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. Joshua 1:8
Everyone wants to succeed in life. And there is no end to the number of books, seminars, life coaches, and strategies to help us find success. But do they promise success in everything? Can a 75-year-old succeed in his aspiration to become an astronaut or NFL player? Not likely. While “anything is possible,” promises of success come with caveats in the world’s markets.
But the Bible records God’s promises of success and prosperity in everything—with a caveat. Success is the outgrowth of meditating on and living by the principles of God’s Word. When God promised Joshua he would succeed, that promise was based on Joshua fulfilling something God had commissioned him to do. If Joshua would walk in God’s ways, he would be successful in fulfilling God’s commission.
If you want to succeed, discover God’s will for your life first. Then live by His Word as you pursue His will.
To find his place and fill it is success for a man.Phillips Brooks
[Elijah] looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.1 Kings 19:6
I once heard a businessman describe his years in college as a time when he often felt “helpless and hopeless” from bouts of depression. Sadly, he never talked to a doctor about these feelings, but instead started making more drastic plans—ordering a book on suicide from his local library and setting a date to take his life.
God cares for the helpless and hopeless. We see this in His treatment of biblical characters during their own dark times. When Jonah wanted to die, God engaged him in tender conversation (Jonah 4:3–10). When Elijah asked God to take his life (1 Kings 19:4), God provided bread and water to refresh him (vv. 5–9), spoke gently to him (vv. 11–13), and helped him see he wasn’t as alone as he thought (v. 18). God approaches the downhearted with tender, practical help.
The library notified the student when his book on suicide was ready to collect. But in a mix-up, the note went to his parents’ address instead. When his mother called him, distraught, he realized the devastation his suicide would bring. Without that address mix-up, he says, he wouldn’t be here today.
I don’t believe that student was saved by luck or chance. Whether it’s bread and water when we need it, or a timely wrong address, when mysterious intervention saves our lives, we’ve encountered divine tenderness.
In today’s psalm, we see David praying for protection and guidance as he waits for God. We all know how difficult waiting is during times of illness, danger, trouble, or confusion. But God can use these situations to develop the virtues He desires in our lives.
Faith. The Lord’s ways are nothing like ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). His purposes are higher and eternal, whereas our desires are usually immediate and earthly. Even when we don’t understand why God delays, we can trust in His character and faithfulness, knowing He’ll do what’s best.
Humility. Since the Christian life is God-directed rather than self-directed, submission to whatever He ordains for us requires humility. For this reason, we must acknowledge that the Lord is our Master and we’re totally dependent on Him.
Patience. In Scripture, this word means “long-suffering” or “forbearance.” It’s spiritual fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in us as we wait and trust God to intervene at the right time (Galatians 5:22-23).
Are you willing to remain in your current position until the Lord acts on your behalf? Waiting on God isn’t passive or idle. It takes a determined focus on His wisdom, goodness, and faithfulness no matter how challenging a situation may seem.
“Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.” (Psalm 102:25-27)
This remarkable passage, quoted also in Hebrews 1:10-12, anticipates the famous second law of thermodynamics, or law of entropy, indicating that everything in the physical universe is growing old and wearing out. God created everything in the beginning, winding it up like a great clock, so to speak. Because of sin and the curse, however, it has been running down and “perishing” ever since. Jesus also said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away” (literally “are passing away”) (Matthew 24:35).
This universal scientific law is also anticipated in Isaiah 51:6: “The earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner.” That is, the law of decay and death applies both to the earth and its inhabitants. The concept of universal evolution is clearly refuted both by Scripture and true science.
Note that our text also anticipates that, although the earth is growing old and seems about to die, it will suddenly be changed, like a garment. The old garment will be discarded and a new garment put on. Peter puts it this way: “The heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Peter 3:12-13).
Now, although the universe is perishing and will one day be suddenly renewed, its Creator never changes. His years will never end, and His Word and His righteousness will never pass away. HMM
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. —Ephesians 2:6
Earth may have been good enough for that creature who was created from the dust and clay, but it is not good enough for the living soul who is redeemed by royal blood!
Earth was fit and proper to be the eternal dwelling place for that creature who was made by God’s hand, but it is not appropriate nor sufficient to be the eternal dwelling place of that redeemed being who is begotten of the Holy Spirit. Every born-again Christian has been lifted up—lifted up from the level of the fallen Adamic race to the heavenly plane of the unfallen and victorious Christ. He belongs up there! WPJ150
The children of God are partakers of the divine nature. From bearing the “image of the earthly,” they now bear the “image of the heavenly.” God has imparted to them a portion of His own loveliness. He has formed them new creatures. DTC166
Whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.—John 15:16
An important step to help you access the power of the Spirit is to reach out in faith and receive the fullness of all that God has for you. We enter into all God’s blessing by faith. As a child of God, you are heir to all that the Father has—Himself. So reach out and take Him now. Jesus said, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me and drink” (Jn 7:37).
Are you thirsty? Then drink. “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for” (1Jn 5:14-15). Here are the principles:
Confidence—”the confidence we have before Him.”
Conversing—”we ask anything.”
Condition—”according to His will.”
Conviction—”we know that He hears whatever we ask.”
Consequence—”we know that we have.”
Follow the principles one by one. Have confidence in the character of God. Converse with Him and tell Him your need—to be filled to overflowing with His Holy Spirit. Believe that the condition is met and your asking is in harmony with His will. Remind yourself that He hears your request and that He is flooding your whole being with His power. Have the boldness to take what is there. Faith will turn it to fact; fact will turn it to feeling. Welcome His coming in whatever manner He comes. You are thirsty—so drink … and drink … and drink.
O Father, how can I thank You enough for bringing me to this moment? It is an end, yet it is a beginning. I know that life is ahead of me, for life is within me. I am grateful beyond words. Amen.
But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and this defiles a man.—Matthew 15:18
The Bible stresses that what you say is an accurate indicator of what is in your heart. If your words bless and encourage others, they give evidence of a compassionate heart. If you often share the good news about Christ, you demonstrate a heart that is grateful for your own salvation. When others are in a crisis, do they know they will find peace and comfort in your words? Do you frequently and spontaneously offer prayers for others? Do your words and the manner in which you say them reveal a patient heart? All of these behaviors indicate a heart that is like the heart of the Father.
Or do you often regret your words? Are there people even now who are hurt or angry because of something you have said? Do you enjoy gossip? Do you tend to criticize others? Do you feel that you are not responsible for what comes out of your mouth when you are angry? Does your mouth spew grumbling and complaints? These behaviors come from a heart that is unlike God’s heart.
You may say, “Oh, but that’s just the way I am! I’m always saying the wrong thing!” Yet Scripture clearly states that an abusive tongue is not under the control of the Spirit (James 3:3–l0). A sanctified mouth is a wonderful instrument for the Lord. A heart like the Father’s heart will produce only pure and loving words. Without making any excuses for your words, ask the Holy Spirit to forgive you for any words that have brought harm. Then ask Him to discipline your mouth so that every word you speak is used by God to encourage and edify others. .