Thursday, October 08, 2015

Good Success in Obedience

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. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 
Joshua 1:8 ESV  [Scripture links: BibleGateway.com]

"To act or not to act. To wait or to move. to speak or remain silent. All these can be faithful acts. Living in the presence of God and trusting the Spirit helps us discern right action in everyday life." Henri Nouwen, Discernment


A few weeks ago, a friend sent me an excerpt from a book her Life Group is studying. The book, The Joshua Code by O.S. Hawkins, pastor, author and president of Guidestone Financial Resources, gives 52 Scripture verses that can help the Christian meditate on God's word and keep it close 'day and night'. As our series on discernment nears its end, there are some worthy thoughts from verse 33 in The Joshua Code. First, note the 'Book of the Law' refers to Scripture and is likely referring to Genesis through Deuteronomy. Historically, the Torah consists of the first five books of our Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, which many scholars credit Moses with writing. Secondly, good success is defined as "the ability to find the will of God for your life...and then doing it!" * The Life Application Study Bible explains good success in this context as to "obey God's law, to read and study His Book of Instruction". Discernment must become a way of Christian living, a daily spiritual discipline that seeks, listens, and knows the Spirit's leading.

In seeking God's purpose, too often we get distracted or disillusioned, lost or lethargic. We decide either God's purpose is too grand and we are too small, or we ignore God's plan and choose easier lives of indifference and complacency. Hawkins writes, "Our completed purpose, in the eyes of God, will be to move beyond simply reading and studying the Bible, to an act of obedience as we put these words into practice in our own experience." Ah, and this where it is easiest to make excuses for lack of time or energy, lack of ability or passion; we simply dismiss the Holy Spirit's urgings. Nouwen says, "Our spiritual task is to 'seize the time' - the right time for God's purpose here and now." Like Israel, we can come to the edge of the Promised Land, and we can either choose God's plan or falter, we can be obedient or hesitate. Hawkins concludes, "Here is the true success in life: to stay in the Word of God until we find the will of God so that we can walk in the ways of God. The Word. The will. The walk." ** What will you do? ~dho

* The Joshua Code, OS Hawkins, pg. 167
** The Joshua Code, OS Hawkins, pg. 170