The first step – Joshua 1:7

Joshua 1:7 -“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” This is an old proverb that has a deep implication. We often look at overwhelming task and dismiss them rather quickly because we don’t believe we can accomplish them. That first step is too hard because we can’t envision being able to take the last step. Doubts fill our mind because we don’t believe we have the will, the strength, the knowledge, the wisdom, or ability to complete the task.

I image that is what the people of Israel may have thought when they crossed the Jordon into Canaan. This was the land that God had promised. It was vast. It had beautiful hills and mountains. There were streams and plenty of water. There was land ideal for raising crops and animals. It had a coastline so that they could fish and trade. It was indeed “a land flowing with milk and honey.” And God gave it to them.

But it was occupied. The people there were strong and huge. It was even reported that “giants” had occupied the land. They had strongholds and fortified cities. And they had pagan gods. They couldn’t simply go in and settle. They had to drive the people out first. And that seems like an overwhelming and impossible task.

These were God’s people. They had seen God work in the wilderness. He lead them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. He gave them manna to eat in the wilderness. He protected them from enemies. On two occasions he brought water from a stone. He had made the bitter waters drinkable with just an old piece of wood. God had brought them through some really tough task just getting from Egypt to Canaan. Now he was going to show them his power again.

But they had to be willing to take the first step. God told Joshua not to be afraid but keep walking in the same law and commands you’ve been walking. Obedience is one of the key’s to God’s blessing. Yes, there are times he blesses us in spite of ourselves. But most of the time he ties obedience in to the positive affirmation of his blessings. Obey God and the blessings will follow.

It’s hard not to step off the path he has laid before us. We might think we see a better way so we step to the left. We might be afraid of what lies ahead so we step to the right. But God has asked us to obey and to stay on the path. We we do we will be amazed at the results.

In my weight loss journey I have to say my first step was to realize that I could not do it alone and that I needed God. The second step was that I also needed help. I was afraid of failure. I was afraid of facing my own demons. I was afraid but I followed the plan.

In my life I have found that following God’s way always leads to incredible blessings. Following my own path often leads to disappointment, heart-break, and needless suffering.

My spiritual walk with Jesus often leads me to task that seem big and impossible. But God doesn’t ask us to evaluate and calculate the probabilities of success or failure. He asks us obey and follow.

That first step of the journey starts with prayer.

Dear Lord God Almighty, Why do I spend so much time calculating the odds and filling myself with worry or doubt. You can accomplish all things. Help me to trust and obey. I want to follow your path whether it may be in my weight loss or in my daily life. I want you to guide me and show me the way to accomplish the impossible. I praise you for your power, wisdom, and your mercy. Forgive me for stepping to the right or left and lead me in the path of your righteousness. In Jesus’ holy name, I pray, Amen.

Trust and Obey
as sung by Big Daddy Weave

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His word
What a glory He sheds on our way
While we do His good will
He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

But we never can prove
The delights of His love
Until all on the altar we lay
For the favor He shows
For the joy He bestows
Are for them who will trust and obey

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Lord, I love You
Please help me to trust and obey
Lord, I love You
Please help me to trust and obey

Then in fellowship sweet
We will sit at His feet
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way
What He says we will do
Where He sends we will go
Never fear, only trust and obey

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Trust and obey
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey

Lord, I love You
Please help me to trust and obey
Lord, I love You
Please help me to trust and obey

Lord, I love You
Please help me to trust and obey

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