“Only be strong and very courageous; 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 have success wherever you go. 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 success.” Joshua 1:7-8 NASB
God’s final instructions to Joshua were clear, obey My Word. God told Joshua to take His word and not turn from it to the right or to the left. He said if you do this “you will have success wherever you go.” God also instructed Joshua on how he would make his ways prosperous, “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 success.”
Notice God told Joshua, “you will make your way prosperous.” Joshua will make his way prosperous by living in obedience to God. When God led Israel to their first battle they stood against the greatly fortified city of Jericho. God gave them very specific instructions of how He wanted them to win this battle. Marching around the walls of the city one time a day for six days then seven times on the seventh day and ending it with the blowing of a trumpet was a unique battle plan to say the least. But it worked. Why? Because they were obedient.
The next stop on the battle should have been a breeze compared to the fortified city of Jericho. Ai was far from a Jericho. It was more of a village than a city. However, the men of Ai soundly defeated Israel. How could this be? Israel had sin in their camp. God’s instructions were clear. “Do not turn from it, (God’s Word), to the right or to the left.” The disobedience of God caused the hand of God to be lifted from among them causing a great and humiliating defeat.
Israel saw the error of their way and repented. After they removed the sin from the camp God bestowed upon them grace and restored His mighty hand of anointing. Israel then went on and claimed the land for the Lord.
If we want the hand of God’s blessing to be upon our lives, our ministries, and our churches we must be obedient. If there is sin in our midst we must remove it. God has given to us the choice. We can choose blessings or cursing. If we want to make our ways prosperous, we must be obedient. If we have sin in our midst we remove it and ask God to restore His hand of blessing. He is a God of grace, therefore, He will. We then stand in obedience to Him and conquer the land in the power and prosperity He gives and give Him the glory. Repentance is the first step to revival.