We want what we want more than we want what God wants. Since the cross and resurrection, we recognize that the greatest enemies to godliness are not outside us but within We want comfortable lives more than we want to depend on Christ for His daily provisions. Obeying God’s call did not make the Israelites’ lives nicer. They escaped Egypt to walk in the harsh desert. They evicted the Canaanites only to face ungodliness among their own tribes.
If you are controlled by an agenda other than growth in godliness and a Christlike love for others, you will be overwhelmed by your inabilities and the situation’s impossibilities. You will decide in advance to cut yourself out of the action because you didn’t expect to make a difference anyway. With that perspective, God’s promise to be with you can seem weak. But if you want His will to be done and realize that He will not fail to bring it about in your life, His presence is more than comforting.
“Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ [a]servant, saying, 2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. 3 Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. 5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous; [b]be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may [c]have success wherever you go. 8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may [d]be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will [e]have success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:1-9)
Excerpt from Heart of the Matter: Daily Reflections for Changing Hearts and Lives, August 24 by William P. Smith