Summary: As Children and people of the covnenant we are marked in the Old testament by circumcision in the New by God's Spirit. It will be our passion to follow God's command if we are indeed children of the covenant.
Intro: Warren Wiersbe said something profound. “God’s people must be prepared before they can be trusted with victory.” The conquest of the Promised Land was God’s victory not Joshua’s or Israel’s. It was not the expertise of the Jewish army or emotions of the enemy that would allow victory.
I. True victory is ours only if we are covenant people
A) Old Covenant mark of circumcision
Deuteronomy 10:16 “Therefore, circumcise your hearts and don’t be stiff-necked any longer.”
Circumcision was the covenant sign given to Abraham that he and his children were chosen by God. Deuteronomy makes clear that this is an outward sign of an inward attitude. The Hebrew’s were to be the separate distinct people of God.
B) New Covenant Seal of the Holy Spirit
Truth revealed by the two covenant seals. We are all baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. (1 Cor 12:13)
1) We are saved from sins penalty by substitution (Red Sea – Jesus Blood)
Jesus died for our sins
2) We are saved from the power of sin by identification (Jordan – Our death)
The truth revealed by crossing the Jordan and baptism are that we died with Jesus.
Why this timing to call the nation of Israel to circumcision? God was teaching them and is teaching us we cannot have victory over our enemies if we are not covenant people. Warfare does not come before worship. Worship is at its heart bowing in obedience to the commands and direction of God. Every battle we fight finds its source in the spiritual. Our physical sins find their source in our spiritual rebellion.
Here as God calls Israel and us to make sure that our relationship is right with God. Just when we would think we should march on God says make sure you are in a relationship with me. Do you need a spiritual inventory? From a human standpoint it was silly for Joshua to circumcise all of Israel. Remember victory only comes to covenant people.
The Hebrew people had not been circumcised. There are many ideas and suggestions for why this is so. However, we just don’t know the exact reason why.
We must learn as Joshua and all Israel did that obedience to the Lord is more important than than anything else. So the question must be asked Immanuel What has God called us to do?
Before facing any battle wise soldiers take inventory of their weapons and supplies.
1) Are you guilty of wandering off to do your own thing? Have you become so concerned with the things of the earth, career, retirement, hobbies, recreation, that you have forgotten that God calls each of us to a ministry and the mission He gave this church? If so repentance is necessary to keep from becoming vulnerable and weak.
2) Have you neglected the more important things, forgiveness, faithfulness, worship, obedience?
3) Have you adopted the mentality and values of the world?
4) Have you truly trusted Jesus Christ or are you depending on your own goodness?
Why is the trust relationship so important?
C) New way God provided for His children
He moved them from Mana from heaven to produce of the land. We must always be ready for God to move among us in a new way. We must have such a trust relationship with Him that He can lead in a new ministry. God makes all things new!! I guarantee when we get comfortable that is exactly when His fresh wind and Spirit will blow and change the pattern of the way we do things.
II. True victory is our if we submit to the commander of the Lord’s Army
A) Jesus comes to take over (Joshua 5.13)
The question that any of us would ask, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
Neither! Wait a minute you mean God is not on our side. No!! We don’t decide what we are going to do and ask God to bless it. We are never to make God the champion of our cause. We are instead to be obedient to the will and work of God.
We often want God to put His stamp of approval on our political leanings, worship preferences, spending habits, theological leanings, personal preferences and opinions.
We want Jesus to relieve the pressure of the battle he wants us conformed to His image.
B) Jesus comes to lead worship
Worship can take place anywhere you encounter God!! Joshua was in the religious but ungodly land of Canaan.
Worship is never about the place but always about the person. You shall worship in Spirit and in Truth.
Yahweh said the exact same thing to Moses remove your sandals because the place you are standing is Holy ground. It was not about the ground it was about the presence of God.