Joshua: Where the Promise becomes a Reality; Message 2 Dec 5,1999
This book gives us a picture of what it means to walk in newness of life. Romans 5;5-6
As we study Joshua together we are seeing what is involved in possessing our possessions; OUR acceptance, worth and competence; Embracing the relationship, walking in our new identity;
Prior to entry: 40 years in the Wilderness; Why? Joshua 5:6 “they would not LISTEN”, cost them forty years; some died there; striving but never arriving;
In the wilderness; 1. A very religious people, sacrifices, offerings, meeting in the tent of meeting, but grumbled the whole time; ALL OF THEIR RELIGIOUS SERVICES COULD NOT EFFECT CHANGE IN THEIR LIVES; It takes a personal relationship with God and allowing Him to effect the change in our lives. Religious practices never changed anyone but a relationship will.
2. In the wilderness we have a people who refused to face the giants; For years I refused to face some giants in my life as well; Those deep seated giants that have taken up residence will not be rooted out until we first face them, in the wilderness there were no giants; The giant of a hurt, or a misdeed, or an insult, or an embarrassment, that giant that put you on the run and embittered you will not go away until you face it.
ALL OF THIS BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO LISTEN TO GOD;
This morning you may be sitting there in defeat, and discouraged, bitter, worried, tired of the battle, worn out from trying to keep a relationship, overwhelmed by a circumstance, and you may be about to drown or give up, it could be you are there because you have not listen to God;
WHAT KEEPS US FROM LISTENING TO GOD? OUR FEELINGS; OUR FLESH; THE DEVIL; THE WORLD; If we are TRULY listening to God, we will obey, we will believe;
IF WE ARE GOING TO EVER WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE, WHICH IS OURS TO WALK IN, WE MUST LISTEN TO GOD ABOVE THE NOISE OF OUR FEELINGS, FLESH, THE WORLD AND THE DEVIL.
In this first chapter we come to a generation that is finally going to listen to God. They were finally going in to posses what was theirs. They were getting ready to ENTER THE LAND and God is going to give them some essential and critical information, and they are going to LISTEN to God;
And what did he say to them?
1. They had to make a DECISIVE STEP if they were to be successful and prosperous and take the land. V1-5
a. THE FIRST STEP: SURRENDER “to cross the Jordan”, v1-2 Moses is dead, it is time to leave that land and go to this land across the Jordan. Moses was a type here of the law, Joshua is a type of Jesus; It is time to change leaders; Moses led you as far as he could, but it is now time to cross and let Joshua lead you over into the promise land. It is time to move from the wilderness to the promise land, from independence and not listening to dependence and listening. Here IS SOMETHING YOU CAN NOT HANDLE; Crossing the Jordan, that thing that has kept you bottled up in the wideness, unresolved anger, something that has happened to you and you have never gotten over it, a hurt that goes back to your childhood and has kept you from enjoying your relationship with God and his people; it is not time to cross the Jordan; it was in its flood stage, they could not do it; you can not cross it but God will make a way; DO WE HEAR JOSHUA SAYING WAIT A MINUTE GOD NOW JUST HOW? I am going to cross, and make a decisive step toward saving the relationship; toward saving my marriage, toward forgiving the person that hurt me; toward putting the past in the past under the blood and let it stay there; DO YOU WANT TO GET WELL?
b. THE SECOND STEP: STEP OUT; How far can we go? V3 Every place; I have given: that is how much victory you can have; how free you can be; how many and how much you want to forgive; how well do you want to be; v4, for emphasis, all the land of the Hittites; yes even those people;
c. How can we do it? “I will be with you”, he is not only with us He is IN Us; V5; The great promise that makes it all possible; surrender, make the decisive step; Ref Heb 13:6;
MAKE THE DECISIVE STEPS; SURRENDER, AND STEP OUT;
2. TO ENTER THE LAND; THEY HAD TO MAKE A DECISIVE STEP; SURRENDER AND STEP OUT; NEXT THEY HAD TO BE DETERMINED; “BE STRONG AND CORAGEOUS”; V6; 7; 9 very IMPORTANT; why? this implies the reality of life; How can we be strong and courageous? Not within our selves, in our weakness he is made strong; how is this verse illustrated?
By resting in Him; v2, v3, v5, v6; RESTING IN GOD’S PROVISIONS; NOT OUR OWN; I have given, I will give, we are the strongest and most courageous when we are too weak to do it on our own, but rest in God’s supply,
“Grace alone which God supplies, Strength unknown He will provide, Christ in us our Cornerstone, We will go forth in GRACE alone;
Every promise we can make, every prayer and step of faith, every difference we will make, IS ONLY BY HIS GRACE,
Every mountain we will climb, every ray of hope we shine, every blessing left behind, IS ONLY BY HIS GRACE;
Every soul we long to reach, every heart we hope to teach, every where we share His peace, is only by his Grace;
Every loving word we say, every tear we’ll wipe away, every sorrow to praise, Is only by His grace;
2. Daily RENEWING OUR MIND; v7-8 note the words, be careful, shall not depart etc; For courage and strength the word of God is essential; God is the instrument of change, as he renews our mind when he makes the word come alive, These phrases emphasizes the importance of the Word of God in our walking in newness of life; 3. Realizing God’s presence and power, that gives us strength and courage; He is with you where ever you go v9; Decisive step, determined mind; and then to enter the land the response of the people:
4. We will DO IT; V16-17 WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS THING;