I love to watch the FIFA World Cup. Every Four Years I become attached to 30 days of wonderful soccer games! Country vs. country duke it out for the FIFA World Cup and 4 years of bragging rights. I love to watch these talented athletes play the game. But I especially like to see the “underdog” win.
This FIFA World Cup has been a roller coaster of emotions for me. First, Mexico beats Germany! And I was so excited! It seemed that Mexico had a chance in this FIFA World Cup. But they got eliminated in the round of 16 and I felt that the World Cup was over for me. And then I watched as Croatia won game after game and made it to the finals! I have no ties with Croatia but it is inspiring to watch a team from a country that has never made it to the final game make its way there.
Secret to Success
So what is their secret to success? How did this happen? Will they win the FIFA World Cup today or will they take second place? All of this got me thinking about us (men)? How do we succeed? What must men do to achieve success in life? How can the “underdog” man make it to the final game and then achieve a victory?
While France’s road to the 2018 World Cup final has been smooth, Croatia had to grind out wins to reach Sunday’s championship game. Will France’s youth win out, or can veteran-laden Croatia pull off an upset?
Success or failure in life is determined by the adjustments we make along the way. In just about any sports, teams make adjustments along the way. They do this to gain an edge over the other teams. All of us want to be winners, right?. We all want to experience the thrill of victory. We want to hear the applause of the crowd. We want to know the joy of a job well done. And most of all, for the man of God, we want to hear those wondrous words at the end of the race, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.” Now be honest with me, just once wouldn’t you like to know what it feels like stand atop the podium and have the gold medal placed around your neck? Why then are most of us content to settle for mediocrity?
Let’s read Joshua 1:1-9. It is in these 9 verses of the bible that we will understand how to be a winner!
‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. “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. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord , the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: ‘
Average is Unacceptable to God
Those of us who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives have received the ultimate promise of victory: eternal salvation. Why then, are we still here on planet earth? Why didn’t God just take us on to heaven at the moment of our conversion? The primary reason God left us on earth after our salvation is because God wants us to succeed right here. God wants us to experience for ourselves, and demonstrate for those around us, the victorious life we have in Christ. He wants us to know victory here. There is a purpose for your life He not only wants you to pursue but to fulfill. Most of us are getting by, but getting by is not enough. God calls us to victorious living. Average is unacceptable in His eyes. So how can you be the winner God created you to be?
The victory of Joshua is a portrait of our victory in Christ. God has given us victory as a possession. Every Christian is meant to live a victorious life. You say, “But Eduardo, I know some Christians who are not victorious. I know some Christians who are not succeeding in the race of life.” So do I, but God intends better for our lives. While the Bible admits failure as a possibility, it never presents failure as a necessity.
So What’s the Problem?
Here is our problem: we have dumbed down Christianity and accepted our reality as theology rather than theology as our reality. We allow reality to alter our theology instead of letting our theology affect our reality to the extent that we walk by sight and not by faith. We operate by what we see instead of operating by what God has said. Sadly, those of us who are most vocal in proclaiming Biblical truth are woefully delinquent in applying it. We end up settling for a barren dry life in the wilderness when God has a wonderful land of victory and abundance waiting for us on the other side if we would simply walk through the water and claim it. So the book of Joshua is written and recorded for all time and eternity to show us how to live victorious lives. It provides us with principles to achieve the kind of success God wants us to achieve. God has already proclaimed you a winner. The rest of life is making needed adjustments to allow that promise to be fulfilled.
YOU WILL ACHIEVE SUCCESS IN LIFE BY PURSUING THE PURPOSE GOD HAS FOR YOUR LIFE. ( vv. 1-2)
Your Purpose as a ManSuccess or failure is not determined by the size of your bank account or the square footage of your office. It is not determined by how many awards you achieve or how many plaques adorn your wall. Success is simply finding your purpose and fulfilling it.
If you are a man, God has a purpose for your life. Fulfill that purpose. You may be single or married, you may be a father or a husband or both. Did you know that God has a purpose for you as a husband and a s a father?
God’s purpose for His children was that they enter the land He had promised to them. This book of victory opens with the people dwelling in the land of defeat. They are in the wilderness. They had come out of Egypt, the land of bondage and were headed toward Canaan, the land of victory, but they were dwelling in the wilderness, the land of defeat; and God said to His people, you now cross over Jordan and possess this great land, this vast land, this beautiful, bountiful land I have promised you. I have given it to you, now go and take it.
Did you know that God promises you His conquering power?
“No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life.”
God gives you the power to do everything He asks you to do .You say: “Eduardo, I don’t have the power to drive out the giants in my life.” Well, to be blunt, your power is irrelevant. It is God’s power that is relevant, and God has not yet met a foe He cannot fell. That is why Paul declared in Romans 8:37, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” The apostle John had the same sentiment in mind when he said, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” ( 1 John 4:4). John did not say greater are you than he that is in the world, he said, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” It is God’s power operating in us and through us that allows us to live victoriously in the face of overwhelming odds. One of the reasons we are not living in victory is because we are trying to tackle the giants in our own strength using our own resources, instead of relying on God’s power and applying the principles of God’s Word.
Not only do we have the promise of His conquering power:
Did you know that God promises you His continuing presence also?
“Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you. I will not fail or forsake you.”
God made a promise to Moses, and He reconfirmed it to Joshua. That is a promise God extends to every one of His children. Hebrews 13:5 tells us: “Let your character be free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said “I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you.” God said it to Joshua, and He continues to say to us: I will not in any way, under any circumstances, to any degree, leave you helpless, nor will I abandon you or let you down. If you have the power of God and the presence of God you have everything you need to live a life of victory. You have everything you need to be successful in the race of life. You have everything you need to cross your Jordan and enter the land God has for you. Now go… and be a man!