As for ME!
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The question presented to us in this passage is really a simple question. Have I Not Commanded You? The answer for each of us is yes you have. Lord you have told us to trust you, You have told us to follow you, You have told us to go.
What has the Lord Commanded you to do?
The awesome part is a command comes with a promise. When we follow, when we go and Trust in the Lord, He promised that He will be with you.
We have been commanded by Almighty God to Be Strong, have courage, stop hiding and do not lose heart and if you do, I the Lord am with you!
Let’s be honest the church in Canada is losing ground. Why because we fail to truly follow the commands of God like that presented in this passage.
But hear me what is important to grasp he is not only talking about missions or worship or anything else similar, The Lord is talking about believing that God can do all that he has promised. We look at budgets, personnel, and options before us but we fail to consider what we are commanded to do by God. The work and business of the church is important but how we follow the commands of God are as well.
What must be the churches main focus?
The people of God need to stand and be ready to face the enemy and believe without a shadow of doubt that God is with us wherever we go. So when we go out to push back darkness in our community, in our towns, our cities, our country and the world. He is with us!
3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day, 4 greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, 5 when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Those who have gone before us stood up and were counted among the faithful. Am I not right? We have this church, we have missions sending organizations, we have bibles to read, freedom to worship, freedom to proclaim Jesus, freedom to pray. But what will be said of us? Will they say they shied away in fear of what people might think? What will my grandchildren say about us, what will the next generation see. Have we shrunk back into the shadows. Or have we heard the command of the Almighty, “Be Strong, have Courage, and don’t be Afraid.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
We can’t be a people of fear, we can’t be a people that are timid. No matter our situation we are the children of Almighty God and we need to prepare to meet the enemy on the battlefield and push back darkness. We need to be counted among the faithful.
When Paul was in Corinth he faced difficult times.
Listen to what the Lord spoke to him in:
9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
What kind of Spirit has God given you?
Will it be easy? No! Will it take courage? You bet! Will you need to stand tall in the face of discouragement? Yes even when no body else will stand with you.
So what will this take? Let’s go back to Joshua
14 “Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
What will it take? Lay aside all that entangles us. Old ways, old thoughts, old habits must be set aside and we must step up and be counted among the faithful. We need to be determined to serve the LORD.
Serve in sincerity
put away all that hold you back
Serve the LORD
Make up your mind what really matters to you! Is it the world or the LORD!
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
If it gets in the way of your view of the cross get rid of it.
if it holds you down from following Jesus, throw it aside.
If it tangles you up and you can’t run the race, cut it out of your life.
Whatever you do don’t let your eyes be diverted from the Saviour who is our guide and courage to press on.
During the first World War an officer was marching back to the front leading a company of British soldiers who had been on furlough. All around them the country was war-scarred and desolate. The cold rain had fallen; the road was trampled and muddy. The men knew what they were going back to—mud and blood, and possibly death. Their shoulders sagged. None spoke or sang. They were practically speaking already defeated.
Glancing through the door of a ruined church as they marched back to the front lines, the officer happened to see the figure of Christ on a cross above the high altar. It came to him like a breath of courage, like a voice of assurance. Turning to his company, he gave the command, "Eyes, right!"
As the depressed and discouraged soldiers saw what he had seen, and in the suffering but triumphant Christ they found their strength. Their heads lifted, their shoulders squared, and they marched on like conquerors.
As we press on in the battle for the souls of the lost I call to you to look to the Saviour. I know there are times we get discouraged the way forward is not always going to look bright or be easy. But what Jesus accomplished on the cross and through His victory over the grave we should not fear, we should march on as conquerors.
Can you stand up with your brothers and sisters in Jesus and make a difference?
“Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Will you stand with me shoulder to shoulder, and face the enemy to carry the gospel to a lost and dying world?
In a moment we will be having an invitation. I want to invite you to come today if you are ready to follow the command of the Lord. I invite you to join me and press on to fight the enemy. For our community our city and our country.
Let us pray.