Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to exhort the church to not be stagnant and satisifed with its accomplishments but to experience all that God has for it.
Antithesis: Every time God speaks to a church family the intent is to provide reproof, revival and motivation. As we seek to affirm the direction in which God is leading we are reminded that we have a responsibility to claim that which God has promised. I hope that you remember that ministry are cyclic in that they go through phases and ultimately sub-phases of ministry. The three major phases can be assessed as preparation, prosperity and persecution. Remember in preparation the church is finding its place in the kingdom and preparing for the ministry that God ultimately wants it to operate. In prosperity the ministry operates in the fullness of what God has ordained. And in persecution the ministry is in decline or regression. The problem of ministry is that we often time spend too much time in preparation and because prosperity is limited by factor we cannot control we fail to operate in the fullness of prosperity in the season that God appoints. From my perspective we are in preparation while we ought to be in prosperity. We have not reached the place of prosperity but have not operated in prosperity. Yet I am convinced that the heart of the people is ready for prosperity, that we are ready to walk in the fullness of all that God has for our church. If you can’t get excited about what God has for the church I want you to be aware that the prosperity that God wants us to walk in is not isolated to the church but will overflow in every area of your life.
Thesis: When God is pleased with us then God’s blessing will seep into every nook and cranny of our lives. I want my family to walk in prosperity, then get it right with God. I want to walk in prosperity on my job then get it right with God. I want my children to walk in prosperity then get it right with God. We concluded from last week the reason the exodus generation did not enter into their prosperity was because they had a seeing problem, opthomological, ontological and pneumatalogical. In other words they saw things wrong in the natural, in relation to the power of God and missed the move of God. Yet God points out that there were two whom got it and he calls Caleb by name declaring that he is going to experience the fullness of all that God has promised. God says of Caleb that he has a different spirit and has followed me whole heartedly and we suggest that what we need if we are going to walk in prosperity are those with a Caleb spirit. We are only going to walk in the prosperity that God promises when we adapt a different kind of spirit.
Relevent Question: I believe as we examine the traits of Joshua and Caleb in our text we can find clues on how we too kind walk in the prosperity that God has established.
1. They had the same view as the majority: 21 So they went up and spied out the land from the wilderness of Zin to Rehob, near Lebo-hamath. 22 They went up into the Negeb, and came to Hebron; and Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the Anakites, were there. (Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 And they came to the Wadi Eshcol, and cut down from there a branch with a single cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them. They also brought some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Wadi Eshcol, because of the cluster that the Israelites cut down from there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from spying out the land.
Caleb and Joshua was among the 12 men that was sent by Moses into the land of promise in an effort to confirm what God had promised. The purpose of them being sent is that after they had journeyed to the edge of promise was to confirm what God had said is exactly what they were to find. The journey was intended to confirm the promise of God not to raise doubt in what God has said. Sometimes God allows us to see in the natural what is naturally impossible so that when God manifest something awesome in our presence that we will know that it is God that has done a great thing. If you evaluate the places that God has already brought you, it should be plain to see that God has already done a great thing in your life. Well at least that is the perspective from which I stand, I realize that I don’t deserve the things that have come my way thus everything is the result of the blessings of God as it has been manifested in my life. The reality is that Joshua and Caleb saw the same things that the other ten saw. They saw the obstacles that stood in their way. They saw the walls, they saw the fortified cities, they saw the armed forces, they saw the valiant men, they saw the men that was categorized as giants. And guess what the ten saw was Joshua and Caleb saw as well, They saw a land flowing with milk and honey, they saw the fertility of the land, they saw the prosperity that was evident in the land. They saw the valleys and the high places they saw the same thing. The issue was not with what they saw the problem was in the interpretation of what was seen. They stumbled in what they saw while Joshua and Caleb rejoiced and what they saw. Two sets of men looking at the same thing coming away with two different perspectives. For the 10 the optic never went to the brain and the mind could not comprehend what God had promised. For the two the optic nerve transferred the image to faith and from faith to the brain. Too often we miss out on the promises of God because we don’t tunnel what we see through the filter of faith. Joshua and Caleb saw what the 10 saw but God’s promise was always in the forefront of their minds. Faith sees what evidence doesn’t show, that is why the writer of Hebrews describes faith as the evidence of things not seen. It is not what you see but what you trust God to do despite what you might see. As we move from a state of preparation into a state of prosperity it is not what we see that is going to make the difference but will we trust God enough despite what we see, despite what makes sense some times, despite what is obvious. We need people with a Caleb spirit to say despite what I see I still trust God to do what God has promised.