If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Numbers 14:8 NIV
These were the words of Joshua, Moses long time assistant. He was speaking to the people after they had received very negative news from a delegation of spies that had returned from a spying mission. Out of the twelve spies that Moses sent to survey the land, ten said that the people there were too big to fight and only two - Caleb and Joshua - believed they could prevail over their formidable, giant sized enemies. But notice that Joshua did not simply say that they could win. What he said was that they could win if the Lord was pleased with them.
This is not a normal analysis. What is normal for secular minds is to size up the enemy and determine if you have the resources to be victorious. What is normal for religious minds is to claim faith in God and to trust God for victory in the battle. So this statement represents something deeper than intellect and religion. Joshua prefaced his confidence in their ability to prevail in the possibility that God would be pleased with them.
Perhaps Joshua's example may motivate us to focus on pleasing God more than winning battles. And there are battles to be won. Especially as we seek to better our financial condition. And many of the battles will have to be fought against some major obstacles - some giants. We will face battles against the giants of resentment, fear, jealousy, ignorance, failure, disappointment, vicious schemes, mean people, tough times, trying tragedies. Joshua knew that if they focused on pleasing God, that God would deliver them past their giants and into their promised land.
What would our lives look like if we were preoccupied with pleasing God? I think we would be so busy trying to please God that it would give God a chance to fight our battels, defeat our giants, and give us the things that God has for us.
"God, I want to shift my focus from what pleases me to what pleases you. Amen."