is with us. God is not a force, but a person. A person, the Holy Spirit, is with us. Who will help you to be brave, to be strong, and to be obedient? The Holy Spirit! Who is the strongest, smartest, and most encouraging person in the world? Who is the best problem solver? The Holy Spirit. In the uncharted territory ahead, God will be with us. He goes with us. We are people of the presence. We are not people of a religion, but people in relationship with the living God, inviting others to know him also.