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.