This Morning – “Joshua – A New Beginning” – Part 6
F. W. Robertson is quoted as making a statement which ties in beautifully with what we’ll be looking at in chapter 8: “Life, like war, is a series of mistakes, and he is not the best Christian nor the best general who make the fewest false steps. Poor mediocrity may secure that; but he is the best who wins the most splendid victories by the retrieval of mistakes. Forget mistakes; organize victories out of mistakes.”
When we have made a mistake and suffered a defeat what we do is now up to us, we can live in that defeat or we can by God’s grace learn from it and go on.
Though we should never seek to fail, failure can be a backdoor to success if we are willing to seek the forgiveness of God and deal with our sin in the way that God has prescribed. This week we look to Joshua Chapter 8 for 5 secrets for getting back on track after a defeat.
“THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SECRET SIN”
The seventh chapter of Joshua opens with the ominous word “but.” The use of the little conjunction of contrast is designed to drive home the reality that victory is often followed by the threat of defeat. Suddenly we are presented with a series of failures that stand in striking contrast to the victories of the past six chapters. Israel had just experienced a miraculous victory over Jericho, “but” now they are going to experience defeat. When Joshua sent out the troops to take Ai he was unaware of Achan’s sin or of God’s displeasure. I have to wonder that if he had consulted with the Lord before making his plans if he would not have learned about both. Likewise many of our personal failures could be avoided if we first took our plans and concerns to God in prayer. Christian would do well to spend time consulting with God before making decisions that may have a major impact both their own lives and the lives of others.
Five Principles For Spiritual Victory
Joshua 5: 13- 6:21
Many of the present generation may not remember that Sergeant Alvin York was the most famous soldier of World War I. Neither do they realize that Alvin C. York was a most unlikely man to become a legendary hero.
York felt that his Christian faith barred him from killing anyone, even in war. After being drafted, York went home on a ten-day leave and considered the scriptures a Christian captain had shared with him.
Finally in a crisis of faith, God showed York that he could obey God and defend the helpless in Europe at the same time. He wrote, “As I prayed there alone… I knew that He was there. He understood I didn’t want to be a fighter or a killing man… He took pity on me and gave me the assurance I needed… It was His will and that was enough for me.”
Sgt. York had to win the war in his mind before he could win the battles that lay ahead of him in the trenches of France and so it was with Joshua.
“Stepping Out On Faith”
Joshua 3: 1-17
For Christians today crossing of the Jordan represents passing from one level of the Christian life to another. It is not a picture of a believer dying and entering heaven. Canaan was not heaven it was a place that had to be won by hard work. Canaan is a picture of entering into spiritual warfare to claim what God has promised. Some no doubt examined the various ways of crossing the river. They could not swim across. They couldn’t build enough rafts or boats to transport over a million people. They did not have time to build a bridge. There was only way around their problem and that was through it. It was at the very time that the people were faced with the tremendous difficulties and they knew that they were at the end of their resources that God would be able to show his power. But it is never about what we can do, it is always about what the Lord is able to do
This Week, I want us to examine some great principles about faith found in Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River.
Many people, even Christian’s struggle all of their lives trying to overcome their past. Since they have never forgiven themselves they have a hard time believing the God has truly forgiven them. Perhaps some of you live daily with the constant ache of regret. The thoughts of your previous mistakes and sins still haunt you. You live with the continuing thought, “If only…if only I’d done this or had not done this… Life would be different.” Today we are going to study the life of a woman who epitomizes the idea of trying to “Outlive our Past.” This week, we look to the woman Rahab and it will become very obvious that Rahab has made some bad choices in her life. She was a prostitute. But when it comes to God, the choices of the past are not near as important as the choices that you make now.
For centuries, the descendants of Abraham had anticipated possessing the land God had promised to the Patriarch in the Abrahamic Covenant, and then reiterated to Isaac and Jacob. Joshua is the compelling history of the fulfillment of that promise. It is the story of God’s faithfulness and how, by faith in God’s promises, God’s people can overcome and experience His life-changing deliverance. The message of Joshua can encourage and have a wonderful impact on one’s life. For that to occur, however, we need to be serious in our study of Scripture.
True success is not what the world thinks of you and what you have done, but what God thinks of you and what you have done.
The book of Joshua is a book of new beginnings for the people of God. Many of us have a weary sense of spiritual need for a new beginning.
Joshua had some very big shoes to fill. Joshua was facing one of the greatest crisis points of his life. He was not only facing the challenge of replacing Moses as the leader of the nation but also of actually leading the people into the promise land.
Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.
We have seen that prayer is a work we are invited to, and the invitation is to every believer. It is a call to partnership with the One who has given His life for us. It is a call to extend His Kingdom, seeing His life and light penetrate the darkness of evil that surrounds so many.
How are you going to answer that invitation?
When it comes to invitations, many of us immediately come up with our stock excuse list, which I have found mostly centers around time—not having enough of it or, in the case of a “prayer invitation,” thinking that the limited amount you do have is not enough to make a difference. But EVERY PRAY COUNTS!!!! This Sunday we will look to the Scriptures for victory though prayer!
In this message we will look at effective fervent prayer that engages the battle against the kingdom of darkness with the power of the Kingdom of God. This kind of prayer calls for earnestness and fervency in prayer that moves into the invisible realm where evil has dominated a situation, and then breaks the yoke of bondage over those circumstances. This is prayer that confronts the work of hell and casts down the rule of darkness that is hindering God’s intended blessing for that situation. I want to say to you pointedly that every believer needs to face the responsibility of letting his life be enlarged by this dimension of prayer. If you want to see release or breakthrough happen in your life and in the lives of those you pray for, then there are times when you will need to enter the battle in a fervent pursuit of prayer—breaking in on the works of darkness and seeing them shattered by the power of the word of God that comes forth from your lips. There is no substitute for that kind of confrontational prayer.
Today, we’ll look at strongholds, the enemy’s access points that can compromise God’s power and purposes in our lives. We’re also going to cover how these access points are established and how they can be dismantled. If I have inside of me the fullness of the power of Jesus Christ that raised him from death, it’s not an issue of needing more power. A lot of times in the church of Jesus Christ we think we need more power. But in salvation, in our union with Christ we have the power that raised Christ from death. That’s a pretty significant starting point. So it’s not an issue of needing more power; it’s an issue of why that power is not being released in my life. This week we look to the scriptures and see to live triumphantly in Christ is to understand what strongholds are. For more information go to: http://www.mtzchurch.org
This week, we will see that Satan has many methods to deceive anyone and everyone. He is a defeated foe and is not to be feared. Movies like The Exorcist portray Satan in an erroneous way. He is coming with deceptions and works through his people to attempt to accomplish his plans. His methods are cunning and many times mazelike so a person who is unsaved or a saved person who is biblically illiterate will fall for his schemes. I pray that we all see that God uses situations to build His children; Satan uses evil to destroy his children. For more information go to: www.mtzchurch.org