Training a puppy has its challenges. They are young and playful and full of curiosity. Sometimes, their quest for the next toy to play with or the animal that left that trail of scent behind, keeps them from focusing on the task at hand.
When they finally listen, they receive a treat. And then they catch on. They realize there is a greater reward awaiting them when they obey than there is when they go their own way.
Moses has come to the end of his journey. He will not enter the promised land. If you’ll remember back in Numbers, we studied about Moses choosing 12 Israelites to spy out the land of Canaan and bring back a report of what they might be facing ahead. 10 of those men were cowards and created this tall tale of giants and an unbeatable army. Fear gripped them, but they had forgotten who their leader was. God had promised to protect and fight for them, but they disobeyed His commandment to go in and conquer the land.
Of those 12 men, only 2 were brave enough to stand up and speak out. Caleb and Joshua. Both had seen the same thing as the other 10 spies, but these two men recognized the power of God and that with Him on their side, they could be victorious.
In our text today, Moses hands over the reins of leadership to one man, Joshua.
“And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8)
So why was Joshua the one chosen? Had he been a great warrior before? Had he riches to buy this position? Did he have high stature in his tribe that allowed him such prestige?
Joshua was chosen because of his obedience to God.
“And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the LORD delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.” (Numbers 14:6-10)
Joshua realized there is a greater reward awaiting when God is obeyed than there is when we go our own way.
God doesn’t want our praise without our obedience.
“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.” (1 Samuel 15:22)
“To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.” (Proverbs 21: 3)
God doesn’t need lip service from us. Promises of what we will do in the future, praises of His glory, and sacrifices to show we are religious are nothing to Him without our obedience.
So, what are we supposed to obey? Here are 4 ways you can say YES to God today!
1. God has called you unto salvation.
“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45:22)
Repent and ask Him to save you.
2. Full surrender.
“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
His will, not ours. He must reign in our life, taking His rightful seat on the throne.
3. Commit to studying His truth.
“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” (Psalm 119:11)
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)
All scripture is breathed out by God. It is His way of speaking to us, teaching us, correcting us and growing us.
4. Listen for His guidance.
“And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” (Deuteronomy 28:1-2)
God will not lead you astray. Sometimes what He’s asking if you seems overwhelming, crazy, or unattainable. But He who has called you will prepare you and provide for you! Do not worry!
There is a greater reward awaiting when we obey than there is when we go our own way.