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Summary: Closed doors are not signs of "defeat" but rather promises that 1) God has a plan 2) A Purpose and will always accomplish His purpose.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Series “ACCOMPLISHING THE VISION”

1. Part 1 looked at Nehemiah’s vision to rebuild and “the Journey” we will go through..

2. Part 2 looked at Mary showing us “We Must Offer Our Best”

3. Part 3 looked at that awkward subject of the Tithe asking the question: “Are You Robbing God?”.

a. We asked the question, “how can you ask God to help you in times of need but yet not trust Him enough to provide for your needs”.

4. Today Part 4: Again looking at the Journey we (NHBC) will travel and knowing their will be many doors. We are talking about the closed doors?

B. How Do We Handle What Appears To Be Defeat?

1. Sometimes – Defeat from making bad choices, bad decisions, or poor efforts, - Sometimes Defeat (while it hurts) it is expected.

2. But what about the Times that Make No Sense? What about when you giving God your best? Seeking His way – His Truth – His Life?

a. Divorce?

b. Emp. Cut hours, cut positions; Business closed.

c. School – Study your best and flunk

ILL: Harvey Atwell

-Studied and did well – never had a problem

-Took the bar and failed

-Committed Suicide

-Could not handle the Closed Door

3. How do you handle the Closed Door?

- You ask “What have I done wrong?”

- “Are you mad at me?” On and on?

- Bad Things Happen To God People – But Why?

C. Today We Look At Those Moments!

1. I’d like to look at the moment when it seems like defeat is inevitable, when the world is crashing down, and there seems to be no possible solution!

2. Joshua & the Israelites Faced Such A Door thru Battle of Ai

- The Battle can serve as an Object Lesson

- Can help us see these doors actually are “VICTORY IN DISGUISE”!

READ JOSHUA 8:1-7

3 PARTS TO THIS LESSON:

1. When doors close, we must remember GOD HAS A PLAN

2. When doors close, we must remember GOD HAS A PURPOSE

3. When doors close, we must remember GOD HAS MADE A PROMISE

I. GOD HAS A PLAN

When you are facing what seems to be inevitable defeat, it can be difficult to believe that God Has a Plan in all of this!

A. Joshua’s Background to this Point

1. God’s Covenant With Joshua from the Beginning

a. 1:6,7,9 – “Be Strong and Courageous” – God’s Plan

b. 1.7,8,9 - “follow the Book of Law” – (covenant) God’s Purpose

c. Chap. 1 – “I will give you every place you walk” – God’s Promise

2. Joshua & the Battle of Jericho

a. March around 1x for 6 days

b. Priests would carry the large trumpets of rams

c. On the 7th day, there were to march around 7x

d. on the 7th time, the priest were to blow and people to shout

e. Wall collapsed

f. Apparent Victory

3. A Closed Door @ Ai (quick version)

a. Joshua did as always

b. His army was defeated by a smaller, inexperience group

c. Apparent Defeat

4. God’s Anger

a. 7.6 – Joshua Mourned

b. 7.10-13 - God’s Response

B. Joshua Given Command To Advance

1. God Repeats His Command in our Passage

a. Vs. 1a – Whole Army

b. Vs. 4 - Ambush behind the city

c. Vs. 5 – Small group would enter and then flee

d. Do you think the soldiers felt that God Had a Plan?

C. NT – Mary & Martha through the Death of Lazarus

1. They sent word for Jesus

a. “The one whom you love is sick”

b. John 11:6 shows the Plan: “yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.”

c. Both Mary & Martha, “Lord if only you would have been here…”

c. Do you think Mary & Martha thought God had a plan?

d. Apparent Defeat

D. When Jesus Was Crucified

1. How did they feel when he was arrested?

a. watched as he was whipped, beaten, thorns

b. carry the cross – spikes nailed his body to the cross

c. Do you think they thought this was part of a plan?

E. Let’s Get Personal:

1. How About You Personally?

a. How bad has it gotten?

b. Are their circumstances that seem beyond the reach of a divine plan?

c. Are you having trouble believing this is Part of God’s Plan?

2. How about it church?

a. Do you feel as some have said, “they just don’t have it together”

b. They are too small to accomplish that goal/vision.

c. Too many having problems – Too much this/that- Give it time.

d. Are some having trouble believing the Closed Door was part of God’s Plan?

F. Jeremiah 29:11

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