Menu
header photo

Los Lunas Cornerstone

Church of the Nazarene

I Will Be With You (Joshua 1)

    We’ve been entrenched in prayer the past few weeks, and from talking with many of you, I have been greatly encouraged by what the Spirit is doing and how He is moving as we press into deeper prayer lives. I want to keep that going, I want us to continue to deepen our prayer lives. I challenged you last week to spend an hour every day praying. I want to challenge you to spend an hour in prayer every day, moving forward. Spend an hour in prayer each and every day and we will continue to see God move in mighty ways. Spend an hour in prayer every day and you will be amazed by how He uses that hour to deepen your walk with Him.
    This morning I want to start with the book of Joshua. As I’ve been digging into prayer, I’ve been amazed at how much the book of Joshua has to do with prayer and particularly God’s promises given to those who press into Him through prayer.
    So to start us off, let’s look at our video overview for Joshua.
VIDEO
    I want you to know that if you want a visual of the overview of Joshua, there are copies on the information table.
    Alright, so let’s get a little more context about the book of Joshua. Joshua picks up right where Deuteronomy left off. Moses has just passed away, and he passed the baton of leadership off to Joshua. Joshua is now in charge of leading the Israelite people to go across the Jordan river to take the Promised Land that God had promised to them since Abraham. The book of Joshua opens with the people about seven miles east of the river Jordan, opposite the city of Jericho. This took place sometime between 1450-1400 BC. I want us to remember too, that the nation now consists of the children of those who came out of Egypt. Their parents were restricted from entering the Promised Land because of their unwillingness to trust that if God asked them to do something, He would be faithful to see them through it.
    And that’s something we struggle to remember even now, isn’t it? We struggle to remember that if God asks us to do something, He’s just going to ask us and then let us go on our own and forget about us. He doesn’t leave us, and He doesn’t let us figure things out on our own.
    I want to talk more about God’s promise today, because it has a lot to do with our prayer lives.
    Let’s look at the first 9 verses of Joshua 1, “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. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
    If you’re following along in a bulletin this morning, I want you to write down verse 5 in your bulletin. “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.”
    This was God’s promise to Joshua. Moses had passed the baton of leadership to Joshua, but with these words, God affirmed the passing of the baton of leadership from Moses to Joshua. God affirmed that just in the same way that He was with Moses and guided Moses, He would be with Joshua too, to guide Joshua.
    God promised to be with him. God promised to not fail him or forsake him. God’s promises are an amazing thing, but we have to be careful about adopting all of God’s promises in the Bible as promises for us. Some of the promises in the Bible are not meant for us. Some of the promises in the Bible were given to a specific person for a specific reason only, and they aren’t transferable unless we see evidence of the same promise given to others in a way that would imply that we can hold on to the same promise.
    So then, the question here is, can this promise that God gave to Joshua to be with him and never fail him or forsake him, can we hold on to that promise, too?
    Well, we have to look at the rest of the Bible to answer that question, don’t we?
    Interestingly, God did give that promise to many others throughout the Bible, and though the situations weren’t all the same, there was one underlying thing that connected all of these situations and all of the people that God promised to be with.
    He promised the same thing to Abraham. He promised the same thing to Isaac. He promised the same thing to Jacob. To Moses, Gideon, David, Solomon, the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, Isaiah, all of Israel, Jeremiah.
    And every time that God promised to be with each of those people, it was always after He had called them to step out in faith and do something for Him.
    We’ve been pressing into prayer, and we will continue to do so. We’ve been asking for God to show His presence in a mighty way. We’ve been praying for Him to wake us up and deepen our love for Him and deepen our relationships with Him. We’ve been praying for spiritual renewal and revival here.
    What happens when He answers? What happens when He starts to direct us to ways where we can grow deeper with Him and with each other? What happens when He starts to ask us to do things that are out of our comfort zones? What happens when He starts to ask us to do things with our spiritual gifts that we never thought we would do? And He will do all of this because that’s what we’ve been praying for!!
    So, what happens when He answers our prayers?
    Fortunately we can take the promise given to Joshua, and so many others, as a promise to us, too.
    Look at Matthew 28:20, and if you’re following along in your bulletin, fill in the verse, “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
    Those are Jesus’ words to his disciples, all the disciples, not just those who were with Him when He ascended into heaven. God’s promise to be with us, to never fail us, to never forsake us, is a promise given to all disciples of Christ. There are other verses that say the same thing as well: John 14:17; 2 Corinthians 13:11; and Hebrews 13:5, are just a few.
    God promises to each and every believer, every person who has put their faith in Christ and believed in Him as their savior, He promises that He will always be with us, He will never fail us, He will never forsake us.
    As we continue to pray for God to move here, He’s going to call us all to do things differently. He’s going to stretch us, and He’s going to allow us to be bent, and maybe even broken. He’s going to let us be brought to the limits of our selfishness, He’s going to let us be attacked and beaten. He’s going to ask us to do what seems unlikely. But He’s promised that if we trust Him, if we hold to Him, if we follow Him, He will always be with us. He will never fail us. He will never forsake us.
    I want you to say that with me, repeat it:
    He will be with me always.
    He will never fail me.
    He will never forsake me.
    You’ll notice the last thing on your bulletin is the condition. Yes, there’s a condition to this promise, God sometimes does that because He wants to know that we’re in it for the long haul.
    Here’s the condition, you can even write it down if you want: You have to keep on…
    You have to keep on going.
    You have to keep on trusting Him.
    You have to keep on worshiping Him.
    You have to keep on praying.
    You have to keep on being obedient.
    You have to keep on believing.
    You have to keep on reading and studying His Word.
    You have to keep on spending time with Him.
    You have to keep on coming to church.
    You have to keep on listening to Him.
    You have to keep on serving.
    And if you’re sitting here and you say to yourself, “Well, I haven’t been reading His Word, I haven’t been praying, I haven’t been coming to church, I haven’t been listening to Him, I haven’t been serving, I haven’t been worshiping Him, I haven’t been trusting Him.”
    That’s ok. None of is there yet. None of us is perfect. That’s why we’re in church, because if we were perfect, we’d be in heaven. We are all God’s masterpiece in progress. But He doesn’t want us to stay there. He will be with you. He will never fail you. He will never forsake you. But He wants you to keep on. And if you haven’t been keeping on, He wants you to start. He didn’t save you from the pit of hell just so you could stay the same person you were before. He wants to see you grow so madly in love with Him. He wants you to keep on. And He has promised, that if we do that, even if it’s slow, even if we falter or mess up, He says, “I will be with you. I will never fail you. I will never forsake you.”
    I want to end with these words God gave to Joshua: “Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. 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. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Go Back

Comment

Blog Search

Comments

There are currently no blog comments.