Summary: The second part to "Ending Well" It comes from “A good start need a better ending, and a good ending needs a better start.” This looks at Joshua chapter one and gives an looks at how we can get traction and move forward in this life of faith.
Last week my message was upon ending well, and I made this statement.
“A good start need a better ending, and a good ending needs a better start.”
In other words we need to end well, that is, we need a good ending so we can begin strong. If we start off weak, then we’ll never get traction so we can move forward in this life of faith God has called us upon, this journey to spiritual transformation, so we can become those disciples of Jesus.
So to have that good start we’ll be looking at today, and the steps we need to take, and we’ll do so through the life of Joshua, or more specifically what God told Joshua as he now took over the leadership role for Israel.
Read Joshua 1
In your bulletins you’ll find each point along with the Scripture verses, and hopefully you’ll begin to put into practice not only what you hear today, but last weeks message of ending well.
1. The Past Is Over
“Moses My servant is dead.” (Joshua 1:2a NKJV)
There’s a popular saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
The past is an important reminder and instructor as to how we are to live in the present and into the future. But I want to look again at something I said last week that we should also consider. And that is …
“We’re far too often consumed with what has happened in the past, so much so that we make adjustments to our present to compensate, but we never considering what these actions may bring in the future.”
We are to learn from the past, but we cannot let our past dictate or control our present and our future.
Far too many people are living their lives based upon what has happened, rather on what God has in store for them. And so God sometimes has to be abrupt in some of the things He says, like here when He said, “Hey Joshua, Moses is dead.”
The Apostle Paul tells us that we must be willing to forget the things of the past.
Now I have to stop there, because there are far too many Christians are living under condemnation because they can’t forget, and therein lies the problem. We can’t forget. It’s virtually impossible.
Has anyone ever told you to forget something? What’s the first thing you do? Remember it!
And Satan has a way of making you remember it. I’ve been driving down the street, minding my own business, thinking of nothing in particular and all of a sudden Satan brings back to my memory something that I did 30 or 40 years ago.
So, how can we forget? Let me tell you what I believe. Seeing that we can never forget, what does it mean then to forget? It means that we’re choosing to no longer remember it in our daily lives. We are choosing to no longer remember those things that have happened, the hurts, pain, and even the suffering we may have gone through. And unless we choose to no longer remember them and what someone else may have done, then the hurt will just continue.
We make a conscious decision to no longer remember, and what it does is that it breaks those chains that have continued to keep us in bondage.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at what the Apostle Paul said.
“One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13b-14 NKJV)
Paul knew where he was going, but he also knew that if he kept remembering those things that have happened to him in the past he would never get there, that he wouldn’t end well.
God has a calling for all of us, He’s got plans to prosper and not harm us, and to give us a future hope, Jeremiah 29:11. But if we’re clinging to the past, then the past is dictating our future, not God.
This is when bitterness and resentment set in, and these keep us in a perpetual loop where continue to over and over remember these offenses and it directly effects how we relate to others.
I liken it to acid reflux. It keeps coming back up. And what happens is that the bile comes up and it hurts, and so not only does your bile defile you, but you also defiles family and friends.
Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.”
Instead we are to forgive those who have harmed us, which means not forgetting what has been done, but rather choosing to no longer hold those offenses against them.