Summary: No matter how we feel... how old we feel... or whether we feel we can ’rest on our laurels’- God still has a job for us! Land for us to take! And- He can renew our youth to make it possible!
"There are still very large areas of land to be taken over" Joshua 11:16-12:1, 13:1 WBC 17 July 05am
The Secret of longevity: (show picture in Pictures folder)
A passer-by noticed an old lady sitting on her front step: "I couldn’t help noticing how happy you look! What is the secret for such a long, happy life?"
"I smoke 4 p packs of cigarettes a day", she said. "Before I go to bed , I smoke a pack of cigarettes. Apart from that , I drink a whole bottle of Jack Daniels every week, and eat only junk food. On weekends I pop a large number of pills and do no exercise at all."
"This is absolutely amazing at your age!!", says the passer-by. "How old are you?"
OLD? "YOU ARE VERY OLD" 13:1
I was chatting with someone recently about just how tired out they felt. Old and aged (though YOUNG! In 40s!!)… having served the Lord
- and as we finished- out of the blue- I felt the Lord say "tell it to the congregation. Tell them there is life and fruitfulness, yet. Tell them that whether young or old…or feeling old- I still have good ground for them to take"
- I thought it would fit with yesterday’s Caleb challenge. Caleb- who said this:
JOS 14:10 "Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old! 11 I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. 12 Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said."
So- how do you feel this morning? Do you feel old? Work out? Decrepit?
- if God were to say to you (as He did Joshua) "you are very old", would you say "You’re telling me!"
- and it’s not only the old who might say this
o as with a car- it’s not the years, it’s the mileage
o as ISA 40:30 says "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall"
We can feel.. or you can feel "best years for the Lord… with the Lord… have passed us by"
- knocked out of the race
- "put me out to grass"
Some of you have even voiced that! Maybe for all kinds of reasons
- you’re not as young as you were
o now: got all this wisdom- but no energy to use it!
o "wisdom is the comb life gives you when you’ve run out of hair" (so true!)
- maybe battles in the "world". Scars of life. Battles with family. People (at work)
- maybe battles ’for the Lord’
o cf Joshua. Elijah.
o Serving the Lord IS costly
o Even youths grow tired and weary- can be true of our church experience, too
" "don’t let stress kill you. Let the church help"
" we try not to do that- but can happen!
o Can be true of your spiritual make up as well Ps 119:139. "My zeal wears me out"
If that’s you- if you are or feel old- God has a message for you this morning
- one that will ’renew your youth like that of the eagle’
- one that will give your vision back
the message is encapsulated in this line 13:1 "there are STILL very large areas of land to be taken over"
- and YOU are the people to do it. Take the land. In your lives. God hasn’t passed you by. Cast you aside. Finished WITH you and IN you
Look at God’s statement to Joshua
- it’s not one of fact and FEAR
o fact= you are knackered!
o Fear- "oh dear…there go my plans. Caught on the hop by that one. I guess I can’t use **** after all"
- It’s not ’You are very old BUT there are large areas of land". "What are we going to do?"
- God’s statement is one of fact and FAITH
o Truth is- you are ’old’. "You are very old AND there is land to be taken- lots of it"
o "and I’m going to renew your strength/vision to do it as you wait on me"
Can be frightening when God says "I still have lots for you to do"
- but not when He says "I’m going to make it happen and you will do it AFTER I have renewed you"