His Formula for Success

His Formula for Success

By Floyd Miller

 

 

 

By Henry NelsonJoshua 1:6-96Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”There is a common desire within every person to feel successful. We often measure our worth on the basis of how successful we are. How we measure that success is often based on a worldly standard rather than a godly standard. Success by the world’s standard often means luxury, wealth, and possessions, achievements, notoriety, and fame, beauty, brains and brawn.If we measure our lives by the world’s standards we will have an inaccurate and incomplete view of whether or not we’re successful. God’s standard of measurement is nothing like the world’s standard. God’s formula for success is completely unlike the world’s formula. And His formula works for every person, in every situation, whether it’s at school, in our business, our families, or our church. The pathway to success cannot be traveled by anyone who does not practice God’s formula for success. These principles are taken from Joshua 1:6-9.Principle #1: BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUSNotice the number of times God brings this command before Joshua. .What is courage? Courage has several synonyms: bravery, valor, fearlessness, heroism, confidence, nerve. It also has several nicknames: guts, grit, backbone.There’s one very important thing we need to notice about courage. You will never witness courage in someone who is at ease in Zion. Courage is seen in the person who’s back is against the wall, when the odds are against them, when the pressure is on, when the flaming arrows are close, when the pain is intense, when the attack is at hand.We see courage in David when he walks into the Valley of Elah with his sling to take his stand against Goliath. We see courage when Moses stands eye to eye with Pharaoh. We see it in Elijah when he challenges the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. Courage can only be seen in the midst of conflict and struggle.Why did God tell Joshua that he needed to be courageous? What was Joshua going to face that was so difficult that he would need to be courageous? Besides being the leader of the nation of Israel, God had given Joshua a project to complete. His first task was to lead his army into Canaan and drive out the people who lived there.Sounds like an easy job, but remember, 40 years before this under Moses’ leadership he had sent 12 spies into the land of Canaan. They came back with stories of giants living in the land who made them look like grasshoppers. When the people heard this they became afraid and refused to enter the land.There were seven nations living in Canaan, all of them larger and stronger than Israel. By all human standards Joshua was facing an uphill battle. He had every reason to turn tail and run. That’s why God encourages him so many times: Be strong and courageous.Do you ever feel like you’re facing an uphill battle? Do you feel like the odds are against you? Honestly, there are hundreds of times in our lives when we’re faced with situations that, to our eyes, seem impossible! There are outward circumstances like illnesses and disabilities, broken relationships, financial hardships, the loss of a job, etc. Then there’s the inner conflicts that test our faith, like attacks on our personal integrity, remaining faithful when no one is looking, enduring the sting of loneliness and separation, standing alone when you’re misunderstood. There are many times in our lives when we need to hear God’s command to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.”There’s something else we dare not overlook. Even though Joshua and his nation were small in comparison to the enemy, they had somebody on their side that would tip the scales in their favor. Look at Joshua 1:9 . Compare that with Deut. 7:17-19, 21 .Just like Joshua and the nation of Israel, we may see ourselves as small in comparison to the enemy, but we have Somebody on our side that is going to tip the scales in our favor.God’s formula for success begins with, “Be strong and courageous.” But there is an addendum I want to put on it that will make it complete. “For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Real success is not a matter of strength and courage alone, but strength and courage that comes from the knowledge that God is walking with us.Do not miss the point! For Joshua to lead the people into the land of Canaan and claim God’s promise he must be strong and courageous. They couldn’t do like their fathers had done a generation ago and grumble and complain and refuse to enter the land because of their fear. Listen to Moses recount the story of their failure in Deut. 1:26-32 .Watch this now! The outcome of their fear and unbelief was…what? God doesn’t want Joshua and his generation to make the same mistake.I think we need to apply this principle not only in our personal life, but also in the life of this congregation. It would be very easy for us to look at this congregation with only our human eyes and human understanding and say, “We’re just too small in insignificant to have any influence on the city of Beaumont. Let’s just do what little we can and be satisfied with that.” You know what I think about that kind of philosophy? I think it’s a weak excuse for a weak faith.In God’s success formula the first thing we must do is be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.PRINCIPLE #2: OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S COMMANDS Notice how the Lord delivers this to Joshua: “Be careful to obey ALL the law.”It would be convenient if we could pick and choose which of God’s principles and laws we could follow and which we found to be too demanding and too harsh. The law that Joshua was given was very detailed, and God expected him to learn it, meditate on it, and apply it. We are not under that same law today, but we live by the same principles.Jesus said that there are two commands that are most important. What are they? Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Paul called love the fulfillment of the law; James called it the royal law. Whatever you call it, God’s formula for success wouldn’t be complete without it.PRINCIPLE #3: SATURATION IN GOD’S WORD Some of you have husbands like that too, don’t you? Mistakes are made because we don’t read the instruction manual. That same principle is true when it comes to the Christian walk. Many of our mistakes could have been avoided if we had saturated ourselves in God’s word.One thing that has occurred to me is that ignorance is no excuse for acting stupid. The mistakes I made with my computer were made in ignorance, but that did not stop me from suffering the consequences for being stupid. My ignorance was a deliberate, voluntary ignorance. The information I needed was available.When we try to live without consulting God’s word, it’s a deliberate, voluntary ignorance. But that ignorance will not stop us from suffering the consequences for being stupid. The wisdom we need is available.It’s not just about reading it; it’s about meditating on it and letting God’s word saturate our spirit.God’s Formula for Success works, but there are no shortcuts. It calls us to be strong and courageous. It calls us to be obedient to His commands. It calls us to saturate our spirit with His word.See you next week. May God Bless everyone!Brother Nelson