Summary: There are some things that will keep us from receiving the promises God wants us to have.
October 19, 2008
Text: Joshua 23:14-16
Subject: Receiving What God has Promised
Title: Roadblocks to God’s Promises
From 1980 to 1982, when home construction had come to a virtual standstill, I worked in a factory that I had previously worked in. For about a year and a half I worked with the engineering department building newly designed units according to the blueprints that engineering had drawn up. It was a great job that didn’t pay much, but I learned some lessons from that job.
1. If the blueprint or the instruction sheet was flawed nothing would work. If the dimension of the drilling for a hole was just one-sixteenth of an inch off it could affect the whole assembly. It was the same way with the instruction sheet. If the assembly steps were out of order nothing would work.
2. If you didn’t read the blueprints you really couldn’t judge if the print was accurate or not. You had to read closely and pay attention to the detail. That’s not the way many people operate. They tend to get a picture of what the finished product is supposed to look like and then just move toward that without attention to detail or instructions. But my job was to study the prints and instruction sheet.
3. If you choose not to follow the directions you put your job in jeopardy. My job was to find out if the blueprints and the instruction sheets were accurate. I would note the necessary changes that needed to be made and the draftsmen would make them and then it would all work. If I did not note the necessary changes that needed to be made and the design made it to production, I would have lost my job.
It was a great job and a lot depended on my work. The work that I did there has helped me in everyday life. One thing I want to tell you men in the congregation, “It’s OK to read the instructions, because behind them there is some poor guy like me going through a lot of work to make life easier for you.”
Looking back, I can see that job helped to prepare me for where I am today – preaching the Word of God. I can tell you these three things.
1. Our instruction sheet or blueprint, whatever you want to call it, is not flawed. The Word of God is real and pure and true.
2. The blueprint is only good if you read it.
3. Reading the blueprint is only good I you believe it and follow it.
I want to talk to you today about the things that hinder you from receiving God’s promises for your life.
Lord open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the spirit is saying to the church.
I. THE INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT FLAWED (14) “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. In this passage Joshua is doing two things. He is letting Israel know that his earthly leadership is about to come to a close - I am about to go the way of all the earth. At the same time he is telling them that after he is gone there is something that remains that will continue leading them and that is God’s promises. For us to receive any of the promises of God the first thing we have to do is affirm in our hearts that this book – the Bible – is what we claim that it is, God’s word. And if we confess with our mouths that it is God’s word we must also believe in our hearts that it is. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. I want you to understand this one thing. God had given Israel the promise that He would give them the promised land. As soon as God promised it, it was done. As I said a couple of weeks ago the only thing left for Israel to do was to go in and possess what God had given them. Now Joshua says that not one of God’s promises has failed. But at this point Israel had not driven all the inhabitants of the land out and fully taken possession of the land. So how could it be said that God’s promises have not failed? You see, the problem isn’t the promise. The promise is perfect. The problem is that the recipients of the promise failed to believe the promise and in doing so they failed to believe the Promiser. When we fail to trust God’s word how do you think He feels? You see, the Bible is more than just a compilation of a collection of stories written by men. Unfortunately, that is how many people see the Bible. But it is the Holy Spirit inspired revelation of God Himself given to men that we might know Him. It gives you God’s plan for mankind. It shows you what His desire is for your lives. It reveals the blessings that God wants to pour out on you. It also reveals that there are conditions that must be met in order for you to receive these perfect promises. 1) You must be a child of God. Anyone who is not born again has no legal right to expect anything from the Father. The truth is unbelievers can pray all they want but the only prayer of an unbeliever that God will respond to is the prayer of repentance and salvation. (John 9:31) when you become a Christian your spiritual eyes are opened to the spiritual truths contained in the Bible and you begin to se the promises that are yours for the asking. 2) You have to ask in faith and believe that God hears and answers prayer. Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. James 1:7 says that if anyone doubts that he can’t expect to receive anything from God. God’s word is not flawed. What is flawed is man’s distortion of the promises that God has given to all Christians. “God doesn’t do that anymore.” “That’s not what that really means.” Let me tell you, I believe the Word of God and no one can convince me that His promises are not true.