I am reading through the book of Joshua right now, and have just finished chapter five. I thought I would share some thoughts on what I read. Feel free to share with me your thoughts on the following:
In the first chapter, the Lord tells Joshua to "be strong and courageous" three different times. He is about to lead the nation of Israel to take the Promised Land...and so I'm sure he had a mixture of emotions, concerns and fears that ran through his mind. Yet God encouraged him by saying you be strong and courageous. I think this is a good idea for the beleiver in these days. We sometimes get discouraged when we look at the world around us. Sin seems to be running rampant, not only without restraint, but with encouragement and endorsement. Yet we have been intrusted with the gospel message that will enable those witout Christ to come to salvation and gain access into the promised land. How can we be strong and courageous in the face of such wide spread sin and ungodliness? God answers that for us and for Joshua in the same chapter.
Look at what the Lord says in verse eight: "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful."
Just as Joshua and the Hebrews were promised prosperity and success if they kept the Word of the Lord, and memorized it, used it, lived by it, so we too are promised the same. Not in material success and prosperity, but in a spiritual way. The Word of God has the answers to the questions that people are asking. The problem lies in the sad state we find the church in today, where we are biblically illiterate to a large degree. We are not usually "careful" in handling the Word, instead we quote it out of context, and twist it to fit our pre-concieved idea of what God "really means".
I'm surprised at the number of christians who state they cannot understand the Bible, or have trouble memorizing scripture, yet they know all the plot details and intricacies of tv shows such as "Heroes" and "Lost". They can follow all of the different versions of "Law & Order" and "CSI" along with all the details of each character on the show, yet have no solid biblical knowledge.
The problem is that we have been seduced by the culture instead of being led by the Spirit. Our salt has lost its saltiness and our light has grown dim. We pray for revival in our nation, but revival needs to first come to the church, and more specifically, it needs to come to you and I.
Just like Joshua, we have a huge land to conquer...and we cannot do it ourselves. Join me in praying for personal revival. May the Spirit come and blow fresh wind into our lives.
Lord, make me strong and courageous, so that with the love of the gospel we can begin to "take this land" for YOU.