Summary: Reasons for Following Through.
James O. Davis is the founder and president of Second Billion (TM). You are invited to learn more about Second Billion by visiting www.billion.tv.
THREE BATTLES WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LOSE
Dr. James O. Davis
If you have tried to master any athletic skill, then you know that follow-through is crucial. Follow through is extremely important in basketball, baseball, football, tennis, racquetball, golf, bowling, along with many others. In fact, you cannot be successful in sports until you have mastered follow through. The principle of follow through is one of the most important principles in life.
Not only is the principle of follow through particularly important in sports, but profoundly imperative in one’s spiritual life. In any endeavor, experience, or enterprise concerning spiritual things, follow through is of the utmost importance.
One of the many lessons we have learned from the recent Iraqi war is that we could have taken care of this global issue more than a decade ago. Often times, human nature tells us that “it will go away” or “someone else will take care of it” or “it will not become any worse than it already is.” We have learned a hard lesson that says, “Do not pick a fight that you are not going to finish.” If a fight is not worth fighting tomorrow is most likely not worth fighting tomorrow. We must chose our fights carefully, taking into account all of the issues.
I t is one thing to begin to apply the principles for victory in the Christina life; but another thing to follow through to complete victory. I am thankful to be able to say that president George W. Bush and enough tenacity to see us through this war.
Centuries ago, the principle of follow through became critically important to the whole nation. Joshua failed to follow through in his leading of the Israelites into full victory. As a result of this failure, disastrous things happened in the future of the entire nation.
And the same lesson is true for us today. If we do not learn to follow through in correcting those areas in our lives, we will experience defeat in the future.
As you may recall, when Joshua succeeded Moses as the leader of Israel, that Moses had led the Israelites of Egypt, through the wilderness, up to the brink of Jordan. God would not permit him to enter in because of his disobedience. God allowed him to stand on Mount Nebo to look over.
It is now Joshua’s responsibility to take Israel through the Jordon River and into Canaan. When God commissioned Joshua, He gave Joshua a two-fold plan for the possession of the land (Joshua chapter 1).
God gave him a promise (vv. 2-4) and He gave him the power (v.5). Here is a lesson that we need to learn: “Where there is vision, there is provision.” God was emphasizing that Joshua should take every inch of the land because he has the power to do so. Then, Joshua went into battle after battle defeating the enemies. Joshua almost defeated all of his enemies.
Our text (Joshua 11:16-23) seem to give a glowing account of full victory. It seems as if the Israelites lived happy ever after. But, that is not the end of the story because Joshua failed to follow through all the way to total victory.
And, this is the problem with man Christians. They almost obtain total victory. They almost get victory over all of those problem areas in their life. In this message, we are going to look at Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod. Some terrible events happened in these cities because Joshua did not follow through. The classroom of one generation becomes the philosophy of the next generation.
There are three battles that we cannot afford to lose. These three battles become illustrations as what God’s plan and purpose is for our lives. Christians can follow through on their commitments. We can follow through on commitments by learning from the events that took place in these cities years later. The first battle is that:
I. WE LEARN FROM THE PLACE OF DEFEAT (Judges 14-16)
Samson is undoubtedly the strongest man who ever lived. Entire armies would tremble at his sight. One time he picked up a bleached jawbone and slew 1,000 Philistines. On another occasion he walking in a field and a lion attacked him. He ripped the lion in pieces. On another occasion he caught 300 foxes, tied their tails together and set the fields on fire.
Also, in Gaza, Samson ripped the gates of that walled city down. Then, the took the post and iron bars and carried the gates more than 20 miles away—up a mountain. However, it was in Gaza that Samson went from victor to victim; from being an overcomer to becoming overcomed; from hero to zero.