Jan 2-3 2016
Courage and Success in a Fearful Future
1 After the death of Moses the LORD’s servant, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. 3 I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— 4 from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’ 5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” NLT
Be strong and Courageous. Why?
Because they gave into their fears 38 years before and the giants were still there.
We only need courage when we are afraid. The future will be frightful!
Meditate on God’s Word day and night. Make sure it is the biggest factor in shaping your thinking.
Decide, commit to obey all that God said. Learn from the lessons of your parents.
God would be with them.
God would give them success.
In 2016 we need the same commands and the same promises.
2Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, 3 giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, move out from your positions and follow them. 4 Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. Stay about a half mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.” NLT
You have not gone this way before but God Himself will go before you.
Enemies, problems that are too great for you are not too great for God!
Keep your eyes on God, not the “Hittities”.
1And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
Jesus despised the shame, but endured it for the JOY awaiting Him.
So can we. So must we! It will be worth it!
HOW do we get that courage?
Then Joshua told the people, “Purify (consecrate) yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do great wonders among you.”
Purify, consecrate = Be Holy, be set apart, dedicated to God above all else.
They needed spiritual preparation more than military preparation. They needed God!
Our public declaration that we will die for Him because He died for us is BAPTISM.
Our ongoing declaration of re-commitment is COMMUNION.
Many say they “believe in God”, but their God isn’t worth their time or dedication.
Most of us are more bothered when God doesn’t meet our expectations than when we don’t meet His expectations.
In the morning Joshua said to the priests, “Lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river.” And so they started out and went ahead of the people.
14So the people left their camp to cross the Jordan, and the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. 15 It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, 16 the water above that point began backing up a great distance away … And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho.
Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.
1When all the people had crossed the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, 2 “Now choose twelve men, one from each tribe. 3 Tell them, ‘Take twelve stones from the very place where the priests are standing in the middle of the Jordan. Carry them out and pile them up at the place where you will camp tonight.’”
4So Joshua called together the twelve men he had chosen—one from each of the tribes of Israel. 5 He told them, “Go into the middle of the Jordan, in front of the Ark of the LORD your God. Each of you must pick up one stone and carry it out on your shoulder—twelve stones in all, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. 6 We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”
Without conscious remembrances we forget what God has done, and we forget our commitments.
What physical reminders do you have to strengthen your courage and obedience?
Steps of obedience from this passage:
1. Dedicate time to meditate on GOD’S WORD.|
If we are too busy for God, we are too busy.
2 Tim 3:16
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
We must welcome His corrections if we are to be like Christ.
2. Consecrate yourself – public declaration to live and die for Christ.
3. Focus on Christ, not the enemies or problems.
4. Review reminders of God’s faithfulness and our commitments.