Only be very careful to observe the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, to love the LORD your God, and to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments and to cling to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Joshua 22:5, ESV)
Godly counsel motivates us to refine and strengthen our walk with God.
The counsel Joshua gives in today’s reading provides us a wealth of spiritual guidance. Picture yourself in the audience that day. Except, in the scenario, envision the spiritual guidance as not directed at a group of people long ago – but deliberately directed at us. Are we listening?
Steps to Spiritual Counsel
- Observe and keep God’s Word – other versions state this as “take diligent heed to do” (KJV) and “be very careful to keep” (NIV). The root words imply paying intensely close attention to something. The spiritual counsel is to diligently or intensely pay close attention to God’s Word. But not only to hear it, to obey it. James reminds us spiritual blessing resides not in merely hearing God’s Word, but in following it (James 1:22-25).
- Love the Lord your God – one resource identifies this word love as “an ardent and vehement inclination of the mind and a tenderness of affection at the same time.” We are to love God with an enthusiastic state of mind and tenderness of heart. Yes, we must steadfastly and passionately love God. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
- Walk in all His ways – the word “ways” refers to a pathway or course of action chosen. By implication this means we incorporate God’s truth into our lifestyle. “The ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them” (Hosea 14:9).
- Cling to Him – the word used here is the same word “cleave” as used in Genesis 2:24 where it states, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (KJV). The word implies a hot pursuit after or sticking closely to something or someone. We must continuously and passionately pursue an intimate relationship and close fellowship with God.
- Serve Him with all your heart and all your soul – this goes hand in hand with Psalm 100:2, “serve the Lord with gladness.” Our service to Him should be willingly and wholehearted, not out of a sense of obligation or duty.
- If you were to measure or rate your passion level for following Christ, applying His truths to your lifestyle, and serving Him, what would that measurement or rating reveal?
- What are some ways you can demonstrate your desire to pursue an intimate relationship and close fellowship with God?