JOSHUA 1:7-9: “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good 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 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. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
OBSERVATION: One of the greatest temptations we face in life is – “the shortcut”. It is the enemy’s substitute for God’s will. We are tempted to take a detour from the pathway that is clearly before, as revealed in God’s Word, and take an alternate route. It is usually something that seems to direct us to the same end, but it always leads us to disappointment and destruction. It began with Adam and Eve eating from the forbidden tree, “the shortcut” to knowledge, and it continues to this day. One of the greatest temptations we will face in our lives continues to be – “the shortcut”.
While Moses was alive, Joshua obediently followed his lead. Joshua was discipled under Moses. He witnessed Moses going to the tent of meeting and entering into the presence of the Lord. He heard the thundering of the voice of God. If he doubted where he was to go or what he was to do – he looked to Moses. Now Moses was dead. Joshua was on his own and commissioned with leading the entire Nation of Israel. How could he do this? God points him to the Word of God that Moses had written and exhorts Joshua – “Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left that you may have good success wherever you go.” In other words – follow the prescribed path, and – “no shortcuts”!
It takes strength and courage to avoid “the shortcut”. We all want things to happen quickly in life. We pray and then 5 seconds later wonder where the answer is. We grow impatient when our phones or computers don’t instantly respond. When we face difficulty in life we want immediate relief! This “instant” obsession opens us up to be prime targets for “the shortcut”. We can be tempted to lay aside both the Word of God and our discernment when “the answer” seemingly and miraculously appears. Yet, we must always wait, pray, consult God’s Word, and discern if we are to avoid this temptation. This takes strength and courage!
What is the best defense against “the shortcut”? It is also found in these verses – “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.” The only thing that can protect us, guide us, and help us to moment by moment discern our path to avoid “the shortcut” is – GOD’S WORD! This is why the enemy will do everything he can to keep us from daily abiding in the Word of God. When we open God’s Word we take the first step of victory in avoiding “the shortcut”.
Lord, give me strength and courage to daily abide in Your Word. may I meditate upon it day and night. May I hide your word in my heart so that I may discern Your Will along the way. Be a light to my feet and guard me from the daily deception of “the shortcut”. In Jesus Name!