Dear Lord, a brilliant, living example of your faithfulness is shown to me every day of my life by that blazing ball of fire crossing over my piece of sky. What a powerful reminder and motivation! Help me be faithful in my responsibilities, personal or ministerial, whether others notice or not -- what does that matter?! I want to be faithful because you are.
Dear Lord, wisdom for me today is not understanding everything you do, but knowing that YOU DO.
For 120 years Israel had been united, through the triple 40-year reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon.
Then, in a matter of three days, Rehoboam splits the kingdom in two!
The foolishness of one leader can undo in hours, the legacy of many decades.
We are responsible to train the next generation of leaders; however, we really have no control over the decisions made after we are gone. That is all in God's hands. And He will not hold us accountable for our heirs' actions, if we, to the best of our knowledge and guidance, have prepared them diligently.
(2 Chronicles 10:5)
This is just a curious observation, something I'd never noticed before.
In 2 Chr. 6:13, Solomon prepared a huge platform and prayed publicly to God, in front of thousands.
In 7:12, God answered his prayer, but did so privately, during the night.
Ultimately, however, the Lord made both the prayer and the answer universally public in the Word of God!
For every day living, a key to enjoying divine grace is not learning how to convince God to give it; it is learning to receive it.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua 1:8)
God wants you to prosper!
I’m serious. It is not a joke nor a heresy. It is Bible truth.
Many times we allow unwise believers, or even unsaved people, to take truthful concepts from Scripture, distort them, and somehow kidnap their vocabulary to the degree that we avoid them entirely.
That’s a win for the Devil, and an unhealthy reaction on our part.
In this passage we find Joshua, a military commander if there ever was one, receiving instruction from the divine Captain. One of the orders given the new leader of Israel was this famous command in verse eight. He was never to forget or ignore the word of God. He was to keep it close, always right in front of Him.
If he obeyed, he was promised success. And not just a tiny bit of success. He would prosper in everything he did and in every place he went!
Now, considering the fact that he was about to invade a heavily defended group of kingdoms, this command seems quite odd. How in the world could the collection of Moses’ books — made up mainly of historical narratives, social laws, and spiritual instruction — offer any military help?!
Well, strictly speaking, it couldn’t.
But that is the point. The Pentateuch was not about weapons or war strategies! It was about knowing God, loving Him, and coming to trust Him so fully, that obeying whatever He commanded, was always understood to be the right thing.
In other words, doing His will day by day was the key to prospering. Success was defined as simply doing what God said to do.
It made absolutely no difference what armament the enemy had, how they defended their cities, or what counterattacks they might use. To prosper in conquering the promised land -- God's will for Joshua -- all he needed to do was obey the word of the Lord, at every turn.
Now just in case we might try to relegate this principle exclusively to the earliest stages of Biblical teaching, and somehow less relevant, the Lord repeats it nearly 500 years later. In the very first Psalm, David picked it up and applied it across the board, to every believer. We can’t just explain it away. It is too clear: “Blessed is the man . . . his delight is in the Law of the Lord . . . whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”!
Assuming you desire God’s will supremely, reading and embracing His Word will guarantee success. It will also help make sense of many puzzling details of life.
Now, one question all of this should force us to ask is, What does prosperity look like?
Well, was Abel’s short life in Genesis 4 a success? Was Zechariah’s death in 2 Chronicles 24, between the altar and the Holy Place, a victory? Did Stephen, in Acts 7, die a martyr’s death prosperously?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
How is that? Because they accomplished exactly what God wanted them to do. This being the case, prosperity is necessarily unique to every believer. It does not look the same across the board.
Are you a student? Are you going into business? Is God leading you into the ministry? Do you have some daunting challenge in front of you? Are you fearful of being unprepared for the future?
God wants you to prosper!
And true prosperity is the same today as it always has been. In ancient days it had nothing to do with their career, nor their plans for the future, nor the expectations of the world around them. It had only to do with being and doing what they were supposed to be and do, according to God.
Do you think this is extreme? Does it sound ridiculous? Well consider this: God’s will undoubtedly did not make any more sense to the Canaanites surrounding Joshua than it does to the world around you.
Just think Jericho.
In the end, you have a choice . . . who will you listen to?
Dear Father, it really does not matter how others define success for me. The only critical issue is that I do your will. If I stay in your Word, you will guide me down the path of your choice and prosper me all the way to my destination. Believing that is peace and satisfaction and joy.
One thing I have learned in my years of ministry and walk with Christ is the importance of gratitud. More and more I see it as a core sign of true humility. A person who honestly and consistently thanks others for even the tiniest good they have done for him is displaying genuine selflessness. This kind of person is always a delight to be with.
The other side of the coin is also easy to identify — through those who blame everyone else for their current situation. Pride often expresses itself in shifting the blame, expecting everyone to understand us and pave our way, and generally focusing on what we need or think we need. We are all tempted in this, because pride lives in each of us — not in a tent on the surface, but in a powerfully defended castle on the rock bed of our heart.
1 Thess 5:18
This I have learned in the many years I have walked with the Lord -- He is ALWAYS doing more than we think He is.
It is interesting that this "hardening of the heart" came to the disciples (Mark 6:52). Usually I would first associate the phrase or condition with the Pharaoh of Egypt, or some other really bad person! But this verse indicates that a believer can also suffer this judgment -- and that's exactly what it seems to be portrayed as.
It should be thought-provoking at least, as it is the kind of thing that renders the "infected" person oblivious to the fact that he does, in fact, have it. A believer with a hardened heart probably does not realise it. In fact, he may think he is totally right in whatever matter is on the table. Only by God's grace can this be reversed, as the Holy Spirit points out truth and sin, and we have the spiritual sensitivity to respond correctly. The opposite would be to continue blinded by our pride, assuming everyone else is wrong.
Lord, give me a sensitive heart that is always on the alert. My deadliest enemy is probably the one inside.
("For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.")
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