Summary: There are steps of preparation for every victory. As the church we must prepare for God to do something, prepare with unity, prepare for conflict. It will take action on our part to take steps to vicory that God purchased for us in christ.
Intro: Paul warned and encouraged the Church that Jesus was coming again. Peter warned and encouraged the church that Jesus was coming again. John warned and encouraged the Church that Jesus was coming again? If you have been saved by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus and sealed by the Spirit do you realize that Jesus is coming again? If this is so true than why are so few of our steps ordered by the Lord who is soon returning?
Listen to the words of Alan Redpath in his book The Making of a Man of God: Lessons from the Life of David.
“The machinery of the church is put to very severe strain and is working overtime, but that which the machinery produces so often lacks evidence of the heavenly reality. The mass production of industry – all kinds of goods that attract the eye but have little lasting quality – is too often evident in the Christian Church. In days like these I believe it is quality and not quantity that will count.”
This is what the book of Joshua addresses. The Christian life is not about looking good but about being good. Not because we have to live up to God’s standard but because we can’t help it because we live so close to our creator! The Bible is very clear the gospel is not about simply saying you believe in Jesus Christ but in living out that you believe Jesus Christ.
The book of Joshua reminds us that following Christ is a journey that involves conflict, confession, repentance, and victory. How do I define victory walking daily in the truth that Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe. That if I am daily living in the presence of God that is the victory. The victory is not getting the money I want, the healing I need, the end of conflict I desperately desire. Why? Because all of these are designed in my life to press me one step closer to Jesus!
There is encouragement in Joshua for those of us who stumble, for those of us who fall and fail. We are reminded that a newborn baby needs to learn how to talk right, to walk right and act right. The same holds true for us as we are born in to the kingdom and family of God.
If you wouldn’t know how to take a step as a child you will not know how to properly place your shield of faith as a child of God facing spiritual battles. If you don’t know how to pronounce words as a child as a child of God you must learn how to claim the promises of God which are yes and Amen (means they are sure and true). So Joshua shows us that we are to surrender to the leadership of God and those he places over us to lead, love and shepherd us.
Victory in Jesus is like a coat. If you don’t take the coat off the hanger and place it on your shoulders it will not give you protection or comfort.
I. Prepare for God to do something (Joshua 1.1, 11)
A) In your life first
The fact that we hear about Joshua at all is not as much a testament to him as it is to God. He was the son of slaves never having known anything different. As a laboring slave he would likely have had little or no education, no education and certainly no possibility of freedom. What an unlikely man to lead the army of Israelites into battle and victory over hardened and seasoned Canaanites. Why did Joshua become a man we are talking about and even studying today? Because it is not about Joshua! But it is about what God did in him. The key is never found in our ability or opportunities it is always found in the sovereign plan of God. Joshua is often thought of as a great man. To look at history from that viewpoint is to miss the mystery of history. Joshua was just like you and me with faults and failures as well as skills and strengths. Joshua was an ordinary man serving a great God. A Great God can get all the glory when he uses an ordinary man.
With all that Joshua had seen he still needed an encouraging word from God. Haven’t I told you be strong and courageous. There must have been hints of fear in Joshua. This is encouraging to me as a Pastor and leader. There will always be times where we need to hear God’s encouragement to move forward with the mission.
Courage in the world is to mix 5 parts stupidity with 1 part strength. In Gods economy it is made from the mixture of the person and promises of Jesus. I will not leave you or forsake you. But merely accepting the words is never enough you must encounter the Person!!