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Summary: Here’s our word of hope- we aren’t exempt from the problems, but we have resources to carry us through! The Word tells us God can do anything, you know--far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pus

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"Taking Your Promised Land" - Joshua series, message # 2

Crossing the Jordan at Flood-stage- Impossibility or Opportunity

Text: Joshua 3 - 4

Life can be tough!

Reported attempted suicides are over the 100,000 mark annually.

Drug use in America is epidemic, much of it an attempt to manage the pressure of life.

Our land has more than 3 million declared alcoholics and many more that cannot face the day or night without a few stiff drinks or a six-pack. Prescriptions for mood-altering drugs are a booming business as many people take uppers to get going and downers to go to sleep! |

Each of us, from time to time, runs up against a problem that resists every effort we make to create a solution, don’t we? Nobody knows that better than this Pastor. My heart aches as I share in the challenges my flock faces.

Some are in marriages that seem hopelessly broken by conflict or infidelity.

Some are fighting habits that hang on to them like a pitbull.

Others bring the story of a mountain of debt that has accumulated.

I’ve listened to older people telling of lonely days and the fear of being incapable of caring for themselves. There are myriad stories from those who are trying to cope with chronic illness, bad job situations, grief , or stresses that are pushing them to the limits of their endurance!

Christian, we live in a world were the Devil does his best to kill and destroy. Our status as God’s children does not exempt us from the curse of sin. Christians wrestle with the same temptations, get the same cancers, face the same tough bosses, and live in the same economic conditions as everyone else.

Here’s our word of hope- we aren’t exempt from the problems, but we have resources to carry us through! The Word tells us God can do anything, you know--far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." (Ephesians 3:20, The Message)

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Today, we are again in the book of Joshua reading the story of God’s people who were taking possession of the Promised Land. We find lessons and principles for moving into our "Promised Land" of Spirit-filled living.

In the 3rd and 4th chapters, we come to the place where Joshua is to lead the people into Canaan. Talk about pressure, Joshua had it! God pointed him in the direction of Canaan and said, "Go!" That was great, except for one thing. Right in front of Joshua and Israel there was a river, and it was flowing full to its bank - at floodstage!

What would he do?

How could he obey?

Could he go forward?

This Bible story has rich lessons of encouragement for us. Here’s the basic principle that I want you to take home today -

Our impossibilities become God’s opportunities!

READ Joshua 3:1- 17, 4: 4-8

I. The MEANING of the crossing (3: 1-4)

The Lord declared, "Now is the time for occupation of Caanan!" But, first there was a TRANSITION to be made! They were confronted with a definite moment of choice that would change Israel from a wandering nation to a settled nation, from a people living in hope of a promise to a people living in possession of the promise!

The ’crossing over’ was much more than moving the camp from one side of a river to the other. It was a time of commitment, a time of ending one era and entering another. To further complicate matter, a definite sense of uncertainty accompanied the crossing. On the other side of the river were walled cities, defending armies, and even ’giants’ - well equipped warriors. 40 years prior Israel had been presented with the same choice to make a transition and they refused! This time, Joshua was ready to move them forward.

If we would realize the Promises of God in our lives, the very first thing that you and I must be ready to do is to move ahead obediently into transitions - even with all the uncertainty that comes with change.

Transitions are often traumatic and always require great faith in order to realize their full promise!

How well do you do change? It is inevitable that change will come, but how you experience it is YOUR DECISION!

What are some of those transitions?

- Childhood to Teen years -- a transition too many of us ignore or treat lightly, which might partially explain why so many lives fall apart in that time of life!

- Teen to Career and Marriage -- lots of questions, lots of uncertainty, lots of optimism

- From couple to family, then back 25 years later to couple! -- very interesting time, accompanied by all kinds of physical changes, too

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