"...cling tightly to the Lord..." Joshua 23:8
In Joshua's final words to Israel, he exhorted them: (1) not to compromise the Lord's directive to conquer the land they had entered, (2) not to deviate from God's Law given through Moses (the 10 Commandments), (3) not to associate with the evil people still remaining in the land yet to be conquered, (4) not to serve, worship, swear by, or mention the names of the idol gods of the remaining indigenous tribes, (5) to cling tightly to the Lord.
Joshua credited Israel's God - the One true God - for routing the enemies they had encountered up to that point. (v.9) Joshua encouraged the Israelite army, stating, "Each one of you will put to flight a thousand of the enemy, for the Lord your God fights for you..." (23:10)
There was a clear reason Joshua directed the nation in this way. They were in hostile territory. Their very lives were at stake. Their very way of life was hanging on the balance. The future of their nation was clearly at risk. So, just how were they to "cling tightly to the Lord"? The same way one (with only one life preserver) would in the middle of an ocean being tossed about by a tempest. Cling to Him... your life depends upon it. Your community won't survive without Him. Your nation will not see another generation without the sustaining power of God's hand.
Immerse yourself in a community of faith. As much as you are able to in this frenetic world, seek out fellowship with other followers. By doing so, you benefit by their: encouragement, accountability, partnership, collective wisdom, and communal benevolence.
Dive into God's Word, the living manual for a victorious life, because this life will bring you trouble. (read John 16:33) God's Word allows us to get a close-up view of the mistakes of others in history, the hero's of the faith, the precepts for holy living, and the guidance on how to become and make disciples.
Cling to the one Who saved you... He is the "life saver" that will keep you afloat through the tempests of life. Do not keep your eyes on your problems, but on The One Who strengthens you to overcome your problems. (Read Philippians 4:13) Cast all your cares upon Him Who cares for you. (Read 1 Peter 5:7) And cling to Him as if your life depends on it.... because it does!
Christian, we are entering a time when Believers will increasingly find themselves in hostile territory. Christians around the world are being persecuted and martyrd at a higher rate than at any time in history (check out the website, www.persecution.com). America's way of life: the freedoms we've enjoyed for over two hundred years, is in jeopardy. Your community may see you as the catalyst for strength and encouragement. Your nation may be radically changed by your strong stance for God's Kingdom. Your family will be blessed for generations by your steadfast faith and confidence placed in The One Who both raises up and brings low. (Daniel 2:21) Trust in His plan. Shine like light in darkness. Love all. Stand for what is good and right. Seek to build bridges with those far from God.
Clinging to Him daily,