Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Friday, July 27, 2007

Sermon--Joshua--Are You Sure?

Unfortunately, we were not able to get the audio of this message. We had a special guest musical group playing for us, called Corban. They led in praise and worship and were great. However, the switching around of computers didn't allow us to get this sermon recorded. It is better listening to it--it's mostly outline below.

We’ve been looking the last few weeks at Joshua and the Israelites. Starting back on July 1st, we looked out how we need to Make a Declaration of Dependence on God for Strength & Courage, for Doing Amazing Things, and for Victory. We’ve looked at how Joshua had been prepared to take the lead from Moses and was mentored for over 40 years. All of this is leading up to the Moment of Crossover. It was just a month or so after Moses died. How can we replace the Legend? It was after the generation that had seen God deliver them from Egypt had died off. Most of those still alive had vague memories of those acts of deliverance at best. They had seen 40 years of wandering in confusion, 40 years of wondering… how long are we going to be stuck here? When will we ever move forward and have a future of our own? After growing up in the desert—now they were on the verge of the Promised Land—just one little river stood between them and the parcel of land that their parents had feared and turned away from.

With good reason, they had many things they were not sure of. If you were a reporter and could go up and interview some of the Israelites in that moment, I believe you would hear things like this:

We’re Not Sure of the Way to Crossover—

We’re Not Sure We Can Do Great Things—other people, yeah maybe, but not me…some of us are pushing 60 years old

We’re Not Sure about Our Leader—the new guy can’t possibly live up to what Moses did

We’re Not Sure It Will Be As Good as the Past—it’s been a while since God has done things like that

We’re Not Sure Anyone Will Care or Remember—since we couldn’t remember what God had already done, we wouldn’t trust Him for the future

To all of those concerns, worries and uncertainties, God has an answer.

You’re Not Sure of the Way to Crossover—I Will Show You

READ Joshua 3:1-4

Follow the Ark—The Symbol of My Presence Among You—let it lead the way

By Following His Presence—You will know the Way

John 14—“I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but by Me.”

Wherever He Leads I’ll Go

Crossing over into God’s Promise means you are following Him

Admit you don’t know the way

Acknowledge that He does

Trust that He will lead you faithfully when you don’t know the way

You’re Not Sure You Can Do Great Things

I Will Do Amazing Things Among You

READ vs. 5-6

They had been seeing the same miracle every day—the manna, the quail—so much so it became routine—they no longer saw the majesty of the miracle in front of them.

Wondering What God can do that’s not so routine—God does those with other people, not with us.

I’m sure the apostles thought the same thing. No one expected, when they were sent out to be able to deliver demons in the name of Jesus. That’s why they were so surprised when they came back and told Jesus. No one expected Peter to be delivered from Prison. No one expected the Gentiles to receive the same Holy Spirit

No one knew that faith in Christ would outlast the Roman Empire

We always seem to be Surprised by God working Among us. But why?

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

You’re Not Sure about Your Leader—3:7

I Will Raise Him Up

No Longer in the Background

Only God can exalt him, no one else has the ability

In the Eyes of My People

So they May Know

I am With You—same promise as in Exodus 3:12

As I was with Moses

But not even Moses was able to get us there! Not even Moses was allowed to enter the Promised Land—How will this guy be any different?

This generation no longer thought of themselves as slaves

No more talk—a lot more Action

I need to hear those types of encouragements—Be Strong and Courageous—many days I don’t feel very strong, I don’t feel very courageous. I question how God would use me as your pastor. I question—‘how could God do great things in me?”

So pray for me—lift me up before Him—I need it.

You’re Not Sure It Will Be As Good as the Past—I Will Part the Waters—3:14-17

The people must have wondered…Can it really be better than it was in previous generations? Are we going to be used like Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, like those that were delivered from Egypt?

Maybe better isn’t the right word—can God really use us in the same, powerful way that He used the generations before us?

Flood Stage—fast Moving, powerful water, the kind of waters that would pick up your car and deposit 20 miles away—the kind that moves houses—the kind that kills.

Their Feet Touched the Water’s Edge—I’ve heard of smelly feet before but never so bad that water wouldn’t go near them! Somehow I don’t think that was the issue.

The waters piled up about 20 miles away

I hope you believe that He can! I hope you believe that He WILL! I hope you are willing to not only be used by Him, but willing to do whatever it takes!

We’ve heard stories of the parting of the Red Sea, the Fire Consuming the Altar—and we almost long for those days—saying “God… do those again!”

But let me assure you, that it is just as great if not greater a miracle every time you see someone made into a New Creation in Christ. That moment shapes eternity and shakes the gates of hell. Satan himself has to say… “great, we lost another one. I wish these Christians would leave my property, my slaves alone”

You’re Not Sure Anyone Will Care or Remember—I Will Show You How to Remember—4:1-7, 19-24

It is vital to remember—to make a memorial of What God has done—so they didn’t forget

A sign among you

Future generations—your children—the will ask

So that all the peoples of the earth may know—vs. 24

So you might always Fear the Lord Your God

Our Response to God’s Responses

Will You Follow, even if you don’t know the way?

Will You attempt Great things, even if You don’t know the outcome?

Will you pray for your pastor and lift me up before God?

Will you Look with expectation on our church’s Future and not just with nostalgia on it’s great past?

Will you be a part of things worthy of Remembrance that future generations will know that God worked among us today?

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