In the Book of Genesis Israel was born. In the Book of Exodus Israel was chosen. In the book of Numbers the nation was proven. In the Book of Leviticus it was brought near by the blood. In Deuteronomy it was instructed. Now in the book of Joshua it faces conflict and conquest. The book of Joshua completes the redemption of Israel that was begun in Exodus. Exodus is the book of redemption out of Egypt; Joshua is the book of redemption into the promise land. The key word in Joshua is possession. However, Joshua in his last message before his death made it clear their obedience to the Word of God would determine their continued possession of the Land.
Joshua was the successor to Moses. He was a born a slave in Egypt, 40 years old at the time of Exodus out of Egypt. He was 80 years old when he received his commission as Moses’ successor and 110 years old at his death.
Joshua organizes men into an army that fought off Amalek. Joshua served as minister or servant to Moses. At Kadesh-Barnea he was one of the 12 men who went to spy out the land of Canaan. He is one of the two spies that returned with a favorable report in full confidence that God would give them the land.
Joshua’s name means Jehovah Saves. The same word in the NT is Jesus. Joshua was the savior of the Israelites in leading them into the promise land. Jesus is the savior who will lead us into the promise land. Some say this Jordan River is a crossing over from death in heaven for the Christian. It could be. But I believe this is a move from a life of disobedience to a life of obedience and inheriting the life that God desires them and desires us to have. Joshua is leading them into a life of obedience and therefore taking possession of the land God had already given them. Because of the life of Jesus, the death of Jesus, and The resurrection of Jesus, we are able to leave a life of disobedience and inherit a life that God has already given to us. We just have to possess it. Joshua and the Israelites could do nothing to earn the land. They just had to possess the land.
Joshua was a man of courage and dependence upon God. Joshua is a great example of that an average man can become a leader of a church not because of who the man is but because who God is. A great example of the blessings of God on someone who is faithful, obedient, willing to be used by God.
Let us begin to cross over. Begin with me in verse 1 of
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.
Moses has died.
The People of God.
The People of God.
Moses my servant is dead.
Let us not forget how attached
Think about Moses. Moses was pretty much the only pastor the Israelites knew. Moses was the one that led them out of bondage. Moses was the one that went to the Red Sea and raised the staff of God which was symbolic of the power of God and split the red sea which was a crossing over from bondage and into life. Therefore there is great grief among them. Think about this . . . the only pastor you ever saw. This pastor was the one who led you out of slavery. How attached are you to the pastor that led you to the Lord? For 30 days they have been grieving the death of Moses. At the end of the 30 days, God commissions Joshua again to arise and go over or cross over.
I remember some 2,000 years God a man like moses whose name was Jesus raised the staff of God called a cross and he made provisions for you and me to crossing over from a life of bondage and into a life of spiritual blessings. There was not anything the Israelites done to gain being set free from Bondage and there is certainly nothing you done for Jesus to die on a cross, he chose to to give life and hope. I pray it never gets natural, or I pray I never lose my amazement of the cross. How the creator of this universe desires to spend time with me, walk with me, lead me, guide me, and most of all have a relationship with me.
Now therefore arise and go over.
God’s People are going people. They were not suppose to stay in a grieving mindset. They were delivered from bondage., here they are being delivered from a life of disobedience into a life of obedience. They are crossing over. God’s people are going people never sitting idle anywhere or anytime.
The Israelites have become comfortable.
They have been wandering around 40 years. Same pastor, same vision, nothing has changed.
They were enjoying sitting, soaking, and souring looking into the promise land. They were comfortable.
Moses’ departure or death left Joshua in charge of Israel and leading them. The Lord’s departure from this earth to heaven left the church in the hands of the Apostles. Both texts feature a major transition for God’s people. Joshua’s commission sent the exodus of God’s people into Canaan. Jesus Great Commission launched the exodus from Canaan to the ends of the earth .
Therefore Christians today take the gospel everywhere.
Arise and GO over.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Joshua’s commission was cross over, Jesus commission is Go. Christians are commanded to move forward not sit idle.
One Summer night during a severe thunderstorm a mother was tucking her small son into bed. She was about to turn the light off when in a trembling voice he asked, Mommy, will you stay with me all night?” The mother smiled, gave him a warm, reassuring hug, and said tenderly, “I can’t dear. I have to sleep in Daddy’s room.” A long silenced followed as she moved to the door. At last the silence was broken by a shaking voice as the little boy said, “The big sissy!”
Many of them fearful of the future, many would probably secretly like to admire the promise land from the safety of Transjordan rather than risk entering Canaan and go to battle.
It seems as if many Christians would rather sit and do nothing and watch from the safety of our own disobedience rather take the risk and push forward facing satan and all of his demons.
The fear of doing nothing must be greater than the fear of doing something.
There is fear in doing something. Fear of liability, fear of what others will say, fear of failure, fear of defeat, fear of doing the wrong thing, the wrong way, Fear of facing opposition. Those who do not want to do anything usually fusses and complains at those who do want to do something therefore the ones who do want to do something makes the decision not to do something for the fear of the ones who do not want to do something. Yeah I know but that is the truth. Here is a word from heaven to those who want to do something. Forget about those who do not want to do something.
The fear of doing nothing must be greater than the fear of doing something. The fear of being disobedient in doing nothing, the fear of the Lord for not doing something must be greater than fearing others when we do something.
I see four types of churches today or groups of Israelites today.
These represent the ones you will find in Europe. They are old, beautiful and empty. No one gathers there for worship during the week. The are nothing but show pieces of the past. No spiritual vitality throbs within their ancient walls. Nothing but remembrance of the past.
June 24, 2015 it was presented at the annual meeting of SBC, Approximately 10-15 percent of Southern Baptist churches are at risk of dying. Every year, about 900 churches close and lock their doors for the last time, with as many as 70 percent of them situated in growing neighborhoods. The museum church lives in the past and finds itself in the past.
Maintenance church maintains itself against the spiritual crisis that is going on around it.It’s goal is to maintain where their at and what their doing. The attitude is things are going smooth, things are ok, we are financially stable, we are paying the bills, attendance is steady. We are good, it is not broke do not fix it. The seven last word’s of this church is, “We have never done it that way before.” The Israelites could have told Joshua, Joshua we have been like this 40 years we have maintained well.
The ministry Church
This church pursues Christian ministry from within. It offers a full calendar of activities. It seems to be busy because of all the programs and plans. Great Sunday worship service, Sunday school lessons, a good youth group, weekly choir rehearsals, Special holiday services, summer camps for all ages, monthly fellowships through dinner, a fine staff of loving pastors they even take up the largest missionary offerings in their associations however they’re missing one thing. Ministry contact with the community.
It would rather stay securely on this side of the Jordan and do ministry within each other than cross into uncharted waters and engage lost people.
This church offers full service ministry. It cares for its own members and reaches out to the community in a personal way. It reaches out and searches for ways to serve their community for the purpose to win the Lost. It takes the command of Jesus to Go very serious. It goes deep into the community and plans events for outreach regardless of safety, liability, money. This church sets God goals and not man goals. Man goals are things we can reach. God goals are things that we can reach only if God shows up and shows out. This church understands the biblical mandate to make disciples of those who are not already followers of Jesus Christ. This church’s contacts and conversations with the community is to draw those into our circle of friends. Their first step is to build a relationship, second step is to baptize them. That is to bring them in the identity with God and God’s family. Thirdly we teach them. Teach them what you know.
Church I desire to be a missional church not a museum, not a maintenance church where we just maintain status quo, not a ministry church where we are inward focus. It is my desire to be a missional church. Engage the community. Not just put an check in the offering plate and call it missions but put a heart in God’s plate and ask him to give you a burden for your community. A burden to engage them at all cost. God desires for us to cross over but Our fear of doing nothing must be great than the fear of doing something.
Hart Ramsey quoted: Be careful not to depend on the wrong people when launching a comeback. Go with your “goers” let the naysayers watch.”
If you do not have a home church where you are serving the Lord we are looking for Good servants. We would love for you to join us here at Providence.
If you are struggling with you personal relationship with God, please know I am here for you, I would love to talk with you and help lead you and guide you.
If God has already spoke to your heart today now is the time to respond.