Summary: In order to take new territory for God you must make some Courageous Choices for Conquest.
22When they left, they went into the hills and stayed there three days, until the pursuers had searched all along the road and returned without finding them. 23Then the two men started back. They went down out of the hills, forded the river and came to Joshua son of Nun and told him everything that had happened to them. 24They said to Joshua, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us.” Joshua 2:22-24
Lisa Marino has a personal fitness coach who gives her advice and encouragement but she’s never seen him. As a participant in a program called Life Practice, Lisa begins each day by sending a report of her diet, exercise, sleep, and stress to an Internet web site. Later she receives an e-mail response from her coach. She says that the daily reporting helps keep her honest and focused on her fitness goals.1
Each day, the Holy Spirit gives advice and encouragement to help us maintain our spiritual fitness. The Bible reminds us, “For physical training (exercise) is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (2 Timothy 4:8-NIV) Could I encourage you in this principle with another translation of that verse?
“Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.” (2 Timothy 4:8-MSG) You can count on this. Take it to heart. Remember our sermon series theme: Everything You Do Matters Forever.
The Holy Spirit provides constant oversight and minute-by-minute updates to help us stay focused and accountable. Do you realize that you have to involve the Holy Spirit in your life daily? What areas is the Holy Spirit fully engaged in? Each person is concerned about one or several issues in life: 2
1. Everyone wants to be loved.
2. Everyone wants his or her life to count.
3. Life is empty without Jesus Christ.
4. Many sitting here today are loaded down with guilt.
5. Many in this auditorium are eaten up with bitterness from their past.
6. Each culture faces a universal fear of death.
Through your personal fitness (spiritual) trainer, God is lifting encouragement and instruction out of His word today to apply to these areas of your life. Are you ready? God has been looking forward to this moment all week. He delights in your sacrificial efforts to give yourself to Him. Go ahead; take a bow. Give yourself a high-five. You made a courageous decision this week to receive from God through the preaching and teaching of His Word. You have made going to church a priority.
Joshua was 80 years of age when he received the mantle from Moses and 110 when he died. Moses’ leadership was associated with deliverance; Joshua’s leadership is identified with conquest. The conquest of the Promised Land was a sure thing - if Joshua followed God’s instructions. Why was it a lock? The deal had been secured hundreds of years earlier between God and Abraham in Genesis 12. In the Abrahamic Covenant, God gave three promises to the founder of faith:
1. The promise of land (Gen. 12:1)
2. The promise of seed (Gen. 12:2)
3. The promise of blessing (Gen. 12:3)
So, in they went to the Land of Promise, and God was with them each step of the way. The cities of Jericho, Ai, and Gibeon fell like clay pigeons at Joshua’s feet. God wants you to take new territory for Him. Joshua sets the stage for all believers to do great things for God, even if they only have average potential. God is raising up a Joshua Generation, a people who are not afraid to take God at His Word. In order to take new territory for God you must make some Courageous Choices for Conquest. There are four elements to making Courageous Choices:
Courageous Choices For Conquest
1. Our Mission Must Be From God
“Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them.”(Joshua 1:6)
Joshua’s life was filled with resolve and purpose. He seldom wavered and he never stuttered. His mission was to take the Promised Land by conquest and force. He didn’t have the luxury of knowing how God would do it, but he did possess a certainty that through a promise it was his for the taking.
This opening principle sets the stage for you to take new territory for God. What in your life are you trusting God for that only He can bring about? What territory are you preparing to take, some financial deliverance in an economically depressed market? Family fertility when doctors have declared child bearing is impossible? Restoration of health, relationship, or dreams when all seems impossible?