This week, Pastor Chris continued in our mini-series about the Biblical response to seasons of change and transition. The book of Joshua lays out principles for healthy change. In our text, the Israelites stood on the edge of the Jordan River where God directed them to cross into the promised land. Rather than take a step of faith, they said yes to fear and grumbling, even to the point of desiring to return to slavery and oppression in Egypt. We want to be ones who hear the Lord’s directives and step forward in faith and obedience.
What do we need to know to get from here to there?
- Embrace the Challenge – We have to move with God. We have to stand with him and respond in agreement when He directs us to move.
Joshua 1:1–2 (ESV)
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.
2. See Your Inheritance – In order to cross, we have to lock our eyes in on the right thing. We cannot lock our eyes on fear, anxiety or unbelief. Whatever we choose to lock your eyes on will dictate our decisions. Where are your eyes: on your deficiencies or God greatness? On your failures or the redemptive power of God?
Joshua 1:3 (ESV)
3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses.
Luke 17:32 (ESV)
32 Remember Lot’s wife.
Philippians 3:12–14 (ESV)
12 I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
“Don’t look back. You will be going the wrong way.”
3. Remember that His Presence Goes Before Us – His presence is powerful, personal, and permanent. He’s got each of our hearts in His hand and He promises to walk with us. In moments of trial and burden, regardless of how we feel, His presence goes before us and He promises to never leave or forsake us.
Joshua 1:4-5 (ESV)
4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.
Exodus 33:13–14 (ESV)
13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” 14 And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
4. Prioritize the Word – Know the Word and live the Word. Obedience is at the core of living the Word. We cannot be strong and courageous without the living Word of God. It is meant to be our belt that
Joshua 1:6–7 (ESV)
6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.
“(Joshua) was not to use the promise as a couch upon which his indolence might luxuriate, but as a girdle wherewith to gird up his loins for future activity.” Charles Spurgeon
Joshua 1:8 (ESV)
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Hebrews 4:12 (NLT)
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Psalm 1:1–3 (ESV)
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
5. Step Fearlessly – We cannot say yes to fear. We have to step out in courage and in faith. God invites us to be perfected in love by saying no to the demonic spirit of fear and choosing to walk in faith.
Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
1 John 4:18 (NLT)
18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
Isaiah 41:10 (NLT)
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Romans 8:31–32 (NLT)
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Joshua 21:43–45 (ESV)
43 Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. 44 And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.
- Why is it so vital to lock and fix our eyes on our inheritance rather than our circumstances?
- How can we fix our eyes on God’s promises and keep ourselves from looking back the way that Lot’s wife did (see Genesis 19:26)?
- Pastor Chris encouraged us with the reality that God’s presence is powerful, personal, and permanent. Which of these encourages your walk the most?
- What is the difference between being a knower of the word and a doer of the word? What would it look like to be a steadfast, committed doer of the Word?
- Whatever we choose to lock your eyes on will dictate our decisions. Where are your eyes fixed currently? Are they on your deficiencies or God greatness? On your failures or the redemptive power of God? Answer this question honestly this week.
- Pastor Chris said, “We have to be willing to partner with God and take steps of faith in order to see miracles.” Are you praying for a miracle in our life right now? Is it possible that God is asking you to take a step of faith before He will provide the miracle? Ask the Lord for revelation and strength to step forward this week.