Summary: The Third sermon in the series, Overcoming the Grasshopper Complex.
TITLE: Listening to the Right Voice
Text: Joshua 1
Theme: Overcoming the Grasshopper Complex
The voices you and I listen too can determine the success or failure of our mission in life.
The story is told of an American Battle ship that was fighting a storm at sea. On the radar, an unknown vessel was spotted directly in front of the battleship. Here is the transcript of the communication between the two vessels.
Battleship: unknown vessel, turn your vessel 10 degrees west
Unknown Vessel: negative, turn your vessel ten degrees
Battleship: unknown vessel, this is the USS battleship Arizona, turn your vessel around, NOW
Unknown Vessel: USS Arizona, we are a Lighthouse, your call.
The voice we listen to will determine the direction we walk and whether or not we will realize God’s promise in our lives. As Joshua looked over the landscape of the promised land, for the second time in his life there no doubt many voices vying for his attention.
God has promised us a life that is filled with His Presence and peace, a life that overcomes the shadows of sin and death with the brilliant Light of Jesus. God holds out the promise of a life that is said to be ’abundant’ and marked by freedom from slavery to sin. It is not just a better life for the present, but is fully realized in the gift of eternal life when this earthly sojourn is over.
The question is- how do we ’possess’ that promised life?
Some quickly say, "just receive it by faith." “Speak the word, and declare it to be”
It is true. True enough. The Bible declares that we ‘walk by faith and not by sight.’ Paul wrote that the ‘the word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: that if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’
Praise the Lord this is true! When you confess Jesus as your Lord and believe that He died for you, and has forgiven you your sins, and you receive by faith his gift of grace of forgiveness YOU ARE SAVED! Nothing added but joy and peace, nothing taken away, but sin and guilt. What a wonderful promise kept!
Nevertheless, Doesn’t James say that “Faith without works is dead?”
Does God only want me to simply believe His word and rest on His promise; Does He not expect some action on my part?
Well, the answer is both yes and no! If by ’effort’ we imply that we somehow save ourselves from sin with religious works and being very, very good, we are wrong. This promised new life is THE work of Christ, provided fully at His expense, the result of the gracious love of our Father.
The Apostle Paul I belive offers a balance to this controversy. HE reminds the Philippians ‘’…continue to work out you salvation with fear and trembling.” He is not saying to work for your salvation. In other words now that you are saved, keep at it. Do not give up on your faith. Now that you have received the promise, you have believed the promise, continue to live out the word of promise in your everyday life, because,