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joshua

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Introduction

To get the most out of this, read Joshua 1 and Deuteronomy 34.

1. Moses died and then Joshua took over.. what principles can we get from this?

a. Think about your character and your history. Have you been faithful, full of faith, committed? Before Joshua took over, we must remember that he was one of only 2 people who believed God that Israel would take the Promised Land (along with Caleb).

b. What sin do you need to get rid of in your Christian life? What has to 'die' before God can move you on? Take a look at Hebrews 12.1-3 which looks at the sins that trip you up, entangle you and make you fall. Apply these Bible verses to your life and see where you need to ask God for help. For example especially if you're a bloke, you've probably got a problem with lust!

c. Do you have to be 'trained' by someone more experienced, to help and push you along in God's ways, before you get to inherit your promised land? Sometimes it's a really good thing. Joshua had Moses and was able to learn from his example - in his relationship with God, leadership, delegation, family life and more. Get around Godly men and women of God who will train you, encourage you, invest in you and who you can learn from.

d. Wait until it is your time to inherit, don't push God. I'm naturally visionary and want to move on to the next thing but God has taught me patience, waiting and relying on him. If you believe God has called you to something but it hasn't quite happened, then keep close to God, keep reminding him of what he's said and wait for his perfect timing. Don't get ahead of God's timing, he may be needing to work on you and others before he makes stuff happen. Think of the example of David in 1 Samuel 24 where David could have killed Saul (who had turned against David). David didn't kill him - it was not right, Saul was still the leader, God had not yet appointed David although he had called David.

2. God keeps his promises..

a. Has God given you a vision? A deep desire that you can't shake off? If it's from God then it will happen. God promised that Israel would enter the Promised Land and under Joshua they did. But this took time. The people waited. In fact had the people obeyed God and not wandered around moaning, they would not have been stuck in the desert for 40 years.. Deal with your whinging and complaining. Instead, use your energies to make a difference. Evaluate, speak honestly and openly, yes. But then invest yourself into God's work. If it's not happening for you in one place, seek God for where you can make a difference.

b. You can help fulfil God's promises by your obedience. In Matthew 24.15-22 we read Jesus give a warning about 'the destroying terror'. Jesus warned people to run across house tops to get out to the hills if they saw this coming, then they would be saved. Strange? Well, some Bible commentaries record an attack on Jerusalem by an Emperor where the city was surrounded. The Christians had read their Bibles and fled to the hills. At the outskirts of the city, the Roman army halted and briefly retreated. It was at this time that the Christians escaped. The city was then destroyed. The Bible was fulfilled - people's obedience to the Word of God saved their lives. If that's not an encouragement to get to know your Bible, I don't know what is!!

3. You have been called by God himself

a. Read Ephesians 1.3-5. We read here that in and through Jesus Christ, God the Father chose us before the world even began. He chose us to be his people. It's like being chosen to play for England in the World Cup before you were even born - but way better! More than this, it actually pleases God to call us his children. Some people don't get picked when teams are chosen to play soccer or other sports. But God looked at you and said, 'I want you on my team. I choose you.'

We're not talking some distant, inadequate or uncaring father here. We're talking about God - who chose us, loves us and is intimately involved in everything we go through. He is the model and perfect father.

4. When God blesses you it’s amazing!

Read Joshua 1.4-5 and just see the way in which God blessed his people. He gave them a huge amount of land, he promised them land that others had, no-one would be able to defeat them, God was with them and would never leave or forget them. I don't know about you but that's the kind of God I want to serve - a God who does exactly as he promises - a God who loves to bless (give freely out of his generosity, even though we don't deserve any of it).

5. God is with us

I like the story of King Hezekiah (well, most of it anyway!) Listen to this from 2 Kings 18.7. 'The Lord was with Hezekiah, so he had success in everything he did..' I love that and pray that for my life too - and so should you. What an amazing testimony. Many people also quote Jeremiah 29.11, when God speaks and says, 'I know the plans I have for you, plans to bless you..' Fantastic stuff, but wait..

Let's look at some of the conditions.. this stuff isn't so popular! In Jeremiah 29.12, God continues, 'In those days when you seek my face' or 'Then you'll call on my name, look for me and pray to me.' Whatever version you use, it's the same thing. Looking for God, praying to him and calling on his name. Are you doing that?

And we may want the same testimony as King Hezekiah - that the Lord is with you and you have success in all you do. But again this comes with a condition. Ask yourself - why was the Lord with King Hezekiah? Secondly, the King had success only because God was with him - therefore he was acting in a Godly way. When you stop obeying God, his favour won't be with you!

So why was God with King Hezekiah? 2 Kings 18.4 gives us some of the answers.. he removed the high places where gods were worshipped and he smashed the various idols.. verse 6 continues.. he trusted in the Lord, he was loyal to God, he did not stop following God, he obeyed the commands God had given Moses..

So what about you and I? What are the idols in your life that need smashing down and dealing with? Are there areas where we should have obeyed God but didn't, or didn't do so fully. Now is the day to say sorry to God, repent (turn around, turn away) and do what he has called you to do.

6. Believe in God!

Matthew 22.37, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength..'

When we go for God, it shouldn't be with a tame passion or half-heartedly. Instead, our love for God should be growing and showing a real passion for him so that our heart, our soul (mind) and all that we are and do (our strength) is wholehearted, mad for God. This is something that God grows in us as we serve and love Jesus. Sometimes, we can also ask the Holy Spirit to pour into us. At times it needs to be us making a conscious decision to want more of God, seek his face in prayer and continue to remove sin from our lives by saying sorry to God. 1 John 1 says that if we do, God is faithful and helps us deal with sin and takes it away from us.

QUESTIONS:

- Joshua was Moses' understudy, a Biblical way to learn - what about us?

- Joshua had proved he was faithful. He learned from Moses and when his time came, he was ready. What about us?

Joshua and Spies - make this a separate talky bit if you want

This is now a separate talk - click here for that talk

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