Deut. 31: 7-8 “Then Moses summoned Joshua. He said to him with all Israel watching, ‘Be strong. Take courage. You will enter the land with this people, this land that God promised their ancestors that he’d give them. You will make them the proud possessors of it. God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.'”
What would you do differently if you knew that you could not fail? That failure was not even a variable in the equation? What would your life look like if it was victory was the only possible outcome? Would you chase that passion? Would you follow that dream? Would you let the word “no” have any power over you?
I wonder sometimes what my own like would look like. I’ve been one who has a preternatural disposition to see the failure in every possible outcome. In some cases, it has helped me plan better, but mostly it has kept me from doing some things that I really want to do. So when I read these verses last night, it was quite literally a slap in the face. Where is my expectation? What is my expectation?
Moses’ last words to Joshua are pretty profound. After having all of his life to watch this man do amazing things for God, and also mess up at times, Joshua was now on the cusp of leading this tremendous number of people into the land that God had promised them. Moses was dying. It was Joshua’s turn to model faithfulness and leadership. After having spent all of his time watching a legend, I believe that Joshua was ready, but he didn’t know how ready he was until Moses addressed him with these last words.
It felt like the moment in the original cartoon Transformer’s movie where a dying Optimus Prime gave Hot Rod his own spark, which leads to him becoming Rodimus Prime. Joshua ascended immediately with confidence that God was striding ahead of him. I believe the word striding is important to note.
It’s not just that God is walking in front of us, but His steps are so huge, that we can never catch up to him. Therefore if we are following His footsteps, his strides, we will have a lifetime of victory. See a lifetime of blessings manifest. Witness a lifetime of goodness, love, peace.
But how do we explain the setbacks and failures of our lives? Moses told Joshua that God would always be with him and that God would never let him down. Success was assured as long as he walked with God. But what about the complaining? What about the let downs emotionally? What about this and that?
I think we have to change our minds about what failure actually is. I think Moses was telling Joshua not to be intimidated by anything because, in the grand scheme of things, the only way to fail is to not try. As long as Joshua tried, God would honor that and see things through to success. In our own lives, when we fall, we can’t automatically equate that to failure. It is only a moment. When we decide to quit trying to live for God when we decide that we no longer want to dream, or live life intently and purposefully, that is when we fail because we are no longer following in the strides that God has made before us.
So what would your life look like if failure was not an option? Guess what…it’s NOT!!! Success is your only option. No matter the direction. No matter the path. In Christ, victory is assured. A caveat here….notice that I said IN CHRIST!! You have to be with Him. So live life the way that God intended. Take risks. Be passionate about God and people. Love loud and proud!