Summary: You can find freedom from your fears through God's Word.
INTRO: Top Fears People Face…1. Speaking in front of a group 2. Heights 3. Insects and bugs, financial problems and deep water 4. Sickness 5. Death 6. Flying 7. Loneliness 8. Dogs…Most of the fears we face every day are not based on facts, rather our own feelings. A popular University of Michigan study showed 60 percent of our fears are totally unwarranted; they never come to pass. 20 percent of our fears are focused on our past, which is completely out of our control. 10 percent of our fears are based on things so petty that they make no difference in our lives. Of the remaining 10 percent, only 4 to 5 percent could be considered justifiable. —Dennis Wattley, Seeds of Greatness, (Revell, 1983). Fear and unbelief kept God’s people out of the promised land and only Joshua and Caleb were able to enter because of their faith in God’s promises.
1. FOCUS ON GOD’S PLAN
1. Just as God had a purpose and plan for Joshua and the people of God, God also has a plan for your life and this church. 2. It’s easy to look at powerful people like Josh and say, “God sure had a plan for him,” how can He have a plan for me? Jer. 29:11; I didn’t know that I marry Amy, have 3 awesome kids, be pastor of CWBC, but it was part of God’s plan. 3. God’s plan is for His people to move fwd with Him in faith. Are you growing as a believer? Do you know more of His leadership in your life today than you did a year ago? 4. This summer, God is leading us to refocus on what is truly important to Him. He’s calling us to move on up in our spiritual growth. That means learning to put the past in the past and preparing for the new. Read Joshua 1:1-2. God gives us time to mourn and weep, but not forever. I get the feeling the Lord had to put it like this because God’s people needed to wake up to reality. John B. “Life goes on. Face reality. The man is dead. The job is yours. Get on with it.” Too many churches wish for the past when God is up to something in the present! I’m amazed at how many homes, children, young families there are in this community. Many do not know Christ as Savior. Frustrated, Fearful, Failures, Fainting, etc. Just b/c people take vacation for the summer doesn’t mean we take a vacation from pointing people to Jesus Christ. 5. Let’s use this summer to prepare for promised land living! 6. Jsh was born into slavery in Egypt and his parents named him Hoshea, meaning, “salvation.” Moses changed his name to Joshua, “Jehovah is salvation.” Numbers 27:16-20 7. The Lord saves us to be a people who are followers of His plan. W.Wiersbe says, “The Book of Joshua is the book of new beginnings for the people of God and many believers today need a new beginning. After 40 yrs of wandering in the wilderness, Israel claimed their inheritance and enjoyed the blessings of the land God had prepared for them, “as the days of heaven upon the earth” (Dt. 11:21). That’s the kind of life God wants us to experience today. Jesus Christ, our Joshua, wants to lead us in conquest now and share with us all the treasures of His wonderful inheritance. He has blessed us with all spiritual blessings, but too often we live like defeated paupers.” 8. As a church family, we must focus more on God’s plan over our own. 9. Find freedom from you fear means you an obedient servant of the Lord like Joshua. 10. There was land to conquer, giants to face, new ground to gain as God’s people began to enter the promised land, they were entering where they’d never been before and this required they stayed focused on God’s leadership in their lives and putting God’s plan first. 11. Fear kept God’s people out of the promised land for 40 years (Numbers 13:30-14:2). The victorious Christian life is about learning to be a conqueror through Christ (Romans 8:35-39). God’s best is that you learn to overcome all the enemies this world has that would keep you from entering His rest! To find freedom from the fears that would keep you from God’s best means you focus on His plan.
2. FOCUS ON GOD’S TRUTH
How many hours per day do you watch TV, surf the net, text message, worry about the future? Do you spend the majority of your time filling your life with the bad news or the good news of God’s truth? Many people fear surrendering their lives to the Lord b/c they do not know His truth. They think He will destroy all their happiness, but He comes to give them fullness of joy (John 15:11). They think He wants to judge them, but He died on a cross to save them from judgment (John 3:17). They think that if they follow Christ, life will be miserable, but it will be abundant (John 10:10). To find freedom from your fears means you are going to focus on God’s truth, not your fears. It means you are going to be thinking of His Word more and your worries less! Read Josh 1:3 – God’s already been where you are going! John B. “The fear of tomorrow can be as crippling as slavery to the past, but God is already in your tomorrow.”