Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Key to Continued Success

The Key to Continued Success

As Joshua led Israel from victory to victory through the promised land, the time came to send them away to their new homes.  God had been their victor.  God had conquered the land.  The people had served the Lord all the days of Joshua (Joshua 24:31a) and God had blessed them.  Unlike the skilled politician who talks a lot but says nothing or the legal quagmire of endless documents required to buy a home, Joshua’s final speech is short, simple and ever so powerful.  He lays out the key to continued success in a few short words:

    “Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  Joshua 22:5

So Joshua blessed them and sent them away to their homes.

You have been successful and you can continue to be successful if you follow these few simple guidelines:
•    Love the Lord your God by obeying the commandments and laws of Moses.
•    Walk (live) by them, obey them and...
•    Cling to God, serve him with all your heart and soul.
The Hebrew word for “cling” (also translated “hold fast”) is the same word that is used in Gen. 2:24 when it says “a man shall leave his father and his mother and cling to his wife, and they should be come one flesh.”  It denotes a permanent, life-long relationship.

Love, walk, keep, cling and serve.  The latter four words prove the first.  It’s that simple.  The New Testament affirms that nothing has changed, “And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.” 2 John 6

Love, walk, keep, cling and serve.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Wife has a Job

Have you ever seen the show “Fear Factor”?  I seen a few episodes, enough to get the general gist.  For the chance to win a large sum of money, you are put in difficult situations and given a task.  If you complete the task ahead of your competitor, you win.  What makes the situation more difficult is the fact that the show preys on your fears.  They capitalize on your fears by showing you the dangers that you must face before you ever start the task. 

How often have I heard a Christian say, “If you knew what God had in store for you, you never would have done it.”  As I reflect on the last 12 years, I know that this statement is true.  My journey, not yet complete, has been shrouded in mystery.  Last summer I had no earthly idea that I would be were I am today.  And, it would come as no surprise if next summer I look back on this summer and say the same.  God reveals just what we need, when we need it, so that we have the opportunity to walk by faith, pleasing Him. 

Roughly a month ago my wife was out of work.  Now she has a new job, one were she can thrive and use her God given gifts for His glory.  Who knows why God allowed the things that he did?  Maybe the former job was just to bring her to the right place at the right time for this job?  Only God knows. 

I am learning on this journey to be faithful.  It is very easy to neglect the fundamentals, especially when God seems to be silent.  It is very easy to replace your faith with your own will-power and/or with worldly pleasures.   It is increasing easy to grow complacent with a mediocre life, one that is easy, free from worries and the fear factor.  But thankfully, God is faithful.  He will finish what He has begun.  Like David walking through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.