Sermons

Summary: Message 2 in our journey with Joshua into the Promised Land. This message explores the secret of Joshua's success.

Joshua Series #2

The Amazing Race

“The Secret to Success”

Review / Introduction

Last week I tried to provide the background necessary to better understand this book. The events of the book of Joshua is an obvious continuation of a long journey, an amazing race to the Promised Land; a journey filled with testing, trials, difficulties and opportunities to trust God to make good on His promise to bring Abraham’s multiplied descendants in to a rich land of rest and blessing. It was a journey also filled with spectacular displays for God’s sovereign power and specific guidance. (Cloud, fire, manna, water). It was a journey not unlike the journey every Christian must travel. It is a journey to a life of complete trust in the promises of God on our way to ultimate rest and peace at the return of Jesus.

Joshua provides great insight regarding a life of peace and rest today. It is a guide to the walk of faith. There were cycles of peace throughout Israel’s history where God gave them rest through trusting Him. There are periods of rest when we trust Him today. True rest will only be realized when Jesus returns and restores all things. That will be the ultimate Sabbath rest.

God called Israel to celebrate a weekly Sabbath to illustrate the concept of a period where God is the prime focus and we rest from the kind of labor resulting from the rebellion.

We live in a culture that fails to experience peace and rest because they fail to give priority to God. What is the secret to living in the heavenlies and possessing the blessing promised not just to Abraham but to every born again believer? Paul urged the Ephesians to bless God who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ. Very few Christians possess what has been provided in Christ. Joshua teaches us how to possess what God promised. Joshua teaches us how to enter into a rest promised to every believer here and now.

Joshua was among General Douglas MacArthur’s favorite generals of history. Teddy Roosevelt stated that Joshua was his favorite book in the bible and referred to him often in his speeches.

Unfortunately, like the older generation of Jews, many have adapted to a wilderness life.

They had adapted to their surroundings.

They no longer had any expectation of inheriting the promise.

The wilderness had taken its toll.

They had convinced themselves that manna, water and indestructible shoes and clothes was all they could expect.

They just wandered around with an ungrateful, unexpectant, unbelieving complaining heart.

I am convinced that a large number of Christians are content with salvation. Like a life insurance policy, they put it in the drawer and pay it little attention until it is needed. Churches are full of wilderness wanderers complaining about how miserable life is in the wilderness.

The secret to success is found in the very first chapter of this book.

Do you want to know the secret to spiritual success?

Do you want that rest promised to every believer?

Do you want unhindered accesses to the storehouse of blessings provided by Jesus?

Here in this first chapter, God shares with a reluctant leader the path to his success as commander and chief of the nation Israel on the eve of claiming her God-given inheritance.

It has not changed today. It has been the same principles all through history for every successful follower of God. God had prepared Joshua for leadership for the past 40 years as Moses’ assistant. He is about to take charge and the final training touches are implemented.

God commissioned Joshua personally

Joshua took command

The people responded to his leadership.

I. Purge the Land 1-12

A. Joshua Prepared for leadership 1

1. The Lord commissioned Joshua 1:1-9

And it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant, saying, "Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Joshua 1:1-2

As we mentioned last week the “and” indicates that this is a continuation from a previous narrative. That chronicle of the journey began with Exodus and continued through Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. It is the story of a Leader named Moses leading a group of nearly 3 million people out of bondage to bounty; from being renters of property to owners of property. It is a riveting account but I have touched on only the parts of the journey/race necessarily to orient us to this part of the race. We need to know the characters of the journey; the race participants. There is God, Moses, Joshua, the people, the enemies.

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