Summary: Adapted (with permission) from my friend, Rick Ousley, challenging us to determine in which chair of faith we sit. Are Committed, Casual, or Corrupt?...We cannot fool God..It’s HIS terms or Not at all!
Your Place in Him
* From time to time, I hear a message which needs to be proclaimed. Not long ago I was in a service with my friend, Rick Ousley, and heard him give a call about ‘where we are’ with God. Praying for God’s leadership & asking Rick’s permission, I believe Father’s day is God’s timing for this. (Read Text)
* Any study concerning the journeys of the Children of Israel is interesting, educational, and enlightening. Our text goes back to Genesis 12 and brings us forward trying to his the high points. Let’s review just a little. Let’s pick the story up in Egypt. It was there where the descendants of Joseph had now become enslaved to serve Pharaoh & the Egyptian people. Under the divine leadership of Jehovah, Moses came back to town carrying “the Rod of God” & decimated Egyptian mythology with the plagues. This resulted in the release of God’s people. Their journey to the land of promise, which should have taken three weeks, was thwarted by the majority refusing to trust God. This is significant because it was their lack of faith which proved to be expensive.
* First, instead of inhabiting the ‘promised land’ they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness & burying people. They buried between 85 & 90 people a day, 7 days a week, for 40 years. Basically, everyone who refused to trust God had to die. This all happened in Numbers 13.
* Next, they had to endure an extended wilderness experience. It is in the wilderness of life where divine lessons are learned.
* Next, it was in this extended wilderness experience where Moses, the one God has appointed & anointed to lead them, lost his right to enter the land of promise. Interestingly, as recorded in Numbers 20 & stated in Psalms 106, Moses’ frustration with this quarreling, complaining people led to his being banned from going into the land of Promise.
* At the end of Deuteronomy Moses knows his death is eminent so he calls everyone together, gives final words from God, goes up the mountain where he dies, and there is buried by the divine hand of God. It is the sunset on the era of a long-term ‘Pastor.’
* Joshua 1 begins, “After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua.” This is an interesting truth for God’s people – “when a leader is gone, God is still ready to move on!” IN fact, God’s words to Joshua are, “Moses is dead, get ready to cross the Jordan.” In other words, “Moses did his part, now do yours.” Joshua responded in obedience taking the Children of Israel into the land of promise, defeating almost 3 dozen peoples, towns, and the like. This is the Victory God gives.
* While the conquest of the Promised Land had not been without some unwanted incidents, Joshua kept the people focused on God’s will because they respected the man of God. In chapter 23, Joshua is now really up in years and says his personal goodbyes, yet as any godly leader, Joshua has some concerns about the future of this nation to which he has given all.
* Joshua, the leader calls the all the tribes of Israel together, & then calls the leadership team (I.E. elders, leaders, judges, & officers) aside for more in depth words. After reviewing God’s hand in their history, his gives them a call, a challenge, and even a command.
* He says, “You need to choose today who you will serve.” We could take every one of those words in that call because everyone is important. “You” means this is an important decision. “Need to choose” – indicate that this is an act of you will as to what you will do. “Today” – Joshua knows that things are changing and if they don’t do it today, they will probably default to the wrong god. “WHO YOU WILL SERVE” – Joshua knew that we all serve someone or something. The response from the people, not surprisingly, is reminiscent of the response of people today. We will serve the Lord, we will not abandon Him, and HE is our God. Do you hear the disbelief, the doubt, & even the skepticism from Joshua? While you might take Joshua to task for his attitude, you can read in Judges that his suspicions proved true.
* He then ends with the statement heard throughout “Christianity” – As for me and my house, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD. He said, “No matter what others do, no matter what it takes, & no matter whether we do it alone or not; He is our God and we will serve Him completely.
* So let’s take this backdrop and see three groups of people which are indicative of where each one of us today.