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Vision

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     We're going to continue on the subject of Joshua. as we have already seen in Joshua's life, he achieved what seemed to be the impossible. He brought this nation of Israel to a place of total dedication to God & total victory. They went from oppression & poverty to power & prosperity. Israel was now in possession of the land of their dreams. By this time Joshua was getting very old. But there's 1 V. of scripture that shows why he was so successful in his life.

     I. JOSHUA 24:15

              A. With this statement, Joshua summed up how he felt.

                        1. The success of Joshua life is not measured by how many nations they overcame, or by how many people he had under him.

                        2. Joshua success is measured more by what the people had in their heart's.

                                  a. Look at JOSHUA 24:18; 21; 24.

                                  b. This is what I consider true success, that we can not only follow the Lord ourselves, but that we can lead other to the Lord Jesus Christ.

                                           i. When we're following the Lord in this manner then success in the natural realm will follow.

                                           ii. That's seeking 1st the kingdom of God, then all these things will follow.

     II. Joshua was a man of vision.

              A. He had the ability to see beyond what faced him & to see the greatness of his God.

                        1. To have vision means, "To see beyond ordinary sight, to perceive a revelation or glimpse beyond the natural world."

              B. Look at PRO 29:18

              C. Vision takes on 2 vital aspects.

                        1. 1st, it is vision of our redemption.

                                  a. Joshua had the confidence that God would fight for them.

                                  b. That he (God) would be their deliverer from every nation.

                                  c. Likewise, you & I must see the redemption that Jesus bought for us

                                           i. He made us sons of the living God. He's given us a position with God & dominion over the power of darkness.

                                           ii. You can look beyond the temporal to the eternal.

                                           iii. That's exactly what the Word says we are to do.

                                           iv. (2 COR 4:18) Says, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen {are} temporal; but the things which are not seen {are} eternal."

                                  c. We need to have vision.

                                           i. We can look beyond our weaknesses to His strength. Beyond sickness to His health. Beyond lace to His abundance.

                                           ii. With a vision of Christ's victory, we can take on victory.

                        2. 2 COR 2:14

                                  a. One translation says, "But thanks be to God who leads me on from place to place in the train of His triumph, to celebrate His victory over the enemies of Christ; & by me sends forth the knowledge of Him, a steam of fragrant incense, throughout the world."

                                  b. As your vision of redemption increases, so does your victory, just as Israel's confidence increased as they began to see the Lord's plan for their lives. (Part of that is seeing who they were, having that vision of what is theirs in the Lord.)

                        3. As we said, Vision takes of 2 vital aspects.

                                  a. The 1st being a vision of our redemption.

              D. The 2nd being a vision of direction.

                        1. Israel wandered aimlessly for 40 years, not really knowing God's direction for their lives.

                        2. The people lived from day to day without understanding the purpose for their lives.

                                  a. (I think this shows us something very interesting. The children of Israel had God's presence. They had the cloud & the pillar of Fire. Yet, they had no vision.)

                                  b. We too can have God's presence in our live or even sensing his presence when we come to church, & still not have a vision.

                                  c. . Israel had no vision.

                                           i. A result of having no vision the people became subject to discontent.

                                  d. Without a vision, we too can wander in uncertainty.

                                           iii. When a person has no vision for the direction in which God is leading, it is easy to slip into discouragement.

     III. In fact, in the verse that says, "Where {there is} no vision, the people perish," the word "perish" means "to loosen, (make) naked, & set at nought."

              A. In other words this verse means, "Where there is no vision, dream, or pursuit of God's plan, people become loose, undisciplined, & discouraged."

                        1. When Joshua took control of the nation of Israel, the people began to see that when they remained close to God, the land of their dreams came within their grasp.

                                  a. When you begin to perceive the vision that God places before you, a hunger & desire to remain close to God will emerge.

                                  b. It's good to have visions, goals, & plans for your life, but what's even better is to have God's vision, & plan for your life.

                        2. The vision of the new land is what kept Joshua alive.

                                  a. It was God's promise & he would not rest until he conquered all & dwelt within that vision.

                                  b. It provided direction for his life.

                                  c. God wants his direction in your life.

                                           i. It might be a vision to spend more time in prayer, it might be a vision for your business, your home, or your ministry.

     IV. As we have God's vision for our lives, we not only possess the land, but we also possess complete liberty: spirit, soul, & body.

              A. JAMES 4:7

                        1. As we begin to submit ourselves to God, through His vision, His plan, His direction, you put yourself in a place where you can resist the Devil.

                        2. The enemy will try to regain the land that he lost.

                                  a. That's why it's so important that we keep God's vision before us.

                                  b. The children of Israel declared to Joshua, "The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey." (JOSH 24:24)

                                           i. That's quite a difference from what they said to Moses years before.

                                           ii. You need to have a vision.

                                  c. This church has a vision. It's a vision to see the lost saved, to see Christians grow to maturity in the Lord. To see God's people worshiping Him.

                                  d. It's a vision to see our people be on fire for God. If all you have left is a spark, then it's my vision to fan that spark, & turn it into a flame.

                                           i. It's my vision for all of us to have that zeal for God.

                                  d. If you have a zeal for God you're going to pray.

                                           i. If you have a zeal for God you're going to be a worshiper, ...praiser, ...going to witness, if you have a zeal for God you're going to talk about Him & talk about His Word.

                                           ii. Jesus said in (REV 2:4) "I have {somewhat} against thee, because thou hast left thy first love."

                                           iii. Your 1st love & zeal goes hand & hand.

                                  e. Listen to what Jesus in (REV 2:4-5), "I have {somewhat} against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. (5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent."

                                           i. Who ever said the honeymoon is over?

                                           ii. How long have you been born Again? 50 years

                                           iii. A thousand years is as a day. You haven't even been joined to the Lord a day. How can it be over?

                                  f. As a matter of fact, the honeymoon hasn't even begun yet.

              B. How are we to regain our zeal?

                        1. Jesus said, "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen."

                                  a. Remember what it was like before you lost that 1st love.

                        2. Then He says, "Repent." Turn away from complacency.

                        3. Then the 3rd thing that he says to is "Do the first works."

                                  a. That means to take up again that zeal you had when you were 1st born-again.

WOFCC SUN AM 2/30/92

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