Lofty Expectations

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.
Joshua 1:8, ESV

Prosperity and success!  If you were to ask anyone if he or she would like to achieve these two goals, I can think of no one who would reply in the negative.  Perhaps in ministry our definitions of prosperity and success differ, and other expectations are placed at a higher value, but prosperity and success are generally not bad goals for which to aim.  In fact, we are given the prescription in the book of Joshua for how to live a prosperous and successful life in God’s economy.

As God’s chosen people were about to enter the Promised Land, their newly appointed leader, Joshua, was given some much needed reassurance and direction from the Lord in Joshua chapter one.  At the beginning of a new year, I, too, am in need of some reassurance and direction.  2016 was a challenging year of ministry for us.  Perhaps you can relate to some of our challenge:  unmet expectations, financial struggles, slow progress…just to name a few.  The blank slate of a new year beckons and excites me as it is a chance to start anew and afresh.  But, a guarantee of prosperity and success would be nice!

I’m sure the promised land beckoned Joshua, too.  After all, he had wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years in preparation for this day!  (My last year doesn’t sound so bad now…)  But he, as I, needed God to reassure him that all would go well.  So in Joshua 1:8, God gives Joshua the prescription for a prosperous and successful takeover of the land:

  1. Keep God’s Word on the tip of your tongue. Quote it…it’s your weapon!
  1. Meditate on God’s Word day and night. Know it…it’s your directions!
  1. Be careful to do what God’s Word says. Obey it…it’s your marching orders!

As we begin a new year of ministry with lofty expectations, may we keep God’s words to Joshua in mind.  “For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Happy New Year!


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