Jesus gives us...
Jesus gives us courage
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Getting ready for a wave of the Spirit to come and hit this area with the glory of God and hundreds saved and added.
As a church – it’s a time of transition too – working on the leadership structure and systems in the church – they were great for a church of 50 – but we are 120 now and heading on to 200.
Individually – Been looking at the things Jesus takes away – shame, worry, fear, rejection and unforgiveness
And the things Jesus gives us freedom, favour and today courage.
Bill Johnson said of our need of Jesus giving us courage: When you get into the flow of grace, you will see definite benefits in your life. One is courage. God is calling us to do the impossible, to be world-changers, and we will never be able to follow His lead without the courage He supplies.
You may need courage in your workplace to stand up to a bully, to stand up for integrity.
You may need courage to parent well, “when all the other parents let them do it.”
You may need courage to face your life situation – singleness, separation.
There are so many ways in which we need courage.
With a wave of the Spirit on it’s way, If we are going to see hundreds saved and the church grow it’s going to require courage. Where better to help us than Joshua taking over as leader of the people of Israel to take them into the promised land. So please turn with me to Joshua 1
Moses – big shoes to fill
Knew God face to face
Led Israel out of slavery in Egypt
Crossed the Red sea
Hit a rock and water flowed
Led two million people
Moses obituary was quite something.
Deut 34 “Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigour unabated”.. “And there has not arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, none like him for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, and for all the mighty power and all his great deeds of terror that Moses did in the sight of all Israel”.
The Lord comes to Joshua and says “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over the Jordan, into the land I’m giving to them to the people of Israel.”
Moses the greatest leader thus far is dead and Joshua is taking over. The Lord’s blunt with him. Moses dead, now you do it… And the first thing He has to do is a miracle – cross the Jordan. It’s a walk of faith, a courageous walk, not a sit! He brings 2,000,000 people to the edge of the Jordan and prophecies to them as the soles of the feet of the priest carrying the ark touch the waters – it will part for them, just as it did for Moses. Huge moment – stepping out in faith – God does it. Staraight after that God says to him “see I given Jericho into your mighty hand” – looks pretty locked up to me.
It’s a walk of faith and trusting God that he’s called to. That we are called to, that you are called to. So we need Jesus to give us courage. God’s promised “I haven’t given you a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love and self control.” We get to do the stuff – to heal the sick, deliver the oppressed, make disciples, stand up for Jesus in our homes and workplaces and it is a walk of faith, walking in the Spirit.
So 3 times in this opening section God’s going to command him “Be strong and courageous” and then in four ways how to be strong and courageous.
Let’s look at it
1) Stand on the promises of God v1-4
Joshua has a clear word from God, a clear assignment.
* Lead the people across the Jordan
* Take possession of the Promised Land – with clearly defined boundaries.
* No-one will stand against you
We have a clear assignment and promises from God to.
* To be a gateway for the gospel to go to the nations
* Multinational church – every tribe and tongue in the area part of the church.
* Grow bigger than 500 people
* Wave of the Spirit and a herald of a move of God.
* Churches planted across the region and teams sent to the nations to plant
Easy to talk big like that. There was a man who once boasted he cut off a lion’s tail with a penknife. When he was asked why he didn’t cut off it’s head, he said “Well someone else had already done that.”
Going to take courage in the Lord – much easier to sit at home and watch God TV. Much easier to dream about a wave coming that grab your surfboard and ride it for all your life.
So one of the ways we can be strong and courageous. Is to stand on the promises of God. What has He said He will do? We have the prophetic words and more importantly we have the word of God – Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God has said it, let’s do it!
Just as Joshua was told to cross the Jordan by faith, let’s make disciples by faith. Let’s step out and pray for the sick, share the love of Jesus, talk to people, help people, bless people by faith. God has said He will build a big church here, the fields are white to harvest – pray for the workers. Then be the answer to that prayer!
2) Know God’s presence with you v5
There’s a lovely moment at the start of the Dad’s Army movie where Mannering and his platoon are moving steathily across fields. Mannering stands up and confronts what’s ahead. “There he is sir”, the film cuts to a bull and then back to Mannering who’s alone! The others have scarpered!
That’s the thing with fear for many of us – we think we are alone. We are the only one that has to stand up and be counted.
For Joshua God promised His presence with him. “Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous!”
God promises the same for us Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” Behold I am with you. The old versions use Lo, I am with you. There is plenty of lo when we go! God promises His presence with us.
You don’t need to beg God to be with you. You don’t need to ask God for His presence. He has already promised His presence – when you go out from here and when we are gathered!
I got an iPad for Christmas – I used to ask for an iPad but I’ve stopped now I have one! You don’t need to ask for God’s presence with you. He has promised it. You may want to ask for an awareness of it! But you do have it!
Somebody once said Courage is fear that has said its’ prayers. Yes. But courage is easier with God’s presence too – you’ll never walk alone
Unlike Captain Mannering, we also have brothers and sisters in Christ walking with us too.
Jago Wynne, author of the book Working Without Wilting, talks about pastoring mid-week gatherings for people working in London. He says that those who came by themselves from their workplace as isolated Christians generally looked weary, struggling with the pressures of working life.
On the other hand, those who had found other Christian colleagues and who came to the services in groups of two or more were almost universally far more upbeat and radiant.
Jago writes, ‘If we are isolated Christians in our day-to-day environments, whether that is the workplace or school or university or home, it is good to pray for the Lord to provide us with another brother or sister in Christ. Even their mere presence can be a source of encouragement to keep going in serving the Lord in life and in mission.’
3 Keep on the path
God commanded Moses to be careful to do all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. To keep on the path of the revelation to that point. Don’t stray to the left or the right. Don’t wander off on weird tangents. Stick with the word of God. Of course we now have the new covenant revelation of the New Testament to guide us. Read it, meditate on it, put it into practice. Don’t stray off the path God has.
On your mouth – v8. When I’m helping the kids learn their German vocab – I’m always saying read it out loud, write it down and say it out loud as you do so. There’s some thing about speaking as we are reading and learning that engages more senses and burns it into memory so much better. If find with the BiOY app, it’s goes in better when I read it out loud.
Meditate on it – chew it over in your mind. Bill Johnson said, if you worry you already know how to meditate!
If you want more courage, then meditate on Scripture like “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
4 Start the process
Get on with it! if you don’t put this into practice 50% will be forgotten by tomorrow!
Joshua went from his encounter with the Lord to his leaders v10. We are going in 3 days, get ready
To the tribes that were to be on the current side of the Jordan – he ordered the men of valour to join the fight.
Each time if you read 10-18 he reminded them of God’s promises as part of getting ready to go.
Then he sent to 2 spies to goto Jericho, who stuck with Rahab – a woman of courage, with an interesting past, who hid them – don’t let your past stop you entering your God given destiny.