Following through wholeheartedly

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“As the Lord commanded his servant Moses, so Moses commanded Joshua, and Joshua did it; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses.” (Joshua 11:15)

I like the word wholehearted.

There’s something powerful about it: the adrenaline rush of falling in love is like nothing else! This book mentions two who followed God wholeheartedly. Caleb, son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua son of Nun followed the Lord wholeheartedly, according to Numbers 32:12. Chapter 11 uses a set of words with similar meanings. Check out verses 9, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 17.

Here are three crucial principles for “following through wholeheartedly”.

1) Obedience is the key to success.

Remember Ai? (7:26 ). After the disastrous rout at the hands of the men of Ai, Joshua and his people were careful to do whatever was told of them. That’s where wholeheartedness enters the picture. When the Israelites completely obeyed God in annihilating the enemies, God gave them victory over not just one king but 31 kings (Joshua 12:9-24 ) Wholeheartedness in your devotion to God brings blessing.

2) Victory has to be God’s victory.

Although victory over negative forces is guaranteed to us, it may not come as quickly as we expect! It may not even be the way we think it should be.

When Jabin king of Hazor ganged up against the Israelites against people from 14 other regions, God told Joshua that within 24 hours they would be handed over to the Israelites. Although the battle was won in a day, the war dragged on. In Joshua 11:18  we read: ‘Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time.’  The final victory over evil is assured, but it is only God who knows how and when!

3) God has his own system and it’s not yours!

According to the text, God has put it into the hearts of the kings to war against Israel (11:20), much as he “hardened Pharoah’s heart” Why so?  The same verse says “…so that he might destroy them totally, exterminating them without mercy, as the Lord had commanded Moses.”

This is, obviously, a retrospective historical/spiritual analysis but the fact remains that God has a plan that doesn’t always sync with our understanding!

Lord, this is tricky to understand, but help me to see you as the Lord of history: that the whole pattern of life’s events is ultimately yours to weave.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5,6).

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