Summary: > I want to continue in a similar way with what the Lord has to say to us about going through CHANGES in life

Last week we considered the subtle settling of our expectations.

> I want to continue in a similar way with what the Lord has to say to us about going through CHANGES in life

To help us realize just how much change we live is… consider the foolowing changes over just the past 11 years..


The average life expectancy in the United States was forty-seven.

Only 14 percent of the homes in the United States had a bathtub.

Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone. A three minute call

from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

There were only 8,000 cars in the US and only 144 miles of paved


The maximum speed limit in most cities was ten mph.

Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily

populated than California. With a mere 1.4 million residents,

California was only the twenty-first most populous state in the


The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.

The average wage in the U.S. was twenty-two cents an hour. The

average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year.

A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year, a dentist

$2500 per year, a veterinarian between $1500 and $4000 per year, and a

mechanical engineer about $5000 per year.

More than 95 percent of all births in the United States took place at


Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education.

Instead, they attended medical schools, many of which were condemned

In the press and by the government as "substandard."

Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound.

Most women only washed their hair once a month and used borax or egg

yolks for shampoo.

Canada passed a law prohibiting poor people from entering the country

for any reason, either as travelers or immigrants.

The five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:

1. Pneumonia and influenza

2. Tuberculosis

3. Diarrhea

4. Heart disease

5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars. Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii

and Alaska hadn’t been admitted to the Union yet.

Drive-by-shootings -- in which teenage boys galloped down the street

on horses and started randomly shooting at houses, carriages, or


else that caught their fancy -- were an ongoing problem in Denver and


cities in the West.

The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was thirty. The remote desert

community was inhabited by only a handful of ranchers and their


Plutonium, insulin, and antibiotics hadn’t been discovered yet. Scotch

tape, crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn’t been


There was no Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

One in ten U.S. adults couldn’t read or write. Only 6 percent of all

Americans had graduated from high school.

Some medical authorities warned that professional seamstresses were

apt to become sexually aroused by the steady rhythm, hour after hour,

of the sewing machine’s foot pedals. They recommended slipping bromide

-- which was thought to diminish sexual desire -- into the women’s

drinking water.

Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at

corner drugstores. According to one pharmacist, "Heroin clears the

complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and the

bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."

Coca-Cola contained cocaine instead of caffeine.

Punch card data processing had recently been developed, and early

predecessors of the modern computer were used for the first time by

the government to help compile the 1900 census.

Eighteen percent of households in the United States had at least one

full-time servant or domestic.

There were about 230 reported murders in the U.S.annually.

There are changes we may feel on many levels as we seek to navigate life in this new year.

Cultural – increasing all around us

• More information has been produced in the last thirty years than in the previous five thousand years.

• More than one-half the scientists who have ever lived are alive today.

Ninety per cent of all the items in the supermarket today did not exist ten years ago.

• It is estimated that fifty per cent of college graduates are going into jobs which did not exist when they were born.

• It is also estimated that ninety per cent of the businesses in the United States today were started in the last twenty five years.

One man put it this way:

"My great-grandfather rode a horse, but was afraid of the train.

My grandfather rode on a train, but was afraid of a car.

My father rode in a car, but was afraid of an airplane.

I ride in an airplane, but I’m afraid of a horse."

Personally- New jobs, new children… loss of jobs… loved ones… new relationship… or loss of one

As a community… in the next 6 months our life as a community will change dramatically.

We prayed for change… seems it was right in line with what God has for us.

Change can bring a mix of feelings…exciting & exhausting. Sometimes we long for it… avoid it.

• “I wish we’d never invented the future tense.” Frank and Ernest cartoon

Change can be disorienting…the framework we had to navigate life isn’t so clear and certain

… leaves us detached a bit from engaging life.

> We may not want to engage change… but THERE WILL ALWAYS BE CHANGE.

There isn’t a cell in your body today that was there seven years ago.

“The only constant in life is change.”

So how does the Lord counsel us to navigate life in the midst of change?

Last week… this morning I believe the Lord would share his heart for us from the ongoing journey of His people to enter the land He had given them.

Joshua 1:1-2

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, "Now that my servant Moses is dead, you must lead my people across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. [NLT]

God’s word to the people begins with a very brief reminder… ‘Moses is dead.”

Those words spoke of an enormous experience of change. Moses had led the people for 40 years. For 40 years the people knew one leader… one personality. He had begun the journey…. Been the leader of the journey. This is a disorienting element of change.

God’s words aren’t brief b/c he didn’t want them to grieve… he did.

But it was time to turn their hearts forward and take up the call of God that was on them… wasn’t finished.

In the same way, we can’t let God’s call upon our lives become reduced to something temporal. Too easily we correlate our sense of calling to something external in the process… our youth… leader… place.

- People sometimes say, “It’s not like it used to be.” > It never is !

In the midst of change, God is calling us to…


To live in relationship to God, we must understand what it means to learn from the past not live in it.

We must look forward… that’s where the call of God lies.

- That’s why last week the question was posed, “What are you believing God for this year?”

If you want to restore a dynamic relationship with God, try to discern what God would want in and around your life, and then decide to put that before you as the call to faith. … to believe… to pray…

Change brings new responsibilities to our lives. God calls his people

Someone has said: " When we have more memories than dreams, life is over." When we have greater memories than dreams we will never make a difference in changing our world for God.

God told Isaiah in Isaiah 43:18-19:

"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new."

God is a God of new ideas, of innovation. God is a God who uses change.

We must pray for new visions.

We cannot be content with what is.

We must crave what can be!

That which holds our attention will determine our actions!

• If you want to be distressed - look within.

• If you want to be defeated - look back.

• If you want to be distracted - look around.

• If you want to be dynamic - look ahead… and up.

Joshua 1:3, 5-8

I promise you what I promised Moses: ’Everywhere you go, you will be on land I have given you… No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.

"Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors. Be strong and very courageous. Obey all the laws Moses gave you. Do not turn away from them, and you will be successful in everything you do. Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed. [NLT]

In the midst of change, God is calling us to…


Those who travel, move, or face new challenges know what it is to be uprooted. Life is full of changes, and few things remain stable. The Israelites were constantly moving through the desert. They were able to handle change only because God’s presence in the tabernacle was always with them. The portable tabernacle signified God and his people moving together. For us, stability does not mean lack of change, but moving with God in every circumstance.

> The key to life is to take hold of the CONTINUITY that allows for CHANGE.

Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.

Mark 13:31 - Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will remain forever. [NLT]

In particular… there are 3 elements of this reality we are to take hold of…

1. The promises of God (1:3)

2. The presence of God (1:5)

3. The principles of God (1:7-8)


Joshua 1:12-15

Then Joshua called together the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. He told them, "Remember what Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you: ’The Lord your God is giving you rest and has given you this land.’ Your wives, children, and cattle may remain here on the east side of the Jordan River, but your warriors, fully armed, must lead the other tribes across the Jordan to help them conquer their territory. Stay with them until the Lord gives rest to them as he has given rest to you, and until they, too, possess the land the Lord your God is giving them. [NLT]

The land which God had destined for the people of Israel whom He had called… was first entered on the east side of the Jordan… and particular tribes had requested that they be allocated that portion. They were now on the land for which they could finally find rest. But as part of receiving this land, they had committed to crossing the Jordan to win the Promised land for all of Israel.

They understood that they must stand together to fulfill the call of God on their lives. They had to be united… committed to standing with each other until all had settled into what God had for them.

In the midst of change, God is calling us to…


Fulfilling our destiny is never entirely an individual calling. God has a calling on our individual lives… but also on us as His living body in Los Angeles.

Some may come to a place of rest before others… but we share a common connection / commitment which means we stand with others to find their destiny.

Navigating change requires the support of others.

Just as the tribes of Israel couldn’t just see their battles as individual tribes fighting for individual land… so we aren’t to see our battles as individuals. We’re in this together.

The people of Israel had a call from God over their lives. A calling so obvious that they became the only nation to be dispersed for 2000 years and then be established just as God had described as a part of what was to come.

In the same way all of our lives are on a journey towards eternal life… the ultimate promised land. And change will be a part of the journey.

Jesus emphasized this as a critical way to live. His invitation extends that given to Israel.

God has always intended us for eternal life with Him.

We are on a journey towards our ultimate home. (The very longing of our hearts testifies that we were meant to live forever under the love and leadership of God.)

In this light our lives can find continuity and change. Christ gives us the vision for navigating continuity and change. He restores our connection to our Father in heaven…and at the same time is the ultimate revltionary who calls us to a loose life on earth… full of changes.

He reveals to us that our God is an unchanging God who does new things as He fulfills His destiny for humanity.

Mark 2:22

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins."

His counsel is as that to Joshua and the people of Israel…