How to Win: Strength and Courage

God tells Joshua to be “strong and very courageous” as he leads God’s people to conquer the Promised Land.  He then instructs him to not stray from the commands he had given Moses.  God says, “Do not even turn to the right or to the left.”  Be faithful.
Winning is found in the strength to stand the courage to obey.
Let me be clear.  Salvation is not something one wins.  Salvation has already been won.  Salvation comes by grace alone through faith.  Yet, faith without works is dead.
This topic is about the works that come in and by faith.  If we want to experience the victories that Christ has for us we must live in obedience to Him. 
That is the greatest battle.  The battle of settling for own standard of excellence instead of God’s standard of obedience.  We lose the battle because we never even fight for what is right.  Often what is excellent to us is good enough and we simply never know God has so much more to bless us with. 
Your marriage is okay, but not all it could be, but you do not know better because you have never accepted the call of obedience in it.  You never really experience full victory over that addiction, but you never really accept God’s standard of holiness either, but your own version of better than life was.
So here are few keys to winning in the battles that matter in life.
1.    The strength to stand is found in the Word of God.
Eat the Word.  Know the Word.  Do the Word.
You will never know the success God desires you to experience if you will not accept the standards of that success. 
2.    The courage to obey is found on the road.
Get out and go.
You will never know what you can do by the power of Christ until you are out doing by the power of Christ.
So, get in the Word and get on the road.  God has great things for you.

How to Win: The Real Battle

Joshua is the leader of the people of God as they win the most important battles in their history.  In the book that carries his name we hear the stories of victory. The Israelites win time after time…in battle after battle.  We all desire to win in the battles that matter in life…over and over again.  “How to Win?” is the question.
Winning comes from the strength to stand the courage to obey.
God commands Joshua to lead his people to conquer the Promised Land.  He promises to be with him wherever he goes, yet he also tells him where to go.  He promises to be with Joshua as he was with Moses, yet he tells him do everything I commanded Moses to command to you.  He tells him he will never leave him nor forsake, yet he also tells him what to do with his life.
Victory is not only possible it is promised.  Often we lose because we are trying to win wrong battles.  The battle that most of us, as Christ-followers, struggle with is the not the battle between absolute rebellion and absolute obedience.  It is the battle between excellence and obedience.  Excellence can be defined as winning by our definition.  Obedience is winning by God’s definition.  Excellence is our attempt to create the perception of obedience
Are you willing to accept God’s absolute standard of obedience or are you okay with the perception of obedience?  Are you a man living without the “hint of sexual immorality” or are you living by the world’s view of excellence that you can “look but not touch”?  Are you a lady living by God’s Word commanding “modesty” or are you accepting the world’s view of excellence that being “proud” of your body means showing that body?
Excellent standards typically are half-truths.  It is excellent to not touch, but it is obedient to not lust.  It is excellent to be confident in who and how God created you physically, but it is obedient to “not cause another to stumble.”
Obviously these are two simple examples of what excellence vs. obedience looks like in real life.
What are you striving for?  Winning at things that do not matter in life does not matter in life