Summary: God gave Joshua a three point plan… 1 Step out in faith. 2 Sanctify your hearts and bodies. 3 Submit to the Lord. As a result, they found success. The same can be true for us because God is still God and His plan is
God’s Plan for Success
Did you know that God has plans for your success and prosperity?
He does. In the O.T. it is stated this way… Jeremiah 29:11 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
In the N.T. … It is stated… John 10:10 - The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.
God wants you to succeed, the same way He did the Israelites as they entered the Promised Land
Today we continue our study of our Faith Family Tree as we look at Joshua. There are many, many lessons we can learn from Joshua.
I want you to look at Chapter 1 as we begin to learn from Joshua… really from God… God’s Plan for Success.
God gave Joshua a three point plan…
1 The Israelites stepped out in faith.
2 They sanctified their hearts and bodies.
3 They submitted to the Lord.
As a result, they found success.
The same can be true for us because God is still God and His plan is still the same.
So let’s break it down point by point.
1. THE ISRAELITES STEPPED OUT IN FAITH.
Someone has defined faith as: walking to the edge of all the light you have and taking one more step.
Here is a girl who illustrates faith… walking to the edge of all the brains you have and taking one more step
I like that definition because when does our walk become faith???
When we step out into the unknown
2 Cor. 5:7 7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.
As long as you are walking by sight… that is not faith
It does not become faith UNTIL… UNTIL we step out… without sight
Joshua and Israel exhibited that type of faith multiple times
1. They stepped into the dry river
2. They marched around Jericho in silence… 6 days
If you ever heard of a ridiculous battle plan… this was it
No siege, no ramparts, no weapons
It was humiliating. It was contrary to ALL battle plans
It took faith the first day.
It took more faith the second day
It took even more faith the third day… etc
We don’t read that any feigned sickness… or hid…or grumbled
THEY STEPPED OUT… farther and farther
And how did God respond to their expression of faith?
He rewarded it.
Go back 40 years… their decision was to NOT step out but stay safe
What was God’s response? PUNISHENT
So don’t miss the biblical principle:
God punishes those who refuse to step out
But God rewards those who do step out… AFTER THEY STEP OUT
We often talk about needing God’s help or strength… but don’t get it
Because we are standing where it is safe… where we don’t need it
When will God give us help? WHEN WE NEED IT!!!
Isaiah 40:29-31 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
So… the first thing the Israelites did was…
They stepped out in faith
The next step in God’s plan was…
They sanctified their hearts and bodies
What does sanctify mean?
To set apart as or declare holy (belonging to God); consecrate.
Notice what Joshua TOLD them… Sanctify YOURSELF
Joshua told them… ONLY YOU can sanctify yourself… your heart… your life… your all
That must happen in the heart and spirit and only you can do it.
What did the Israelites do?
They sanctified their hearts to God
Then what did Joshua do?
He circumcised their body… the sign of the people of God
Outward, visible sign and reminder of belonging to God
How do we know they really sanctified their hearts or meant it?
1 The bible says so
2 God accepted them and used them
3 Because they were willing to go “under the knife”
Now, listen… I don’t have any flint knives and don’t come to me asking me to do any circumcisions. Not in my job description.
BUT… circumcision OF THE HEART is still a NECESSARY step to success… spiritually.
While circumcision today no longer involves an “invasive” procedure
God is still looking for His people to be circumcised… in the heart and body
But the circumcision takes place IN THE HEART… but is REALIZED, proven… in the body