Summary: First message in a series of messages in the book of Joshua. God has called us to our own Promised Land but many of us refuse to go and we stay back and remain in the wilderness. Do you have an unfulfilled dream for your life? Guess what...so does God!
MOVING TO THE PROMISED LAND
“Claiming our Inheritance”
Perhaps one of the most difficult words to define in the 21st century is the word success. One person’s definition of success could be quite different from someone else’s. At one time or another I think every man asked this question and I assume Everywoman what is well... Have I been successful in what I am doing with my life? And then if we come to the conclusion we have not been successful our next question is what am I doing wrong and what do I need to change?
If you go back to the early disciples, one of them became very successful financially-also politically-he had a connection with the disciples and also with the secular leaders of the day. In fact he was the treasurer for the disciples... He held onto all the money, for the disciples and Jesus as they traveled. His name was Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus.
Another disciple denied Jesus three times. When Jesus was arrested he denied that he even knew him. When things got tough he was not really the person you wanted with you. Once when things got into a heated discussion, he pulled out his sword and cut a man’s ear off. Yet he is seen not only as a disciple but as the leader of the disciples. And Jesus said to him it is on this kind of faith that he would build his church. Peter is considered to be one of the most honored man in history; Judas is a crook. We would never consider naming one of our children Judas; it would be like naming him Adolph. But here’s the thing... The world continues to chase after the successes of Judas-seeking out financial wealth and political power in hopes they will discover that illusive American dream called success. So what is success?
True success is not what the world thinks of you and what you have done, but what God thinks of you and what you have done.
The book of Joshua is a book of new beginnings. God’s people were starting over. All of us need a fresh start from time to time. A time to put the past where it belongs…. In the past ….. and begin creating a new future. The Bible says that following the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord….. Vvs.1-2.
(1) When God calls, He also prepares. It may seem that Joshua’s call was sudden as though it was very spontaneous but the truth is God spent many years preparing Joshua to become a leader. Joshua was born a slave in Egypt. He was the oldest son of a man named none. Having been the firstborn meant that on the night of the Passover his life was in danger because Pharaoh had instructed that all of the firstborn males would be killed. So his family would’ve applied blood to the doorpost of their home and death passed over their home.
So Joshua was being protected, early in his life because when God calls he also prepares. He also protects.
• We first meet Joshua in the book of Exodus where he is handpicked by Moses to lead the Israelite Army in battle.
• Next he goes with Moses to the top of the mountain when the 10 Commandments were given. He was the personal assistant to Moses.
• In numbers, Joshua is one of the 12 spies sent to spy out the promise land... To see what was theirs.
When they returned this was their report: this is a land that is flowing with milk and honey-they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes and it took two of them to carry it. But they also reported that the people living there were very powerful-the cities were large and very protected. Then they said all the people he saw there are of great size. And we seemed like grasshoppers. Like they are Giants... We are ants. There were only two of the 12 who said that they should in fact move to the Promised Land... Caleb and Joshua. There was the majority report of 10 who said no... The minority report of two who said yes... The people went with the majority report and as a result and what would have been... Listen... What would’ve been an 11 day journey to check that became a 40 year trip of walking around in circles in the wilderness. As a result, an entire generation did not to go get to go in because they died off in the wilderness.
What is it that keeps us from moving to the promised land? What is it that keeps us from claiming everything that God has for us? What is it that causes us to shrink back instead of moving forward? All of us face obstacles. We all face challenges. And many times God wants to take that challenge-that giant and smash it down to the ground to make it into a stepping stone to be used to get you to your promised land. If God calls you to do something he will prepare you.