Summary: This is the 2nd sermon in the series "Closet Christianity".
Series: Closet Christianity [#2]
CLEAN SWEEP: GETTING STARTED
Last week we watched the Israelites walk past land that could have been theirs; but because of disobedience to God, they had to walk right past it. The Israelites were reminded of Monsters and Ghosts that had held their parents and grandparents back. They were also given victory when God told them, "On your feet now. Get started. Cross the Brook Arnon. Look: Here’s Sihon the Amorite king of Heshbon and his land. I’m handing it over to you — it’s all yours (Deuteronomy 2:24 MSG).
As we watched the Israelites, we also looked into the closets of our lives and identified some monsters, ghosts, and victories.
Lamentations 3:40 (MSG)
“Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under GOD.”
After Moses had died, Joshua was leading the Israelites into the Promised Land and they were claiming their promise from God. God showed Himself to them in mighty ways.
As some of the priests stepped into the Jordan River with the Ark of the Covenant, God parted the water so the people could cross over.
God took down the might walls of Jericho by having 7 priests blow trumpets and the people shouting. The Israelites went into that great city and easily took it; but while they were doing so, there were some spiritual closets being filled and the doors were being shut.
This morning we need to start cleaning. The 1st thing we must do is…
Go Into Your Closet
Joshua 7:2-9 (NIV)
Until you stop denying that there are some things in your life that don’t need to be dealt with, you can never reorder your life under God.
1 John 1:8 (NLT)
“If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth.”
I have notice that God has to break us before we can realize that we need to reorder our lives. While things are good we keep “doing our thing”, but them all of a sudden things start seeping out of our lives that cause us to stop. It’s like that smell in my refrigerator. Yesterday, as I passed by it, I kept smelling something; so I sprayed some “air-freshner” in it. Guess what? It didn’t help. So, I them put 3 boxes of baking soda in there. Guess what? All that did was make the smell worse. You can spray all of the deodorant you have or put a 100 boxes of baking soda in there; but I finally had to admit that there was a problem and I needed to take some real action in order to get rid of the smell.
[Everyone turn to someone and say, “Admit there’s a problem”.]
Once you have admitted there is a problem the you must…
Empty Out Your Closet
Joshua 7:10-14 (NIV)
In order to locate the problem you must take everything, (good and bad) out of your closet. In order to find what that smell was in my refrigerator, I had to take everything out.
Yet, it takes time and effort; but if you want victory, peace, and joy in you life; then you better start emptying out those closets.
[Everyone turn to someone and say, “Empty it out”.]
Once everything is out of the closet and exposed, then you need to…
Clean Out Your Closet
Joshua 7:16-26 (NIV)
With everything out in the open, the “stinch” of whatever is rotten can be found. It is usually found in the “cracks and crevices”. It is also usually something small; but something small and hidden can stink up the whole area.
1 John 1:9 (NLT)
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong.”
You must clean out those “stinky” things in your life. By the way, you have to let God clean you completely. You must confess it all.
The other day, I placed several dishes in hot, soapy water so that they could soak. Later when I began to wash them, I noticed I had forgotten to take the lid off of one of the pots. Although the pot had been sitting in hot, soapy water, when I took the lid off the smell from the pot almost made me sick. See the outside had been clean, but the inside was still really dirty and nasty.
[Everyone turn to someone and say, “Expose it all”.]
It is time for us right now to begin the cleaning. I usually don’t ask this of you, but this morning I want everyone to come to the front. I want families to stay together to that you can spend some time praying together. When you are done praying by yourself and then with your family or others that God has led you to pray with; then you can leave if you are not staying for Contemporary Worship. If you are staying, please be patient.