Summary: Defining moments, we all have them. As Joshua was facing the end of his life, he challenged the people to chose, the choice they would make would define them as a people.
Defining Moment; Joshua 24 Preached at Midway Community Church June 11, 2000;
What is a defining moment? When a choice you make or an incident happens that will from that moment define some aspect of your life!
We have many of these moments through out our physical lives. Examples: when we move from children to teenagers; when we get married; take our first job; our mate dies; our parents die; a terminal disease invades our body;
We also have many defining moments throughout our spiritual lives. When we become a Christian; begin to allow Christ to live through us instead of trying to live for Him; when we come face to face with our first trial as a new believer; when we are totally wrestled down and face a storm; when we discover the reality of a truth we have heard all our lives; when we begin to know Jesus in a vital relationship; these are just a few, many more will occur before our journey ends;
DEFINING MOMENTS ARE NOT RARE AS SUCH BUT THEY ARE DEFINING;
As we come to the end of our study in Joshua, "Where the promise becomes a reality", chapter 24 is what I would call a defining moment in the life of the nation. Joshua is going to call on them to MAKE A CHOICE OF WHO THEY ARE GOING TO SERVE. I would say that is a defining moment wouldn’t you? The choice they will make will define them as a people.
This will be the choice before them, chose then this day who, not what, you will serve, the gods beyond the river, or Jehovah God.
Several defining moments up to now;
A. When they faced the Jordan; here is where they trusted God to stop the flooding river so they could occupy the promise land, it defined them as a people who could trust God to provide a way where there seemed to be no way, THEY WERE DEFINED AS A CROSS OVER PEOPLE AT THIS POINT IN THEIR LIVES; Cross over to our inheritance: i.e., “come to me; rest in me; abide in me;” Either we stay in the wilderness and be defined as a wilderness person, or we cross over and become defined as a cross over people;
B. When they faced Jericho; an impossible task, far beyond their ability to penetrate the fortress, and it stood as the barrier to the promise land; they were defined as a people who (were STRONG IN THE LORD, AND IN THE POWER OF HIS MIGHT) let God have the battle; Have you been defined this way as you faced your Jerichos? Or are you trying to help God out, or given up and gone back to wilderness living? Our Jerichos will define us as to what kind of CHRISTIAN SOILDERS We really are;
C. When they faced their first defeat at AI; It defined them as a people who, when depending upon their own resources, would be defeated no matter how small the task, but when faced with defeat they were not done in by that defeat; (DEFINED AS MORE THAN CONQURERS THROUGH HIM WHO LOVED THEM); WE are not defined by our defeats but how we respond to them; In faith and hope trusting in God’s Grace to bring us up and out. We are either CONQURERS OR COWARDS;
D. When they faced the Kings, matter of fact Joshua describes them as seven nations greater than them selves; they persevered; we as a believers are either persevering or we are retreating, which defines you when you are faced with overwhelming odds the enemy uses to defeat you, to try to discourage you, or something that causes you much worry, do you press on or do you pass out?
Now they are facing another defining moment, this moment is unlike the previous ones, they are not facing a flooding river, or a formidable fortress; They are not faced with their own defeat, or with seven nations ganged up against them.
They are faced with success, they are faced with settling down in a land that God has brought them to. Living on the inheritance, resting.
The New Testament puts it like this, "be steadfast, immovable always abounding in the work of the Lord", Press on; Don’t let any immorality be named among you which is not becoming to saints, lift up the hand that hang down and the knees that are weak; don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together, shall we continue in sin? Now that you are here at this point, having received your inheritance, ready to live out of it, and build on it, Joshua says, “listen up”.
From this moment on they will make a choice that will define them. Will they continue to be a people who SERVE GOD or SERVE THEMSELVES? Will they continue to DEPEND on God or will they DEPART from this dependent relationship? Will they continue to walk by faith or will they want to go back to walking by sight? Will they live as the covenant people of God in the midst of this pagan culture or will they succumb to the influence of paganism? Will they live dependent in the face of all the difficulties they will face as humans, problems, temptations, rejection, peer pressure, hurt, etc?