Summary: Finding Newness with our walk with God and discovering new areas of excitement as a Christian.
Scripture: Joshua 3:1 – 5
Title: “Uncharted Territory”
Introduction: In this portion of Scripture, Joshua has assumed leadership of Israel. Moses has led them for 40 years through the wilderness wandering. They are now on the border of a new country - a land of milk and honey. Though they had wandered for 40 years, and faced many trials and dangers, Joshua affirms that they "have never been this way before".
I believe God is CALLING us on a NEW JOURNEY. I believe God is LEADING us on a NEW PATH. I believe God has been PREPARING us to ENTER into a NEW WAY where “We have never been before!”
What’s so new about it? - There are new experiences to face; new problems to solve, new trials to endure, new temptations to meet, new sorrows to bear, new opportunities to grasp, new tasks to perform, new blessings to enjoy.
God is LEADING us into “Uncharted Territory.”
Four things characterize this path into “Uncharted Territory:
I. UNCHARTED TERRITORY WILL TEST YOUR FAITH.
a. Israel was only successful when they continued in the will of God - which required trusting in his provision.
b. The Israelites had had a belly full of “Wilderness Wanderings” by following Moses, even though they had seen the greatest “Miracles” of their life.
c. But, again, God is LEADING His people into the “Uncharted Territory” of the “Promised Land” of Canaan.
d. God’s people were FACING a path that would present them with “New Tests”
They were facing a “Swollen River” they had to cross.
Jericho and its “Intimidating Walls” were just ahead on the other side of the Jordan.
They were going to face “Giants” in this “New Land” that would have to be “Conquered.”
e. It was “Only” by “Faith” that they would be “Able” to OVERCOME their OBSTACLES.
f. Some “Uncharted Territory” that the “People of God” have ENCOUNTERED.
Noah and the “Adventure of the Ark”
Daniel and “The Lion’s Den”
The “The Firey Furnace”
Jonah’s “Fish Ride”
Peter’s “Walk on the Water”
g. Have you ever noticed the frequency of the use of these stories in Christian Teaching and Preaching? (There is a “Good Reason!”)
II. THE MILK & HONEY OF UNCHARTED TERRITORY.
a. We have learned from Abraham’s experience with God asking him to offer up his son Isaac as a burnt offering that, “Where God guides, God provides!”
b. We must WALK into God’s PROVISIONS before we can RECEIVE them.
c. It was “Only” by God’s “Divine” “Provision” that Israel was able to cross over into the “Promised Land” of Canaan. – The same holds true with every instance where God CALLS His children into “Uncharted Territory.”
d. When we WALK in God’s WILL there will always be the “Provision” to “Accomplish” the TASK God has called us to.
e. John 10:4 " And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.."
f. “It is better to walk in the dark with God, than to run in the light alone;”
III. THE CERTAINTIES OF UNCHARTED TERRITORY.
a. This EARTHLY life is FILLED with UNCERTAINTIES.
Life itself is an uncertainty.
Wealth is uncertain. (Proverbs 23:5 "Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.")
Friendships are uncertain.
b. But there are some things we can be CERTAIN of, some things you can ALWAYS “Count on” – When we FOLLOW God into “Uncharted Territory.”
God is a certainty! (Russell Lowell wrote that ".behind the dim unknown, Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.") “God never changes” (Mal. 3:6)
Jesus Christ is a certainty. (Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.")
The church is a certainty. (Matthew 16:18 "..on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.")
Heaven is a certainty. If some of us are claimed by death before the year is ended, we know that ".to die is gain" (Phil 1:21). 2 Corinthians 5:1 "Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands."
c. The “Uncharted Territory” that God leads us into will test us, point us to God’s provision, offer us certainties, and
IV. UNCHARTED TERRITORY WILL OFFER NEW HOPE!
a. It’s been a long time for some of you since you have a great “Faith Event” in your walk with the Lord.
b. As we follow God into places & experiences we’ve never been INVOLVED in before DOORS will OPEN that would never have opened if we had failed to “Step out for the Lord’s Work”