This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
BY EDWARD LEIGH PELL
WE want to succeed in life. God wants us to succeed in life. He may not want me to succeed in all my undertakings but he wants my life to be a success. It is folly to imagine that any man can best glorify God by being a failure. He may not want us to have this or that particular thing which men are accustomed to identify with success — money, or social position, or freedom from misfortune — nevertheless he w^ants us to succeed in life ; he does not want us to fail. He never calls a man or woman or child to be a failure.
28 LITTLE GUIDEPOSTS When God called Joshua to the leadership of Israel he wanted him to succeed and pointed out to him the key to success. God wants us to succeed, and therefore he has given us this story of Joshua in which we may see the divine finger pointing to the key. "Where is it?*' you ask; for the finger does not seem to point to anything which we have not seen before. Ah! there's the rub. It is not that the key is something new or strange, that we fail to recognize it; it is because it is so old and so simple. This secret of sucess, God tells us in this story, consists simply in accepting the work which he gives us to do, in going forward with courage to do that work, in continually studying his will as we go along, and in conforming to that will as fast as we learn it. "This is all very well,*' you say, "but how may I know what God wants me to do? He told Joshua what he would have
him do, but he does not tell me.'' Are you sure ? If you will read the story again you will find that God simply pointed out
SECRET OF TRUE SUCCESS to Joshua the duty immediately before him. That was all. And that much God does for you and me. He called Joshua to a life of consecration to his service, and told him the first thing he wanted him to do. He calls us to a life of consecration to his service and tells us the first thing he wants us to do. And when we have done that he will tell us the next thing. If you and I are in the dark this moment as to the way God would have us go, we may be sure that it is because we have turned away from the duty immediately at hand. If we will always attend to the duty directly before us the next duty will be made plain to us. Suppose Joshua had ignored God's command to cross the Jordan and had sat down to unravel the problem of conquering Jericho; would God have given him any light on that point? The trouble with us is that instead of giving our strength to the duty immediately at hand, whether great or small, we consume our vitality in worrying over the darkness that shuts out the
30 LITTLE GUIDEPOSTS duties ahead. God called Joshua to go over the Jordan. God calls a child to obey his mother. God calls you and me to be kind and helpful to a neighbor. It is utter folly for a child who neglects to obey his mother to complain that he does not know what God would have him do. It is utter folly for you and me who have left the kind word unspoken and the helpful deed undone to complain that God does not tell us what he wants us to do. The light that
comes from heaven upon our pathway falls immediately in front of us. If we stand still the light will be immediately at our feet and all will be darkness beyond ; if we go forward the light will go forward to light up the darkness for us. This story tells us how the light comes. It is by continually studying to know the will of God, and doing that will as fast as we learn it. When a young Christian complains that he can find nothing to do for Christ, we may be sure that either he does not read his Bible, or he does not read it with the determination to do what
SECRET OF TRUE SUCCESS 31 he finds commanded therein. The Bible is always suggesting something to do for Christ.