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Jan 05, 2020

A Year of Movement

A Year of Movement

Speaker: James Gallaher

Category: Sunday Morning

Dying to ourselves is about removing the obstacles that stand in the way of us achieving what God has for us. 

Sometimes when we feel stuck, we need additional help to get us unstuck. Getting unstuck often requires the death of something. Dying to ourselves is about removing the obstacles that stand in the way of us achieving what God has for us. 

Joshua 1:1-5 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.

Israel had been without a homeland for over 400 years and had spent 40 years wandering the desert. Moses was the leader; Joshua was the servant of Moses. Now, Moses was dead and God comes to Joshua and says the time is now and you are My choice. 

The promised land was about possession. It was God's to give but the people had to possess. The fulfillment of the promise depended on their cooperation. Blessing of victory, inheritance, provision, peace and rest came to the people as they obeyed. The promises of God are for all who will receive them. 

As the new leader, Joshua knew what was on the other side of the Jordan. It was occupied with the enemy; it was a source of fear. Yet God doesn't talk to him about tactics. Instead, God talked to him about his heart. God wanted Joshua and us to know that the key to overcoming the obstacles of our lives is spiritual, not physical. Whatever the barrier is, our strength is the Lord. 

Ephesians 6:12-13 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 

We must not lose sight that the real battle is not physical but spiritual. Physical battles often distract us from the spiritual battles going on around us. 

God is telling Joshua not to fear what he sees in the physical, only keep his eyes on God. God promises not to fail him. 

Joshua 1:4-5 No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. God has us in His grip. The word "fail" is "raphah," which means to slacken or to loosen your grip. It doesn't depend on our ability but on God's hold on me.

Joshua 1:6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Trust is on a new level when we lean into God's strength and ability. Courage comes easy when we are confident of the victory; Confidence comes when we have faith in the One who called us. 

Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song, I shall thank Him.

It is never God's method to give impossible commands but by His very commanding, He reveals His desire to make it possible. Three times God says, "Be strong and courageous." Each time, God gives a reason with it.

1) Joshua could be courageous because of God's promise (v 6). The promise was sworn by God's promise to Abraham in Genesis to give the land of Canaan to Israel. 

2) Joshua would find all the courage and strength he needed by obeying God's Word, our source of God's power (v 7-8). God was commanding and God knew what He was doing. Verse 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 success. Meditate means to mutter (an audible sound). All Joshua had to do was constantly mutter the Word, constantly keep those precepts that Moses had reminded him of which were laid down in the book of Deut. and not fear or tremble or be dismayed. 

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word. With all my heart I have sought You; do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.

The key to possession begins with meditation. Meditation leads to speaking. There is power in the spoken word - bringing both blessing and cursing. How much more should we be desiring that the mutterings of our life will be the very words that God has given to His people? 

3) Joshua's courage was from God's constant presence (v 9). Even if you have an enemy, a trial, or a Jordan to cross and all these enemies in front of you, remember that God is God and He is with you wherever go. Imagine if God was our partner in all we do. God wasn't telling Joshua that Joshua was strong; God was telling Joshua to lean into God's strength.  

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Courage is not so much doing things on our own, but to lean into the strength of God. God desires us to lean in. Courageous ones are those who are afraid and do it anyway. 

Joshua may not have accomplished all that Moses had accomplished but he did accomplish all that the Lord had called him to accomplish. Joshua 21:45 Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Be aware of all that God calls you to do. This year, let's be courageous and see God do a move. It's our part to possess the promises of God. God's promises are attached to God. We accomplish them with God - making Him Lord of our life.  

1. Have you been like Joshua and been given a leadership position that you feared facing?

2. What are God's reasons for being strong and courageous? 

3. In this year of movement and getting unstuck, what do I need to die to?