Scripture Text: Joshua 1:1-9
Memory Verse: “Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.” Deuteronomy 29:9
Lesson Aim: To define what it means to prosper and what God has promised.
What does it mean to prosper? To prosper means, “To succeed, thrive, grow, etc. in a vigorous way.”1 Thrive, grow, succeed. Success may be defined as, “A favorable or satisfactory outcome or result.”2 God wants us to succeed. He wants us to thrive. He wants us to grow! Jesus came that we might have abundant life. Success should be the norm, not the exception.
The challenge we face is the measure of success. The world measures success by material wealth, fame, and fortune. Jesus asked, “What shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
(Mark 8:36). God measures success by our obedience and ability to live in His promises.
The purpose of prosperity is to give God glory, not for us to hoard and gloat over our material gain and imagined success. When we thrive and grow in a vigorous way, we prove to the world that living for God is better than living without Him. The Father desires that we should be an example to the world, just as He desired for Israel.
God has designed for us to prosper. He expects us to prosper. He gave Joshua a blueprint for success. “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).
Jesus, gave us the New Testament version in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Note how they parallel. God told Joshua to keep speaking and meditating on His law, observe (do) what is written and then you will thrive, grow, and have good success. Jesus told His disciples to seek the Kingdom and God’s righteousness first, and then they would have what everybody else is struggling for.
God wants us to prosper, not only financially, but also in our emotional, mental, and physical health. The Father’s desire is for us to prosper relationally, too, starting with our relationship with Him. Our marriages and family relationships should be healthy. They should be functional and reflect the presence of God and the impact of a Spirit-led life.
Beloved, let us adjust our priorities and put God first. The first focus must be to prosper our soul. We must press to ensure that we succeed spiritually and thereby embrace Godly prosperity in its fullness.
Interact with God’s Word:
- How does the world (and religious people) measure success? How does that differ from success by God’s standards?
- Prior to this lesson, what did success mean to you?
- Why are we prone to measure success by the world’s standards?
- Is it possible for a believer to have a preference of what area they choose to prosper in? If so, how?
- Discuss the practical application of God’s instruction to Joshua. Joshua 1:8; Deuteronomy 29:9
- How does seeking the Kingdom of God first play out in real life? Discuss the parallel between Joshua 1:8 and Matthew 6:33.