We who are called on mission for God must abide in His Word. It is easy to get distracted, postpone, or neglect our daily time with the Lord. We can slide into a pattern of picking up the Bible when we have “more time” or something else does not take precedence instead of making our priority Jesus as the Word. Great benefits and blessings are ours as we give the Lord the “firstfruits” of our attention and devotion. Additionally, we simply cannot complete our mission successfully if we don’t.
How is success measured? In God’s eyes.
Joshua was called on mission to lead the Israelites across the Jordan River to a new land the LORD was giving them (Joshua 1:2). He was to divide the land as an inheritance (1:6), which required defeating the enemies resident in the land as described in the book of Joshua. It was a God-sized mission. Joshua couldn’t have done it without depending on God and His provision.
When God called Joshua to it, He outlined the scope of the mission and also told him how to succeed. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (1:8, NKJV)
There are three things to note from the first sentence in verse 8. First, the Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth. Like Joshua, we are to speak the Word continually. We are to speak truth over our circumstances from the Word. We are to speak in faith knowing the power of the Word. Secondly, like Joshua, we shall meditate in it day and night. The Word is to be our focus, our go-to, our joy as we go through our days and nights. This is true in the easier times as well as in the times of great struggle and difficulty. The Word gives us the perspective, the wisdom, and the hope we need all the time. Thirdly, we, like Joshua, are to “observe and do” (v. 8, AMP) according to all that is written. It’s not just about agreeing with the Word, it’s about doing it. It’s about making decisions about how to proceed with the issues at hand based on the Word. And then, we are to take action based on the wisdom and truth of God’s glorious Word.
Verse 9 is God’s mandate to Joshua as well as to us today as to the way to successfully complete the mission. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” When the going gets rough, when we feel stuck, when the obstacles seem too great, God is with us giving us all the strength and courage we need to overcome, press through, endure, and complete well His assignment. He shows us how to replace fear with faith and dismay with renewed assurance.
How are we to do our mission? By following God’s command to Joshua: keep the Word front and center and go for it, trusting in the Lord to make the way.