Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.”
In 1956 Johnny Cash wrote and recorded the song I Walk the Line. The famous lyrics express the determination of a previous womanizer, to remain faithful to his true love.
As I drove home from town the other day, another man, standing in the middle of a busy road, was being directed by a police officer to walk a different imaginary line. In both cases, walking a straight path without any deviations was the goal.
Walking the line is the best path for all of us. It can eliminate fear and it can bring great joy and peace.
After Moses, the great leader of Israel, died God called Joshua to take his place. This task of guiding such a young, large, and inexperienced nation was daunting. The journey ahead would not be easy. But God spoke to Joshua and told him to be strong and courageous. God would be with Him wherever He would go and would fight for Israel as long as Joshua would walk the line.
God encouraged Joshua, “…be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left . . .” Obedience and strict adherence to the instructions God gave through Moses would be Joshua’s ticket for success in everything he did.
Successful Followers of Jesus Walk the Line
If we are to be successful followers of Jesus we must also walk the line. This is not about following a prescribed list of rules that will hopefully please God. It is about allowing God to mold our lives to be more like Christ. He teaches us His ways as we prayerfully study His word and choose to follow what He commands. As we determine to follow without turning to the left or the right, we begin to understand God’s ways more clearly and develop a deep, trusting love that desires His presence. Fear of punishment dissipates and only peace and joy remain.
This is the best way to live. God’s children, like Joshua, can be strong and courageous in an uncertain world by living according to God’s ways. The enemy will constantly try to throw us off course. But by carefully doing the things God commands, we will learn to trust His wisdom and grow to love Him. Then we can enthusiastically sing our own version of Cash’s lyrics, “Lord, because you’re mine, I walk the line!”