Joshua 1:1-1:10, 3:1-3:10
This morning if you would turn to Joshua chapter 1
I want to look at life of Joshua;
Joshua son of Nun- N.U.N. not none n.o.n.e.- that sounds funny- Joshua son of none.
Joshua was thrust into a position of leadership and the outcome of his decisions would affect more than just himself, they would affect a nation.
I said last week that if you wait until you have all the right tools and all the right people you probably will never be of service for the kingdom of God.
One thing I see… is God wants us to walk in faith and sometimes that means that we do not have all the answers to get started.
Anyone know what I am saying?
Joshua was mentored by the great Moses himself. That is a great thing- the negative to that great thing is the man was mentored by Moses… they were big shoes to fill.
Everything you do…that is not how Moses would have done it.
Everything you do measured by what Moses accomplished.
Moses received the commandments on the Mt. Sinai.
Moses experienced the burning bush in the desert.
Moses saw God face to face and lived to tell about it
Moses is getting old but he is still the leader.
Moses is getting old and he is passing his baton.
Moses is not the one told to lead them to the promised land- Joshua is.
Then Moses dies- the mentor is gone and the newbie is in charge.
Deuteronomy 31 ends by saying that they mourned the death of Moses for 30 days, Israel grieved. There was no one like Moses and now Joshua was stepping into those shoes.
“Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses laid hands on him and blessed him.”
You cannot forget that verse as we read the text this morning- The Lord was with him.
When we lived in beautiful Hegins, Pa. there was outside of Hegins a place called Deep Creek. About an 8 mile stretch. The problem with Deep Creek there was no Deep creek. Until I knew better, I always would pass there and look for the Deep Creek. If you left North of Hegins, you had to go through Deep Creek to get out.
Anybody feel like to get out of some of the problems we face, we have to go through Deep Creek? Me too
The Lord commands Joshua- Get these people in three days ready to cross the Jordan.
When God puts you into a challenging position, how do you get yourself/others do something that they are afraid of?
In the face of 2020 crisis-
People are a little gun shy and afraid
Countries were closed
All States, cities came to a halt.
Restaurants, beaches, work place modified or closed.
The Global Virus spreading fear and creating chaos.
In the face of a crisis- the same words that were given to Joshua are the same words that we must hold unto.
“Be strong and of Good Courage.”
Those words are great and meaningful only if the person that told you that has authority and power against what you are afraid of.
When you were a kid and crying- someone telling you to stop crying did not work- you did not calm down until you were not longer afraid or the hurt stopped.
These words were given by God Himself to Joshua- He received them from someone who had the authority and who could give him the strength to overcome.
Joshua was instructed to do something bigger than he was but not bigger than his God.
How much faith do you have in your God to see you through your struggles?
Enough to step out of your situation and take a step toward solution?
Joshua had a history of following and trusting the Lord- he was one of the spies that believed God to take the land.
God could trust him because he was faithful with the little things and willing to do the big thing.
Do you remember the last time you experienced a challenging or difficult situation? Maybe you’re in the middle of one right now.
We don’t usually praise the Lord about going through them.
In fact, when trouble comes, we sometimes ask, “Why is this happening?”
Many times, things happen that we simply don’t understand.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
You know when we realize that? When we are through it- at the end not in the beginning.
We can trust that He is with us through every challenge we face, and we are ultimately going to come out stronger in the end.
Some Reasons we fear-
Failure past and present
The great unknown
If fear did not exist- what would your life look like?
What would you be doing?
We don’t have all the answers, I believe we could not handle them- but we know who holds our future as a believer in Jesus Christ.
We cannot let fear hold us back or distract us from the vision that God gives us or wants to give us.
We are going to spend a few minutes on reasons we are not to fear- why Joshua did not fear what God was telling him to do.
If I was to ask you a scary moment in your life with fear, most would have an answer-
Some would say that they regretted that they did not do something because of fear.
Some would say that it was a mile marker in their life because they pushed past fear and accomplished something that changed their life.
We cannot change the past but we can change the future.
Reasons we should not fear as believers is tied into the instructions that God gave Joshua.
Specific Instructions God gave Joshua-
Moses is dead- you will lead these people to the other side.
I will give you every step of land you put your foot on
Get these people ready for the crossing
I will be with you
Be strong and encouraged
Do not be afraid
He gives him the geographic of what he is being given
I will keep my promise
Obey the laws that I gave Moses- in other words- do what your mentor has told you and shown you
Reasons to not fear-
God is with you- “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”
God can still the storm- “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress.”
God has a plan for you- “”For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord plans to prosper you and not harm you.”
God loves you-
“For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life.”
Cast your cares upon the Lord
“With his love, He will calm all your fears.”
What God did not tell him right away -
How he was going to cross the raging river
How not to be afraid
How he was going to rally the troops
How he was going to change the situation
Nothing is impossible with God! Say that out loud! It is therapeutic
“But with God all things are possible.”
Over 80 times in the Bible Old and New Testament says “Fear Not”
My first church as a youth pastor was in Fearnot Pa.
Our life verse was Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God.”
Now let’s take another look through fresh eyes of what God was telling Joshua-
Faith is a funny thing- you are not sure you have it or enough of it until you take the first step toward exercising your faith.
Joshua was given the task of leading the Israelites to the promised land of God.
It should have been an easy task because God was giving him and the Israelites everything they needed to accomplish it.
What would hold them back?
Unbelief that God would do what He said he would do.
(6)”Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land that I swore to their forefathers to give them.”
Be careful to obey the warning I give you-
Meditate on the law (word) day and night- don’t let it get away from you.
Take possession of what is yours from me.
Here me when I say this- Maybe we need to do church different than what we have been doing.
We come to worship, we hear songs that lift our hearts toward God.
We hear a message that I have put more time in than most anyone really knows but if we do not leave here with marching orders to accomplish what God has put on our hearts, we have only had our ears tickled according to his word to us in Revelation.
To gain the ground that God is offering Joshua and Israel you have to come to that river that was raging.
To gain new ground- you have to confront the obstacle that is stopping you
Our text is preparation, but the answer and result is Joshua chapter 3
Joshua chapter 3:1-3:7 read
3 days, you will cross the river
Get ready to cross, the time has come.
Follow God and follow what He said
Any part of that sound like a suggestion? Option?
We have to take the Lord at his word-
When He says move- move
When he says cross- don’t look at the raging river in front of you, stand on the promise God has given you.
Follow the Lord- When the ark went into the water- follow the priest and the ark and watch God do some amazing things.
Getting messy and wet is usually how a blessing starts- you have to step in faith to watch God do the amazing-
Don’t settle for average. We do average. God does amazing!
They had a choice- do you step out into the raging water (obstacle) or do you stand back and just say that you cannot cross because the obstacle won’t let you pass bye.
One is faith and one is like God don’t exist-some will step out and some will get stepped on.
Mike said: 'I don't believe that God exists.'
"Why do you say that?" asked Bill.
"Well, you just have to go out in the street to realize that God doesn't exist. Tell me Bill, if God exists, would there be so many sick people? Would there be abandoned children? If God existed, there would be neither suffering nor pain. I can't imagine a loving God who would allow all of these things."
Bill thought for a moment, but didn't respond because he didn't want to start an argument. Mike finished his barbering job and Bill left the shop. Just after he left the barbershop, he saw a man in the street with long, stringy, dirty hair and an untrimmed beard. He looked dirty and unkempt.
Bill turned back and entered the barbershop again and he said to Mike, the barber:
"You know what? Barbers do not exist."
"How can you say that?' asked the surprised barber."I am here, and I am a barber. And I just worked on you!"
"No!" Bill exclaimed.
"'Barbers don't exist because if they did, there would be no people with dirty long hair and untrimmed beards, like that man outside."
"Ah, but barbers DO exist! That's what happens when people do not come to me."
"Exactly!' Bill affirmed.
"That's the point! God, DOES exist! And that's what happens when people do not come to God too."
We blame God for not doing anything fresh and new, but most are standing on the bank of their river and not letting God step into that situation or they are not willing to even come to the river and wrote it off as a lost cause.
Comfort tells us… this is not so bad…
How many are getting comfortable on the bank of their raging river.
So many times the lord wants us to cross and we ignore his leading.
We are there so long that we become comfortable and decide this is not so bad. I will just stay here.
Your comfortzone is not where you want to live if you want to be used of God.
You have to come out of the wilderness to get to the promised land.
I am closing, time is getting away.
It shown to us in chapter 3:9
“Joshua said to the Israelites, come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God.” “This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you Canaanites, Hetites, Hivites, Perizzites,Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites.”
And any other pesky person that will get in your way of serving God.
Let’s get rid of the Termites, Hellgamites, Sinanites, Doubtmites, pearazites.
Fear is not longer a factor when my God gets involved.
You have to come to a place where you are not satisfied being unsatisfied.
You cannot stay on the shore if you want to get to the other side.
Think about where you have been- is fear keeping you from moving forward? If it is make sure what you want to do lines up with God’s word and if it does step out in faith. See what the Lord will do. Trust in Him to lead you and guide you. If God is in it, He will give you what you need to accomplish the task.
Amen. Lets pray!