Summary: Celebrating the New Year - 2019. Looking at how God brings us New Life Challenges that will lead us to experience Him in ever new ways!
Scripture: Joshua 1
Theme: Walking with God
Title: Life Challenges with God - 2019
2019 will bring Life Challenges. This sermon is to help us understand how we can face those Life Challenges with God's Help.
Grace and peace from God Our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away our sin and infill us with His Holy Spirit.
Welcome to 2019! What an incredible year we have before us!
This year can be the most amazing year we have ever experienced. It can be the most enjoyable year that we have every experienced. And it can be the most successful year that we have ever experienced.
Now, how can that be possible? I am glad you asked for that is one of the things that I would like to share with you this morning.
I would like for us to take some time and look at what this man Joshua discovered. Joshua discovered a way to make sure that he, his family and all of his people could experience life to its fullest. Joshua didn't want to waste his time. He wanted to get the most out of his life here on earth and he discovered that the best way for that to happen was to walk in step with the LORD with the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.
Now, what does that exactly mean? Does that mean that we spend hour upon hour reading and studying? Does that mean that we have to give up all of our hobbies, all the things that we enjoy doing just to sit in a corner and meditate?
Of course not. Walking with the LORD is merely being open to the LORD. It is enjoying time with God. It is opening up our hearts and our minds to speak to God, to enjoy and to rest in His Presence.
Let's look at what it meant for Joshua to walk with God this morning:
I. It meant accepting God's Life Challenges - v. 2
One of the first things that Joshua learned about walking with God is that God loves to present us some LIFE Challenges. God loves to bring things before us to help us grow inwardly and outwardly. God loves to help us experience life in its fullest.
Our God is not a God who tries to take things away from us. Our God is not interested in making our lives depressed and miserable. Just the exact opposite. Our Heavenly Father seeks ways for us to experience the best we can today, tomorrow and forever.
Let's get into our passage. As you may have noticed, Joshua's book starts rather abruptly. In just a few words we understand that Moses, who had led the people out of Egypt had gone to be with the LORD. For the last 40 years Moses had been God's leader for His People. He had been their prophet, their mediator and their spiritual father.
It was now time for some changes and in the opening verses God speaks to Joshua and gives him and His People a New Life Challenge:
+It is time for some new leadership - some new ways of thinking and some new ways of doing things.
+It is time to cross the River Jordan - it time to cross that barrier that has prevented them from being able to enjoy God's Promise Land.
In verse two God basically tells Joshua -
- Joshua, I want you to become the New Leader.
Joshua, I want you to take over the reins and lead My people into the New Land. I want you to receive My favor and blessing as you and My People go into untamed, uncharted and uncertain areas that will bring you into even more miracles, blessings and anointings.
Now, you have to think that all of this had to take Joshua back for a moment.
God's new Life Challenge had to be rather unnerving for someone around 80 years old. Usually we don't think of 80 year old individuals taking on the mantle of senior leadership but that is exactly what God wanted to happen.
God challenged Joshua to step up and receive the mantle of leadership. For the past 40 years, Joshua had been Moses' chief assistant. He had been everything from Moses' go-fer to Moses' military leader. He had been Moses' right hand man. But Joshua had always been in the shadows and on the side line. He had never had to take the full reins of leadership. At least not the way that Moses had for the past 40 years.
When you think about it, Joshua's job under Moses had been a great job. It had been a wonderful way to experience life for the past forty years. But now, here is God reaching out to this 80 year old man and telling him that it is now his time. It is now his time to accept this Life Challenge and be the way for the People of God to receive God's blessings and favor.