Summary: What is the biggest issue we see in Joshua 9? Trust! Everything in our life comes down to what and who we trust. We need to be reminded that what we see is the smallest portion of reality. We are involved in a spiritual reality that cannot be seen by
Joshua: Steps to Victory
Partnership: Be Careful who you covenant with
Intro: What is the biggest issue we see in Joshua 9? Trust! Everything in our life comes down to what and who we trust. We need to be reminded that what we see is the smallest portion of reality. We are involved in a spiritual reality that cannot be seen by the physical eye.
Proverbs 14.12 “There is a way that seems right to men but the end of it is death.” Proverbs 3:5,6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding.” Our way of seeing and thinking is at best distorted. If we walk by sight we often fail and fall. We are not fighting against flesh and blood but against age old principalities and powers that are more cunning and more powerful than we can imagine. Here in Joshua 9 we also find that the enemy the adversary of old uses people to perpetuate his schemes.
In Joshua 9 we see the great danger of not asking God what we should do and make our decisions based on the way things appear. The devil is a master of deception, distortion, and disruption. We can learn a great principle; never make decisions based on the way things appear.
1) Never forget you are involved in a spiritual war for the souls the people of this planet.
2) We must be clothed in the spiritual armor of God in order to stand.
3) The only offensive weapons we have are prayer (our trust in Christ) and the Word of God.
The devil has a way of attacking openly on the heels of great victory by God’s people. When the people of God get surrendered and united under God’s rule in the Kingdom of God the enemy will unite His forces.
The devil will attack openly. Adrian Rogers once said “if you are not in collision with the Devil or his demons you might be in collusion with him.” How then are partnerships so important? Because those you choose to partner with may be the device the devil uses to distract you from your devotion to Jesus. What then is needed? We need recognition, reliance, and restraint (self-control, self-discipline).
2 Timothy 1.7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
John Calvin gives clear understanding of what Paul is trying to teach Timothy and us.
“He speaks of this power as accompanied by love and self-discipline in order to distinguish the power of the Spirit from the intemperate zeal of fanatics, who rush in with reckless haste and boast that they have the Spirit of God. But the power of the Spirit, the powerful energy of the Spirit, is tempered by love and sobriety. It always has a calm concern for edification.”
How does this Spirit of self-control, love, power become the practicing principle of our life? We must present ourselves to God as living sacrifices. Whatever principles or truth you find encouraged or commanded in the NT put those into practice in your life. (Kabod – The weight or glory of God)
(Is the weight of God’s glory more important than so called walking in freedom.)
Prudence and discretion and acting out God’s will by sound reasoning, literally a call to sound reasoning, moderation and self-control. The Holy Spirit enables us to have this transformation. If we abide in Jesus and his word we will abound in transformation. But realize the more transformation happens in your life the more opposition you will face.
I. Opposition (The devil as a devouring lion)
It is amazing how having a common enemy can unite people. It happened with all the people of Canaan.
Jesus brought the reign of God and true righteousness to the religious of His day. What did that do to the Sadducees, Pharisees, and Herodians? It united them around a common enemy. Jesus and the Kingdom rule of God.
A) Sadducees – Only accepted the law of Moses (the first 5 books of the Bible) and their social standing. Were liberal in the sense they were willing to Hellenism or Greek culture into their lives.
B) Pharisees – Believed they were the only righteous ones. Were concerned with the people receiving holiness through study of the Torah and interpretation in the Talmud.
The Sadducees were concerned with social status and standing and the Pharisees with requiring people to follow rules of righteousness. What should they and we be concerned with? We as the body of Christ at Immanuel should have the Kingdom of Christ as the focus of our life and ministry. Why?
If we focus on social issues we lose focus on the Kingdom rule of Christ. If we focus merely on the word of God and forget that Jesus told us to live the principles and truth of His word we again miss the Kingdom rule of Christ.