Sermons

Summary: Victorious living is a sermon based on Joshua 5 and 6. Five ways to have a victorious life based on the Israel’s victory over Jericho.

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Introduction: We live in a culture that encourages people to chase after victorious living. People plan, strategize, and work hard for success. I agree on this to a certain level. Yes, we will need to plan and work hard. However, I also feel that there is a better way to victorious living. When we put the principles of this book into our lives, victorious living becomes a lifestyle.

Today we are going to see five keys of victorious living.

The Israelites have crossed over flooding Jordan and went up to Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. Now they are on the promised land, they just got to take possession of it. However, we find in Joshua 5 that God did not allow the Israelites to conquer Jericho right away.

In chapter five we see that before they can conquer others, they must first allow God to conquer them. They have to get some things right with Him before they can fight for Him. The same is true for us. We want to do something in life or we want to do something for God. God says, “Slow down. I want to make sure you’ve surrendered yourself to me.” Jericho was the first visible obstacle ahead of them but it was not the first thing that had to be dealt with. The outward never is. The biggest problem is always me and my will. Before Jericho could be taken care of, the hearts of the people had to be dealt with. We see four ways in which God made them submit to his will Joshua 5.

1. A submitted life.

Victorious living is the result of a submitted life. What was their submission in Joshua 5?

a. Obedience.

Joshua 5:2 At that time the Lord said to Joshua, “Make flint knives and circumcise the Israelites again.

Circumcision was the sign that they were God’s covenant people, first promised to Abraham in Genesis 17:11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you.

Now after 40 years of wandering in the desert, the older generation had died but their sons had never been circumcised. It was critical that this happen according to Genesis 17:14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant. This renewal was a reminder that God had not left them and that He would fulfill all His promises to them.

While every Jew understood the importance of this, it certainly didn’t seem to make for good military strategy! It would have made much more sense to do this when they were on other side of the Jordan. The procedure would certainly have incapacitated the men for a few days. Imagine what it would have been like for a soldier in the army of Israel who had probably been thinking through some military strategy. Now you’re laid up for a few days. You’ve crossed into enemy territory and are poised to march in and take the land. The Jordan River is roaring behind you so you have no escape route if your enemies come after you.

God’s people must learn that obedience always goes before victory. God’s essentially asking: “Do you really trust me? Do you believe I can protect you? Will you obey even when it seems outrageous to do so?” Everything about this seems designed to point out that God’s ways are not our ways.

b. Trust.

The second step in submission is for them to trust God. Remember after the circumcision they celebrate the Passover. Joshua 5:10-12 10On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover.11The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.

It had been about 39 years since they had observed this important reminder of how God had freed them from Egypt. God had delivered them through sacrifice, substitution and satisfaction of a perfect lamb’s life. The day after this Passover, they ate some of the produce of the land and the manna stopped. God was now going to provide for them from the land. He’s actually taking away something that they no longer need and giving them another opportunity to trust Him.

He does the same with us, doesn’t He? God sometimes takes away things dear to us and expects us to trust him. What has God taken from you recently? He wants you to trust Him more.

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