Joshua: Entering The Life Of Victory PT 2
Becoming like Christ can be compared to occupying the whole land of Canaan or to climbing a very high mountain. When we are converted, our sins are forgiven and our past is blotted out. But we are still enslaved by many sins. We could compare it to coming to the foot of this mountain. Then we begin to climb this mountain. The top of the mountain is perfect likeness to Christ. We will reach there only when Christ returns. But we don't have to live at the foot of the mountain-defeated by sin-perpetually. No. The Bible says, "Let us press on to perfection" (Hebrews 6:1). We are exhorted in 2 Corinthians 7:1 to "perfect sanctification or holiness in the fear of God". We should not be afraid of the word, "perfection". We must press on to it. Paul said towards the end of his life, he had not reached the top. "Not as though I has already attained, or were already perfect; but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: forgetting the things that are behind, and stretching forth myself to those that are before, I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14). The Lord is now saying to many of us, "You have stayed at the foot of this mountain long enough, Now climb it. Press on." So let's not turn to the left or to the right.
"Let not the book of this law depart from thy mouth" (1:8). We have seen that we should have God's Word in our heart. Here we see that we also need to have it in our mouth. We must confess the promises of God's Word with our mouths. The trouble with many Christians today is that they are confessing the things they are lusting after. They say, "I confess that I will get a large house. I confess that I will get a better job. I confess that I will get a good car"!! Instead of confessing all that, let us confess God's Word: "Lord I confess I will overcome anger, I confess that I will overcome lusting with my eyes completely. I confess that I will overcome the love of money." These are the things we should be confessing with our mouths. But the Devil doesn't want us to confess these. And so he makes us confess our lust for material things.
You can't build the Church with people who are interested in material things. You can build the Church only with people who are interested in heavenly things and a godly life. Don't attract the wrong type of people to your parish by offering people earthly prosperity. Does God's Word promise you that he will give you a house or a car? No. God's Word promises you that you can over come sin; that you can come into a life where you rejoice in the Lord always-24 hours a day, without being discouraged or defeated-always triumphant, always rejoicing and always giving thanks, in everything and for all people. This is the new covenant life (Canaan's land flowing with milk and honey) that the Bible promises. Confess it then and say, "Lord, this is the life I want to live all my days."
So don't let God's promises depart from your mouth. If you preach this message, you may find at times that you are a lone voice for God in the midst of popularity-seeking clergy men. Don't get discouraged. God will stand by you until the end.
Joshua was commanded to meditate on God's Word day and night. We are not to meditate on the need of the sinners in the world. That may look like a good thing to think about, but you can't help those sinners if you don't meditate on God's Word day and night. God promised Joshua both prosperity and success, if he meditated on God's Word (1:8). The real "prosperity gospel" is one where our lives become prosperous and successful in a heavenly and spiritual way. 'Prosperity and success' are the two things that everyone in the world seeks for. But they don't seek for these in the way God says in Joshua 1:8.