Summary: What the life of Joshua teaches us about the attitudes of conquest and commitment
Joshua: Conquest & Commitment
Intro: Did you ever notice how most of the people who have really affected this world for the good have been people who had a great drive for accomplishment? Not necessarily a desire to make themselves great, but an unfailing desire to do great things. They had a spirit that would not give up, even in the most discouraging of times. Abraham Lincoln faced many losses in congress before he finaly was elected as President. Thomas Edison went through hundreds of filaments before he found the right one that would bring about the light bulb. Many of the great discoveries of our world today came about because of an undying determination.
Why is it that while some are content to sit in their couch each night and watch TV, others are driven to do bigger and better things that make a difference with their lives? There are factors of personality, giftedness, and vision, but one of the biggest differences is a conviction and calling. The individuals who do great things feel a calling to spend their lives influencing others lives.
Joshua had a conviction and calling from God. Moses has died on the mountain, buried by the hand of God. Joshua has assumed the leadership of the people. Joshua knows that God is calling the people of Israel to go forward into the promised land that he has led them to. We see Joshua approaching this calling with two attitudes that go hand in hand. These are two attitudes that need to be in each of our lives as believers: Conquest and Commitment.
I. Conquest - Whenever God calls someone, he calls them to do a great task. It may seem trivial to others, but just the faithful tasks we do everyday are great in the eyes of God. As believers, do we really have an attitude of CONQUEST - seeking to do great things for God?
A. It starts with a view of what can be - 1:1-5 -
-every place - all the country - no one stand against - not forsake you
*Joshua had a great vision from God of what could happen to the nation of Israel
??Do you have a vision of what God can do through you?
“Seek to accomplish something so great for God that it is doomed for failure unless God is in it.”
--Do we believe God for things that are humanly impossible?
B. Conquest takes courage - 1:6-9 - Three times in four verses God tells him to be strong and courageous. Conquest takes courage. God tells him not to be discouraged. In our society we talk about discouragement a lot - but it is normally really dis-illusionment, a loss of our vision. Most times it isn’t a question of courage.
As the Christians were facing gladiators and wild beasts, they needed to be courageous. As the Israelites were facing giants in the land they needed courage. As David faced Goliath, he needed courage. As you face your unsaved boss to share the gospel it takes courage. But so often when we consider whether to read our Bible or watch TV, there is no question of courage involved. Courage is necessary as we are actively engaged in conquest. Those who are content to sit never accomplish great conquests.
C. Conquest means trusting in God’s power, not your own.
How many of us are content to trust God to do things that we can’t do ourselves? If it is difficult or uncomfortable, most of us don’t wat to consider it. As Joshua enters the land, he trusted in the power of God, not the power of the Jewish army.
3:9-17 - As they cross the Jordan, it is God who parts the waters.
6:20-21 - As they come to Jericho, it is God who knocks down the walls
D. When we seek conquest, but ignore God’s direction, we get in trouble
7:10-12 - Achan took of forbidden items - several Israelites lost their lives for his sin
9:14 - When the Gibeonites come to seek peace, the Israelites don’t ask God
If we endeavor to do God’s work in our own way or on our own strength, we will fail.
E. When you follow God’s plans, miraculous things happen.
10:11-14 - God fights the battle for them
If we seek God’s power and blessing, things we never thought possible can happen
F. In conquest, you don’t always accomplish all that you want
Most of the greatest men of history died wanting to still accomplish more. Many of Leonardo DaVinci’s greatest inventions were half-drawn and never finished.
13:1,6-7 - As Joshua nears death, there is still much conquest to take place.
We need to think of serving God as a team effort. There is not one of us who can evangelize all of Fort Wayne, but if all the Christians in Fort Wayne would work together and do their part, think what God could do!