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joshua4

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     We have been looking at the man, Joshua. We said that there were some characteristics that he possessed which enabled him to be so successful in the kingdom of God. Things in his life, his character & the things that he did, made him an overcomer.

     I. We saw that he was loyal, stable, & faithful to God. He was sensitive to the things of the spirit. He would separate himself to be alone with God. Joshua had courage to act boldly. He saw himself as a conquer.

     I. We also mentioned that Joshua did blow it in the city of Ai.

              A. He didn't seek God.

              B. We also saw that he was committed to do what God commanded, bold to occupy new territory, & confident in God & in his promises.

              C. Last week we said that Joshua was a man of vision.

                        1. In (PRO 29:18) it says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish:”

                        2. The word “Perish” means, “To loosen, become lawless & undisciplined.”

                        3. Where there is no vision, dream, or pursuit of God's plan, people become Loose, Undisciplined, lawless (get into sin), discouraged, complacent & lazy.

                                  a. Our vision has to line up with God's will.

                                  b. Whatever God's will is for our lives, we should make that our vision.

              D. We also covered the vision for the Church.

                        1. In (EPH 4:11-12) It says that God placed the 5 fold ministry gifts in the church “For the perfecting of the saints, for the maturing of the Church

                                  a. Most translations say “So that the body of Christ may be built up.”

                        2. We are also to preach the Gospel.

                                  a. Jesus said in (MARK 16:15) “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

                                  b. Not only are we to do that at home or in our town, but in all the world.

                                           i. That's why we support missionaries.

                        3. Jesus said that He came that we might have life and life more abundantly.

                                  a. I feel that this should be part of the Church's vision, to see people have the abundant life.

                        4. God has also placed Word of Life here to heal the brokenhearted.

                        5. I also see this church growing, so we can do more for the kingdom of God. I see the church growing to about 300 to 500 people.

     II. Joshua also had vision. God's promise of the new land became Joshua's vision. The vision of the new land, that God promised, is what kept Joshua alive.

              A. He would not rest until he conquered all & dwelt in that land of promise.

                        1. In the same way God wants His direction in your life.

                                  a. It might be a vision to spend more time in prayer, it might be a vision for your business, your home, your finances, or some other area.

                        2. JAMES 4:7

                                  a. Through your submission to God, to His Plan, His direction, to His will, you align yourself with Him.

                                  b. His power becomes alive within you.

                                           i. When you resist your enemy, God will stand & fight for you.

                                  c. The Wuest translation puts it this way, “Stand immovable against the onset of the devil & he will flee from you.”

                                           i. Satan will come to take back any good ground you have gained.

                        3. Joshua was fully aware that their enemies would try to regain the land.

                                  a. But Joshua imparted into the people the same qualities that made him great with God.

                                           i. After Joshua's farewell speech, the PEOPLE declared in (JOSHUA 24:24) “The Lord our God will we serve, & His voice will we obey.”

                                           ii. Let this be the same desire & decision be on the inside of you.

     III. Our battles are waged in the realm of the spirit. The greatest leaders in the Bible who successfully moved God's people through difficult times had a firm grip on the promise of God & the different principles that would cause them to conquer.

              A. They had faith to stand & confidence to continue, regardless of the opposition.

              B. That same spirit of victory & confidence must be stirred up on the inside of you.

                        1. You cannot cower down in fear to the attacks of the enemy, but we need to stand up with unwavering faith.

                        2. HEB 6:12

 

                                  a. They had to endure patiently, with faith for the promise.

                                  b. (2 TIM 2:3) Says, “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”

                                           i. There are going to be those times of hardness, but that doesn't mean that we have to go under. As we continue in faith & patience, we will inherit the promise.

              C. Jesus sacrifice for mankind puts us in position to defeat all the plans of the enemy.

                        1. 1 JOHN 3:8

                                  a. Through Jesus' death, we have been loosed from Satan's grips.

                                           i. We are no longer under Satan's control.

                                           ii. We now have the victory over sin, spiritual death, & Satan.

                                  b. That was the purpose of Jesus' coming, to make us the head & not the tail, to give us victory; not to make us a slave.

                        2. The battle & spiritual struggle for control in your life is over your soul.

                                  a. The devil wants control of your soul.

                        3. 1 PET 2:11

                                  a. The strength of Satan's kingdom is sin.

                                  b. Through temptations & strong desires of your flesh he wars against your mind.

                                  c. If he can control the direction of your thoughts, he can prevent you from yielding to the flow of the H. S.

                                           i. That's why we need to cast down imaginations.

              D. One of Satan's spiritual warfare strategies is to Steal your energy.

                        1. Satan can stop (or slow down) the believer if he can redirect their focus of attention.

                                  a. Your focus determines the direction & level of your faith & energy.

                                  b. Jesus said in (LUKE 11:34), “The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when {thine eye} is evil, thy body also {is} full of darkness.”

                                           i. But listen to it from the Wuest translation, “The lamp of the body is the eye. When your eye is in single focus, sound, & fulfilling its function, also your whole body is well lighted.”

                                  c. Distractions come in a variety of forms.

                                           i. They can even be friends, issues, family, other Christians. Even be questions over Bible doctrines can become a distraction from God purpose. (Or work that He has for us)

                                           ii. We need to stay away from differences, if they bring a division, & dwell in unity.

                        2. But when your eye is focused on God's promise & plan, it will fill you with the direction & strength of His light.

     IV. In the Martial arts, (focus beyond the wood)...

              A. Your point of focus is where your energy will end.

                        1. In the same way, when you direct your focus & your attention on the promise of God, it will carry you through any obstacle until you fully reach the point of your focus.

                                  a. This is why we must continually reexamine the point of our focus.

                                  b. If we are no longer focusing on God's main issues in our lives, we can find that the light we once walked in is growing dim.

                                           i. Jesus said in (LUKE 11:35) from the Wuest translation “Be constantly scrutinizing yourself therefore lest the light which is in you is darkness.”

                        2. Your faith & energy can be stolen when your focus is on things other then what God has given us to do.

                                  a. The lion & the lion trainer...a gun, a whip, & a 4 legged stool. Why the 4 legged stool?”

                                  b. The stool was his most important tool.

                                           i. The lion would try to focus on all 4 legs at once.

                                           ii. When his attention was so divided, he couldn't make any sudden moves.

                                  c. If Satan can keep you distracted, he can keep you powerless, paralyzed, & predictable.

                                           i. In other word, he doesn't have to worry about you.

              B. Look at JAMES 1:22-25

 

 

                        1. (Verse 25) from the NAS version says, “But the one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, & abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man shall be blessed in what he does.”

                                  a. The law of liberty is the Word of God.

                                  b. But, he also says “Looks intently,” That means that your focus is on God's Word & His plan for your live.

                                           i. This is the person that sees themselves in the light of God's Word, & sees themselves as a new creation in Christ Jesus with dominion over every aspect of Satan's kingdom.

                                  c. That's why Jesus said something very important in HEB 12:2a. (Turn there)

                                           i. Why are we to keep our focus on Jesus?

                                           ii. He gives us the answer at the end of V 3. (HEB 12:3)

                                  d. The AMP. translation says, “Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus.”

                                           i. That's telling us to look away from all the cares & distractions of this world & remain focused on Jesus.

     V. Those that hear but do not embrace God's Word for victory forget the power & presence of God that is available for them.

              A. Look at PSA 78:9-11

                        1. When they faced the battle they turned back. They forgot the greatness of God.

                        2. Listen to this (EXODUS 13:17 from the NIV) When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”

                                  a. Many today prefer to remain in captivity rather than face the demands of battle.

                                           i. People are losing to someone who is already defeated.

                                           ii. Jesus has already won the victory. Satan cannot defeat us.

                                           iii. But many quit.

              B. There are those times that you feel you're at the end of your strength, you feel like quitting, you feel faint, but look at what God says in ISA 40:29–31.

 

                        1. Your strength will increase as you wait on the Lord.

                                  a. As you join yourself closely to Him & focus on His plan for your life, your strength is renewed.

                        2. Remember what James said in (JAMES 4:7) from the Wuest translation.

                                  a. He said, “Stand immovable against the onset of the devil & he will flee from you.”

                                  b. Don't cower down to the devil, keep your focus on God & you will have victory.

WOLCC 9/11/93 SUN AM From WAR.doc

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