Summary: Where in life does your spiritual map say you are? What will get you to where God wants you to be.
Intro: The book of Joshua is almost like a spiritual soap opera. Soap operas are for entertainment, the book of Joshua is for our edification and encouragement. The book of Joshua is perfect for us today. Joshua is transitioning into point leadership of the nation of Israel. There are great principles for us as a Church and individual Christians to appropriate and apply.
Joshua is a type of Christ. In Joshua we see the promise of Christian victory over various barriers, sins, and failures. There is the promise of rest, success through God’s presence and God’s word as well as significance through our own obedience.
If you read through the history of Israel it seems as though a picture of a spiritual map takes form. In Egypt they lived in bondage to sin, yet by the blood of the lamb they were delivered from death and bondage. The wilderness travels of Israel places them in the land of unbelief and disobedience. Canaan represents the Christian life as it should be. It is still a land of conflict yet conflict with victory. It is a land of conquering faith and faithful obedience.
There is a wonderful question in Joshua 18.3 (Message Tran) “How long are you going to sit around on your hands, putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors has given you?”
If the travels and struggles of the nation of Israel were given to us as examples where in your Christian life does the spiritual map say you are?
I. Questions Answered
As we talk about where from here there are many questions on your minds. I can’t count the number of times someone has asked me what is going to happen to Shane and James? Nothing. They are going to continue serving at Immanuel until God calls them away!
We are going to together as staff, as members, as the community of Christ followers unite to push forward into personal and corporate Canaan. It will involve struggle, it will involve change, it will involve sacrifice, it will involve victory.
I believe that God calls us (the staff) to lead you in the direction and vision of the church. To corporately lead you into His presence and lead you to fulfill His purpose and plan for us to His Glory!
Joshua 1.1 and (continuation) this verse shows us continuation and new beginning. I shared this with Perche last week and I want to share it with you as well. As we were praying about accepting the call to Carlisle my wife spoke with simple yet profound wisdom. Bill God can take care of the people at Perche better than you can. Translation your expendable. That is what this verse shows us. Moses was dead but God’s salvation History is still going to be written.
II. Possibilities Examined
Joshua 1.2 “Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people”
This is what Jesus prayed for in the High priestly prayer of John 17.21. It was a prayer for unity. It is not enough for the leaders to hear from God and share it with the people.
It is a clear call to unite behind the captain of our salvation Jesus Christ. Joshua is not the central character of the book after his name. It is instead the living God of Israel Yahweh.
Something has happened to this people. They are no longer complaining they are going into new lands conquering. They are no longer afraid of giants they are facing them.
I have spoken to several people who say something great is about to happen at Immanuel.
It will happen as we all go. It is not enough for the leadership to grasp the vision for Immanuel that God is giving at this time, it is not enough for the deacons to get on board, it involves every committee, every man, woman, and child. Great things happen when all God’s people get in and get going.
How has God spoken to you? How has he called you to unite in the great thing God is about to do? Teach a Sunday School class, start an in home bible study, share the gospel with someone you know needs Jesus, befriend someone who is alone, invite someone to a service? Perhaps you are called to mend a broken relationship, grant forgiveness, and ask forgiveness, allow God to rip out a root of bitterness.
III. Promise extended
God called Joshua and all this people the land He was giving them. Joshua 1.2, 3 repeat that it is God who gives. It is not the ability of the person, it is not the numbers of people, it is the power of God!
A) Strength by God’s presence
If you remember Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent to scout the Promised Land. It was in numbers 13 that God told Moses to send out the twelve spies. Joshua then Hoshea was a part of the party that traveled some 500 miles during their 40 day survey of Canaan. They learned nothing new. God had already promised it was a land flowing with milk and honey.