Summary: This is part four of the expository sermon series from Joshua and was preached the Sunday before the Super Bowl in South Florida. Message deals with God’s training in the lives of His people prior to going into battle.

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Joshua 5:1-13 - ©Dr. Larry L. Thompson (2007)


Today is SUPER BOWL SUNDAY and it is the culmination of the NFL season when the WORLD CHAMPION COLTS will be crowned right here in South Florida! Sorry for the personal endorsement but that’s the team I’m pulling for tonight.

What is amazing is when you consider how much these teams have gone through to get to this point when the CONQUEST will determine the VICTOR of the NFL. It actually all began last June. The Colts and Bears actually began the same why ever other NFL team began. They started with their TRAINING CAMP. You can’t get to the SUPER BOWL unless first you are willing to go through training camp. Well, as we continue our sermon series “THE CANAAN CONQUEST” today we find God’s team headed to training camp. You would think that crossing the Jordan would have been all the preparation this team needed but when God’s your coach, He will insure your are ready and He will insist that you play be His rules and according to HIS GAME PLAN!

“Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the LORD had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until we had crossed over, their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.” Jos 5:1

This verse tells us that the pagan nations in Canaan saw the powerful manner in which the Lord brought His children through the Jordan and that they were totally demoralized by these events. It would appear that this would be the perfect time for Joshua to lead the people forward into the attack. However, instead of commanding His people to take the field, God directs them instead to TRAINING CAMP! On the surface it doesn’t make sense but: God’s ways are not always our ways: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. 9 "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

God never gets in a hurry! Before the battle ever begins in the physical realm, it has already begun in the spiritual realm. God’s battles are spiritual battles. If we expect to fight in these battles and do well, then we must make the right kind of spiritual preparations and that means OUR VICTORY WILL COME FROM WHAT WE LEARNED IN OUR TRAINING CAMP:

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

What God did for Israel, He wants to do in our lives today. We must go through His Training Camp and take time to make spiritual preparations.

Israel ‘appeared’ ready for the battle. They possessed a large army and they faced an enemy that was terrified at their presence. However, God knew that they would never be ready to fight and win the battle until the proper spiritual preparations had been made. That is what today’s biblical truth is all about!

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