Summary: Part 1 of a 4-part series on Joshua
We are starting a 4-week series on the Old Testament character, Joshua, called “Josh Journey”. If you are not very familiar with the Bible, but you have ever watched “The Ten Commandments” starring Charlton Heston, Joshua is the guy that succeeded Moses at the end of the movie.
• He was one of the 12 spies that checked out Canaan.
• He was the one that led the Israelites into the promised land.
• The Jordan River parted for him
• He led them into victory over Jericho
• The sun stood still during one of their battles
Josh had quite the journey!
Let me start off this message by asking you a question:
How much easier would life be if you knew the result of every decision before you made it?
• You would never have become a Cubs fan – 104 years and counting since their last World Series win.
• The video disc player and the Beta VCR would not have been invented. Nor would a million other products.
• If you knew taking that promotion would result in much less enjoyment in life, more stress, would you have taken it?
• If you knew when you bought the house that your job was going to be down-sized, you wouldn’t have bought it, right?
• If you knew that ONE friend of your child was going to lead them into drugs, you would have made different decisions about allowing them to hang out, wouldn’t you?
• If you knew Wal-Mart and Apple were going to explode, you would have bought stock on the ground floor.
• If you knew you were going to have a wreck that day, you would have left earlier or stayed home.
When you KNOW something in advance, it requires no risk.
That is NOT the way that life works though, is it? In life, we have to learn to TRUST.
• Trust our spouse
• Trust our family
• Trust friends
• Trust authorities
• Trust GOD
And sometimes, learning to trust can be painful!
Have you ever been faced with a difficult choice? Each option came with consequences or risks?
Let’s look at a scene from Joshua’s life:Numbers 13:1-2, 17-33
WHEN YOU SEE WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO SEE, YOU CAN DO WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO
ALL 12 spies encountered the same country-side, saw the same people, saw the same fruit, BUT they saw it differently.
They saw the same facts but
had a different interpretation
• Joshua and Caleb TRUSTED Gods’ promise that He was going to take His people to the promised land.
• They had seen Him bring the plagues on Pharaoh.
• They had walked through the Red Sea on dry ground.
• They had followed the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
• They had seen His miraculous provision of water from a rock, of manna, of quail.
The other 10 spies had seen all those things too! But they had not learned to trust God. They were part of the Israeli whiners that kept complaining about different aspects of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt:
• We are up against the Red Sea – why did you bring us out here to die, let’s go back to Egypt.
• We have no water, let’s go back to Egypt
• We have no food, I miss the Egyptian delicacies
• God provides manna, but they soon tire of miraculously provided daily food and complain about their lack of meat.
• It’s too hot!
• It’s too cold!
• It’s taking too long!
• How much farther?
Mark Batterson said – “It never ceases to amaze me how the same adversity can affect two people so differently – what poisons one person to death sweetens the other person’s spirit. One person develops a critical soul and shrivels up spiritually while the other person leverages the experience as a spiritual catalyst.”
There are basically two different types of people in the world. Worshippers and Whiners. Their circumstances can be very similar. BUT:
Worshippers will always find something to praise God about
Whiners will always find something to complain about.
So, which are you?
When we see God correctly, it puts our difficulties in perspective.
God doesn’t get glory when all things point to US being able to do something about it:
• When the kids are grown, THEN you will go on the missions field
• When the finances say we CAN afford to tithe
• When everything we feel like He is saying makes sense
• The greater the obstacle, the greater the opportunity for God to receive glory.
• If we always take the safe way, the way without any risk, the way without any doubts, we will not accomplish much in this life for God. We need to SEE things the way He sees things.