Be very strong; be careful to obey all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, without turning aside to the right or to the left.” Joshua 23:6
Do not turn aside to the right or the left…
The instructions of the Lord are a narrow road but one which provides great safety for all who travel its path. The right and the left call to us to turn aside from the absolute surrender to God’s truth and yet the Lord says,
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14
In the 23rd chapter of the Book of Joshua, God’s people are not only exhorted to stand firm but they are also warned that turning aside from His Word will cause us to be joined to what the Lord has previously defeated on our behalf. It will cause disunity with God and a joining to that which will bring us harm.
“But if you turn away and ally yourselves with the survivors of these nations that remain among you and if you intermarry with them and associate with them, then you may be sure that the Lord your God will no longer drive out these nations before you. Instead, they will become snares and traps for you, whips on your backs and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land, which the Lord your God has given you.” Joshua 23:12-13
Many in the body have wavered to the right or left throughout history, causing them to be snared and caught in the traps that the enemy set for them. The beauty of God’s wisdom is that, as we turn back in repentance, it sets us back on track with truth and blessings. The amazing grace and gift of repentance allows us to move back into victory and begin to reap the rewards of faithful stewardship of the great call upon our lives.
The promises of God are without fail; there are promises of blessings as we walk in His ways and promises of discipline if we violate our covenant with Him. This is not a word of condemnation but a word of exhortation and a sober reminder to “stand firm”!
“If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you.”” Joshua 23:16
We must heed the whole truth of His Word, not only the parts that comfort our souls. The good news is that if a man or woman has wavered and they repent, they are restored. This is a time that the Spirit of the Lord is setting His people upon the path of righteousness. He is carefully positioning us to walk in authority and victory with the King of Glory.
Today we yield and once again ask the Lord to do for us what we cannot do in our own strength: help us to stand firm and to align our steps with the covenant we were brought into when we gave our lives to Christ. We ask that all other gods will be driven out from among us and that we will no longer join ourselves to them. We chose to stand firm!
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12
The Lord led me to read out of 1 Kings 18. This chapter tells the story of when the prophets of Baal challenged Elijah as to "who is God?"; Baal or the God of Elijah. They both set up offerings and then called on their Gods to send fire upon the altar.
As I recounted how Elijah made his altar impossible to be consumed by fire (by pouring water on it, putting water trenches around it, etc) I thought of all the "impossibilities" that are even now upon many of the lives of God's people. Maybe we are in a time that God will prove Himself to every false god and false prophet.
The prophets of Baal shouted to their god, they cut themselves until blood gushed out, they pounded their chests and yet their god did nothing. But Elijah drenched his offering with water and then prayed this prayer,
"O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself.”
Then after his prayer, fire fell and consumed his offering