“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.
Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
I will never leave you or forsake you.
Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you.
Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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.
Have I not commanded you?
Be strong a courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:5-9

WOW, there is so much in these verses! Note how the Lord said multiple times to be strong and courageous, then he emphasized it with ‘very’ courageous. The Lord knew what Joshua and the Israelites would be up against as they crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, but all He asked for was that they be strong and courageous. Why? Because God’s got it! He is in and always will be in control. His plan will work, but we must do our part too.

For me, to read these verses today, it was like a personal word from God. As I was reading this, the song, “Oceans” was playing, and for a few moments it was quite intense. It felt like God was speaking directly to me, giving me a word of warning, a heads up to remain faithful to Him, but also a reminder of His faithfulness to me, His promise of being with me through everything.
(Wonder what this all means for my future?)

Notice how the Lord told Joshua what to do and what not to do: be strong, be courageous, meditate on the words from the Book of the Law, do what the Law says, be careful to follow it, yet do not turn from the Law or stop speaking about the Law, and don’t be frightened or dismayed.

IF Joshua obeyed what the Lord said, THEN he would have good success wherever he went, and he would be prosperous.
This sounds like the recipe for success!

Recognize that the Lord said, “I will be with you, I will never leave you or forsake you, I will be with you wherever you go.” This was not contingent on Joshua’s obeying him, but it was a promise from God regardless, which was no different than how God was with Moses. As leaders of God’s people, we can trust that.

Joshua’s success was based on his own actions – not God’s actions. He would succeed IF he kept God’s Word, studied it, and remained courageous in the face of overwhelming odds. His own actions would make him prosperous provided he remained focused on what the Lord had commanded him. Joshua bore his own responsibility – it was not someones else’s job, or the government’s – for him to be successful.

These truths can be applied to all of us today. Study the Word of God, mediate on it, talk about it, obey it, and share what you’ve learned with others. When those overwhelming complications or problems come charging at you, be strong, be very courageous, and trust that the Lord has your back! He will never leave you or forsake you. If the outcome is not what you hoped for, don’t be dismayed, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go, and IS IN CONTROL.

Food for thought: The ball is on your court. Will you serve in the Lord’s court and be successful, or will you serve yourself and fail in the end?

Fun facts: Biblical foods for today’s recipes:
Fruits – dates, pomegranates, figs, melon, apples, and grapes.
Vegetables – olives, grape or fig leaves, cucumbers, onions, and fava beans.
Proteins – fish, goat, lamb, beef, nuts, eggs and cheese.
Grains – wheat, barley, millet and rye.
Other – honey, garlic, milk, butter, various oils, herbs, and spices.

Photo by: Annie Spratt – Morning recipe