This Book of the Law — Prayer, Patience, Persistence
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” Joshua 1:8
“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7
The walk of faith is a lot easier and far more rewarding than the walk of sight. That said, we are still challenged to keep on course as we live our human lives. At times it seems everything is against us, and at others it seems we are “surprisingly” blessed and fortunate. It is fool hearty to think that once we confess faith in Jesus Christ our lives will be gilded with nothing but clear sailing, happiness, nothing but trouble free and carefree circumstances and never a day of want or trouble ‘til we wake up one day in Heaven.
That might be great, but it was not what Jesus promised us, In fact He said, “…in the world we will have tribulation...”
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Nevertheless, we are promised that through diligent pursuit and submission to the Word of God, our lives will be made prosperous and we will have good success — not just success but good success.
What God was committing to Israel through Joshua was a promise that He was for them, not against them, that He wanted them to succeed in this new land and to prosper in all their righteous pursuits. He wanted them to be a great and powerful nation to carry His message of love to the world. He wanted them to prepare the way for the coming Messiah and to tell the world that the darkness and death they lived in was coming to and end and life from God was coming to redeem them to His righteousness.
But, they missed it. Still God was not thwarted nor delayed in His intended purpose.
The Book of the Law for Joshua and Israel was given to show them the righteousness of God and to provide a roadmap so to speak to His will realized His way. Coming out of Egypt after 400 years of living in that culture, they were well aware of the ways of the Egyptians particularly their manners of worship of their Gods. But God gave Moses first (and later to Joshua) a new set of values and laws for them to live by. Everything was to be done to mirror the things in Heaven. [Hebrews 8:5]
The Tabernacle, The Temple, the sacrifices, the offerings, the judgments, the rituals, every aspect of human behavior was proscribed in the Law to conform the people to the will God. It was commanded for them to do the whole Law with a promise. You keep the Law; you receive God’s favor and blessing. You transgress the Law; you die.
Now someone will say, rightly so, that we are not under the Law, but under grace. That is true. We are not required to live under the Law of Moses with its ordinances and statutes, blood sacrifices and offerings, but we are now under a higher and more all encompassing Law. That is the Law of the spirit of Life that is in Christ Jesus. It is this greater law that has made us free from the Law of sin and death. [Romans 8:2] Sin and death no longer hold dominion over us, because Christ has died once and for all for our sins. [Romans 6:14]
But, if we do not have at least a minimal understanding of the nature and intent of the Law we cannot appreciate in any measure the price of the grace that we have now freely received in Jesus Christ. Without knowledge of the law we can be easily trapped in the bondage of things prohibited by the law or live without restraint in wanton sin and debauchery which are an abomination to God. How? By virtue of the fact that our human nature still remains human even though our spirits have been made new.
We are new creation spirits in Christ Jesus, but our flesh with all its passions and desires remains just that, flesh. And the Scriptures tell us that the two, flesh and spirit are at war with one another.
“For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do.” Galatians 5:17 AMP
So what do we do? How do we overcome this tension and find peace within ourselves?
First, we overcome by becoming knowledgeable of the will and ways of God through His Word, the Old and the New Testaments. By this I mean, we need to set aside some time everyday to read, meditate on (study) and speak the Word of God.
By our prayersand supplications with thanksgiving we keep ourselves from becoming anxious about anything, committing all things to God. [Philippians 4:6]
We need patience as we walk through our days, because patience is our most effective weapon against the temptation to doubt God or grow weary in well doing, or become hopeless when the things we desire are delayed. In the midst of temptation we can take hold of patience to sustain us until the pressure of the temptation subsides and goes away.
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
Patienceis a force for the long haul as well. The ability to withstand the pressure of the moment or to resist the urge to give up short of the finish line is also a gift from God. The old spiritual song said it this way. “I’m so glad trouble don’t last always.” The Holy Spirit speaks to us in the moment of temptation or assault from the enemy to remind us that the moment will pass, but the Word and truth of God is forever, and we can trust Him to get us through it.
Persistenceis vital to keep us on course with the righteousness of God. Knowing what is right and doing it consistently even when we don’t see its results or immediately receive the reward that it promises, will in due time bring us the fulfillment of God’s promised blessings. We will be rewarded.
“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10
“For all the promises of God in Him areYes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
So then, let the Word of God be first last and always the guiding and final truth for your life. Live in it and do according to all that God has revealed to you. The momentary delays, setbacks, deferrals, temptations to abandon our faith or give in to sin’s seductions are not eternal and they are no match for God’s love and power living in you by the Holy Spirit.
Your blessing and your true reward are on the way. The desires of your heart will be satisfied. The answers to your prayers are coming you. The pressure will be lifted, the temptation will cease, the weariness will give way to enthusiasm, and strength and joy will be multiplied in you.
God loves us and He is working out His plan for our lives. This is the confidence that we have to live by faith in Him.