Summary: How to celebrate a victory and yield your future to God.
A. YIELD YOUR FUTURE TO GOD: JOSHUA 8
Y – Yield your future success or failures to God.
I – Identify the spiritual causes of your failure. Achan had sinned.
E – Eliminate the sin that made you fail. “All Israel stoned him with stones” (7:25).
L – Learn from your mistakes.
D – Determine not to make that mistake again.
B. PLAN A WINNING STRATEGY
“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘Don’t think negatively nor doubt My Word. This time take all the warriors and capture Ai, for I will give you the king, all the people, the wealth of the city and their land. Destroy Ai as you destroyed Jericho, only this time all the spoils of war – the cattle, gold and valuables – shall you divide among the soldiers. This time plan an ambush from behind the city’” (Joshua 8:1-2, Amplified).
1. Involve all the people. “Joshua arose, and all the people of war” (8:3).
2. Be active. “To go up against Ai” (8:3).
3. Be smart. “Sent them away by night” (8:3).
4. Don’t tell your secrets to your enemy. “You shall lie in wait” (8:8).
Because satan can’t read my mind
Sometimes I pray inwardly
So he won’t attack what I am doing.
5. Be ready to do anything, i.e., yield to God’s plan. “Don’t go very far away, but be ready when the time is right” (8:4, ELT).
“I and my soldiers will attack the city at dawn. When they counter attack us, we will run away like last time. When they chase us, you charge out of hiding and quickly capture the city. When you have taken the city, set it on fire, we will see the smoke and turn around to fight. We will have them surrounded and the Lord will give us victory” (8:5-8, Amplified).
6. Inventory your assets. “Joshua numbered the soldiers” (8:10).
a. Know your helpers.
b. Know your finances.
c. Know your resources (buildings, equipment, etc.).
7. Be close to your spiritual supporters and prayer partners. “Joshua went that night to lodge with the soldiers” (8:4).
8. Make sure you obey the clear commands of God. “See, I have commanded you” (8:8).
9. Be early, be ready, and be right. “Joshua rose up early in the morning and mustered the people” (8:10).
10. Meet God before you meet your challenge.
a. Pray for wisdom.
b. Pray for strength.
c. Pray for God’s guidance.
d. Pray for victory.
11. Be at the right place. Sometimes we get defeated by being at the wrong place. What is the wrong place for you? ______________ ______________________________________________________. “Joshua “camped on the north side” (8:11). The ambushers were “on the west side” (v. 12).
C. KNOW HOW TO CELEBRATE VICTORY
“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘stretch out your spear toward Ai, (sign of attack) and I will give you the city . . .’ So those in ambush quickly rose up, ran and entered the city and set it on fire. When the solders of Ai looked behind them and saw the smoke of the city, they lost their will to fight. Then Joshua’s men turned to attack them” (8:18-20). “The army of Joshua let none of them escape” (8:22, Amplified).
1. Keep good records. “All who fell that day . . . were twelve thousand – all the people of Ai” (8:25).
2. Be a finisher. “Joshua did not draw back his hand . . . until he had utterly destroyed all” (8:26).
3. Reward those who help gain victory. Only the livestock and the spoil of the city did Israel keep for themselves” (8:27).
c. Raise/monetary reward
d. Place of honor
4. Be hard on sin. “The king of Ai was hanged on a tree until evening” 9:29).
5. Have a thanksgiving service of worship to God. “Joshua built an altar to the LORD God of Israel” (8:30).
6. Give to God what belongs to God. “They offered burnt offerings to the Lord (8:31).
7. Tell others about the victory God has given you, i.e., testify. “Joshua in the presence of Israel wrote” (8:32).
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.