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God Fulfills His Promises

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Joshua 5:10–12 NIV
10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.
Can you imagine it… the people had finally arrived! This passage, is POWERFUL. They were no longer on the side of oppression. They were no longer on the side of wondering. They were now experiencing the promise of God… fulfilled.
God had delivered them from the hands of the Egyptians.
God had delivered them from a generation of doubters and nay sayers.
And now… God had brought them to the place that had been promised to them so many many years prior to this day. God FULFILLS His promises!
That is the topic of our study tonight… it is a topic that we read about in Scripture, but it is also so we experience on a daily basis… so long as we remain faithful to the Lord.
God is faithful. There is no doubting that truth tonight. God delivers on every promise He ever makes.
But sometimes, we struggle. Sometimes, our faithfulness wavers. Sometimes… we allow for doubt to creep in… doubt that can rob us from experiencing what the Lord has for us.
Remember what I said just a moment ago… that God had delivered the Israelites from a generation of nay sayers and doubters?
They had stood on the thresh hold of the promised land once before… 40 years ago. But the doubt and lack of faith of the people… kept them from being able to enter.
Only two people remained that were present that day - Caleb, and Joshua. They were now in the promise land, because they never doubted God’s promise.
God’s promises are yes and amen. His faithfulness is remarkable and never fails! This evening, we are going to talk about placing faith in the One who’s promises are always yes and amen.
VIDEO
The people of God had been on quite the journey. The last 40 years were not easy, but they were also full of miracles.
Think about something for a moment. The people of God experienced a tremendous amount of change in those 40 years.
An entire generation has gone. No one who witnessed God’s power on display in Egypt was around anymore. This was their consequence for doubting God. Yes, they were up against some powerful enemies, but God is faithful in all things! The land was exactly how God had described it!
The people’s doubt and grumbling, caused them to miss it. God was faithful, but the people… the wavered.
Church, Faith is the KEY to experiencing God’s promises.
So long as His promises are ahead, you can be sure that God will get you there! But… if you lose faith… you will also lose access to His promise.
When God makes a promise, it’s not a matter of chance if it will happen, you can take it to the bank that it WILL happen!
For instance, we find ourselves in the season of celebrating the gift of Jesus. Christmas is all about the arrival of our Savior.
And how did Jesus come to this earth? Just as God had promised He would in Scripture! Jesus fulfilled the promises and prophecy God had given the world regarding the arrival of His Son.
Get this, Lee Strobel in his book, “The Case for Christ,” Shares information regarding the likelihood of someone being able to fulfill the prophecies regarding the Messiah in the OT.
Starting with a conservative number, they calculated the odds of one man fulfilling 8 of the prophecies. The probability of one person doing this is one chance in one hundred million billion. Then he presents this illustration:
If you took this number of silver dollars they would cover the state of Texas to a depth of two feet. If you marked one silver dollar among them and had a blindfolded person wander the whole state and bend down to pick up one coin, what would be the odds he’d choose the one that had been marked?
Mathematician Peter W. Stoner went a bit further. he estimated that the probability of fulfilling forty-eight prohecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion!
That number is equal to the number of minuscule atoms in not one, but a trillion universes the size of our universe!!!
My point is… the earthly odds were highly against our Savior coming as He did, but God did it… and He did it with ease!!!
What seems impossible for us, is a drop in the bucket for God. What seems like a battle is already a victory for our Lord. If God is in it, the work is already done. Our faith must simply remain in the One who is forever faithful!
So there they were! Now on the side of God’s promise! They had crossed the river, but there still remained come battles to be fought… and won.
The passage we read just a moment ago signaled a HUGE season of change. And God… was just getting started.
Joshua 5:13–15 NIV
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” 14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” 15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

A Season of Change

Israel was now facing a dynamic season of of change.
The people were no longer wondering… they were now standing in the promise
The manna was no longer needed... they were now provided for in the promise
the fight was no longer avoided… they would find victory in the promise.
Joshua and the Israelites were now near Jericho… and we know the obstacle that this city would be. It was fortified by a wall that no one could take down. And if the people were to live in the promised land, they would have to take this city.
Joshua is approached by a man who is a messenger from God. Once identified, Joshua does something that is hugely significant.
This encounter would mark the beginning of the conquest of the promised land - a conquest that would be impossible if not for the help of God.
Joshua and Caleb knew this truth 40 years ago but they believed God would see them through… and Joshua still believed that in this moment. His response… to me… is what opens the door for the victories to come.
The commander of the Lord’s army gives Joshua instruction… and Joshua does as instructed. This happened before the marching… this happened before the walls came down. This happened before a sword was drawn or any battle ensued. Joshua listened and obeyed.
I can only imagine at this point… that Joshua knew that what was to come, would be unconventional.
What I mean by that is that the instruction or battle plan would be different from anything they could have ever come up with.
This might be a large assumption to make but hear me out… Joshua knew the stronghold that was before them. He knew those walls would stand after they had thrown everything they had at them. He knew they didn’t have man power or weapon power enough to take those walls down.
But Joshua also knew… they crossed the river. They were no longer wondering… they were standing in God’s promise.
The point I want to pull from this passage is simple. If we want to experience the promises God has for us, we need to move from a season of wondering… into a season of following. Joshua and the people were now standing in the promise of God because they followed God to this place.
We pray for it. We ask for it. We believe in it and desire it. But when it is time for the season to change, too often we stay where we are instead of moving where God is leading us to go.
And I get it, God sent a messenger to speak with Joshua regarding the stronghold ahead. Who wouldn’t follow the instruction given in this moment?
Yet, God has given us something remarkable as well.
God has given us His Word - this special revelation that tells us the entire story.
God has also given us His Holy Spirit - His living presence now dwelling the hearts of all believers.
We do not need to be looking for the commander of God’s armies to appear before us, we can simply listen to the voice of God who speaks to us through His Word and Spirit.
And when He speaks, we must have the faith to do as instructed.
Joshua could have turned around and said, “Man, you’re crazy if you think we are going to take on Jericho.” But he didn’t. In fact, Joshua might have thought it to be crazy to go against the instruction of the Lord.
Let that sink in for a moment… is i crazy to follow God as He leads us or… is it crazy to go our own way instead? I guess it all depends on your level of faith!
We know that God is the God of the impossible! He is faithful in all things! Yet we question because His ways are often different than ours. AND THAT’S A GOOD THING! God will do things His way as proof that God was the only way in the first place!
In this moment, Joshua had to surrender his battle plan. Joshua had to move from wanderer to follower.
Maybe God is leading you, but you have failed to make this change. Maybe God has called you but your faith just isn’t quite there.
If you want to experience His promises, your faith will have to lead the way. Things will change… God will lead… the people could not remain in the desert if they wanted God’s promises.

A Stronghold in Ruins

And we know what takes place from here… God gives Joshua the battle plan and the walls of Jericho indeed come down. The stronghold that once represented the great strength of the enemy… now lie in ruins.
Joshua 6:20 NIV
20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.
It was something only God could have done. The armies of Israel were now standing at the heart of the city that man said no one could conquer. And now… all the enemies of Israel were very aware of what their God could do.
That stronghold was meant to be a safe haven from any attack. In fact, when Jericho got word of Israel’s presence, they secured the gates of the city - no one came in or out. They were safe behind these powerful walls.
The enemy was safe… so long as the stronghold remained. The Israelites in their minds… posed little threat.
And this is how the enemy will work in our lives if we are not careful. He remains safe to influence us… so long as strongholds remain. What stronghold am I talking about?
Fear
Doubt
Worry
Sin
Bondage
The list could go on and on. The enemy LOVES to hide within these strongholds in our lives. And if he detects our faith on the rise, he seals himself up tighter and works harder to convince us this thing aint going anywhere.
But look at the perspective that God gives Joshua.
Joshua 6:2 NIV
2 Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.
I see it this way, all of Jericho was now collected in this nice, neat little package all tied up with a little bow. It was if God handed it to Joshua and said, here you go…
The enemy WANTS us to see the strength and the threat of the stronghold. God wants us to see the victory and triumphant He has delivered.
And again, this is where faith must kick in! God had brought them this far and God would take down those walls as only He could.
If you’re dealing with walls of fear… God can take that stronghold down with peace.
If you’re dealing with walls of doubt… God can take that stronghold down with assurance.
If you’re dealing with walls of worry… God can take that stronghold down with comfort.
If you’re dealing with walls of sin… God can take down that stronghold with deliverance.
If you’re dealing with walls of bondage… God can take down that stronghold with freedom.
And note something very important in our story, the Israelites never raised a sword, threw a spear, or even knocked on the door to gain access to Jericho… all they did was faithfully follow and trust in God for the victory.
The victory God is leading you toward… is a victory only He can deliver.
Our greatest victory… is found in Jesus Christ our Lord. Again, God did something only He could have done and because of it, we now have the opportunity to be forgiven and set free from all sin. We now have the opportunity to have our fellowship with God fully restored!
Our battle over sin was won on the cross.
We were not nailed to it.
We were chastised or beaten.
We were not mocked or ridiculed or humiliated.
Jesus did it all! he did all that was necessary to destroy the power of sin in our lives once and for all.
The enemy… may have thought he won the battle when Jesus said, “It is finished.” Although Jesus had breathed His last… He was still fighting for us.
For three days later it was revealed that not only was Jesus victorious over sin… He also conquered death and the grave!
We are set free by His death and come alive through His resurrection! Talk about a once prevailing stronghold now in ruins!

Closing

God is still in the miracle working business. God is still making good on His promises. God is faithful in all things. None of that has changed!
And tonight, maybe someone needed this reminder. Maybe you are facing impossible walls. Maybe you feel like you are till wandering. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and defeated.
God wants to change the season you are in. God wants to take you out of the wilderness and into His promises.
And the key is… FAITH. The key is trusting in the Word and instruction of the Lord.
In the moment that Joshua was speaking with the commander of God’s armies, he had no idea what the battle plan would look like… all he knew was the battle belonged to the Lord.
Do YOU know that tonight? So often we think the battle is about what we can do or what we can handle.
The outcome of the battle has noting to do with us. If we want the victory, we must place our faith in the One who makes us victorious!
Jesus has fought the battle… and won! And He is still winning battles for us to this day! And there will come a day when all battles will be a thing of the past!
I look forward to that day when we see Jesus come as the conquering king! He is coming soon! But until that day our faith must remain strong in the One who turns our strongholds into staircases for the victory platform!
What walls do you need God to take down tonight? What strongholds do you need removed?
Do you need a boost in your faith? Are you ready to move from wandering to following?
PRAYER
Help us to follow. Help us to trust.
Help us to STAND in the promises you have for us.
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