Living out the Call
Have you ever created a really awkward moment?
When I was in middle school (Of course its in middle school I remember I had a part in our middle school theater play.
And for some reason the directer of this play who was a teacher wanted me to fill a pretty large role in this play.
And there was this one scene where it was supposed to be about 15 minutes of me and this other guy just talking back and forth talking.
And I remember I was so nervous that I would mess up that I ended up choking bad.
This 15 minute scene turned into a two minute scene because I forgot almost all of my lines.
And those two minutes made zero sense
and to make it even more awkward since the next scene wasn't suppose to happen for another 13 minutes no one was ready to go on.
So there was this long gap in the play where nothing happened.
So basically I destroyed the Windsor Knolls middle school play in Maryland.
and you know when I look back at why it happened the reason was mainly because there was this huge role I was supposed to fill and I saw it and was so nervous I flopped.
But you know in our walk with God so often the same thing happens.
Because God calls us to do amazing things.
But so often we see this huge roll or this life that God has asked us to live and we get so nervous or intimidated that we feel like we cant move
And what will often happen is we fall short of where God desires us to be!
And so today what we are talking about is how can we cary out God’s call on our life.
Whether that is to be in a relationship with Him
Whether it is to go to another country
be a doctor, be a pastor,
Whatever it is.
And so as I mentioned earlier this is the start of our new series “Into the Unknown” and really in this series we are going through the first few chapters of the book of Joshua where the people of Isreal are getting ready to enter into the promise land.
And they know they have this place that God has called them but if you look at everything that sperates them from this place there are huge barriars.
So we will be looking at how God can make a way in the middle of this.
So we are going to be in Joshua 1:1-9
and this first part is looking at the call that is placed on a guy named Joshua which is to lead the people to this place that seems impossible.
So once again we are in Joshua 1:1-9
And we are starting in the first two verses
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.
So the first thing I want you to notice is Moses who was the leader before Joshua passes away.
And so there is a vacancy where someone needs to step into the roll of being the leader of these people.
but you know almost every call in our life is the result of a vacancy.
There something that God is wanting to accomplish and God loves to use people to accomplish it
And so often God will call us to do something by realizing there is a need.
You know in our basic walk with God it starts by us realizing there is a need.
If you have ever felt like God wanted you to help someone who was struggling it probably started with you recognizing a need and then God placed it as a burden on your heart.
God’s call will typically start with a need.
But your probably thinking well wait a minute there are a lot of needs.
But in verse one I love it because it mentions how Joshua was Mosses assistant.
Basically for Joshua this was a no brainer because God equipped him for this need.
And there is this need and now God is calling him to do this.
and there are times where God will call us to do something that we are in no way prepared for,
But a lot of times God says look I have gifted you to fill this need.
You know if you remember about a year ago that the pavilion in the back was falling down
and we actually had someone who was gifted with construction say I see the need and I want to fix it.
If I fixed it the paviliion would look worse then how it was.
But I can guarantee God has laid a need or a vacancy on your heart, and you might be saying why is no one doing something about this.
And God is saying I want you to!
And look at this promise that God gives Joshua in verses 3 and 4 because it says
3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory.
God gives this amazing promise and he says wherever you step that land is yours.
thats the condition, if you step somewhere that land is yours.
And he list all of these places and Joshua had to be amazed. by this.
But whats amazing is if you fast forward to the end of Joshua’s life they only took 1/10th of the places God mentioned.
and we do not know exactly why this is
Maybe Joshua did not believe God’s promise
maybe the people became content
We do not know exactly why
But all of this to say I do not want to be a person that only lives out 1/10th of the call God has placed on my life
I mean if you have ever been to a party where the pizza is cut into 10 slices to make sure everyone gets a slice and you only get one piece.
Its a little sad right? and if we get sad about getting one tenth of a pizza we should probably be sad about living 1/10th of God’s calling in our lives.
God wants us to live into his full calling on our lives and so God actually tells Joshua “look this is how you can carry out your call and make the biggest impact possible for God.
and God gives him three things
And these three things are still so relevant for us today.
So the very first thing God says is remember how I moved in the past because in verse 5 it says:
“Just as I was with Moses so I will be with you”
I want you to think about this Joshua was born a slave in Egypt and he actually saw with his own eyes God deliver His people, part the red sea and all of these other amazing miracles that we read about in the Bible.
and so what God is telling Joshua is huge because He is saying remember how I moved in the past and how I was faithful?
I am going to continue to move that way in the future.
Basically I was faithful then and I will be faithful now and in the future.
Its like if you rode on an airplane for the first time you are almost always convinced that the wings are going to give out at almost any point
but the second time you are pretty sure its not going to happen and the more you ride on it the more comfortable you feel on an airplane.
And for us it is so important for us to recall how God has moved in the past because it gives us confidence that He will be faithful in the future.
Look at the next part because the second thing God tells Moses is to stay on track
look at verse 7 and 8… it says:
Joshua 1:7–8 (ESV)
7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
So basically Gods is saying “okay Joshua if you want to fulfill the full calling I am giving you then you need to live the way you are called to and not get distracted or put off course by sin.
You know the Israelites that were following Moses got distracted and because of it, it turned what should have been an 11 day journey to the place God was calling them into a 40 year journey.
So God is telling Joshua do not get distracted and go against what you have been called to do.
You need to stay focused
You know basket ball players get this because if you have ever watched college basketball during a free throw everyone is trying to distract the player shooting a free throw
And they get really creative.
And they know they have to block it out and stay focused to make the shot.
And its the same with where God has called us, and thats why the passage says do not turn your head to the right of left but stay focused.
And It says to meditate on what God has instructed day and night.
And I have to give you a warning because this word meditate is disgusting, because whoever wrote this is using it as a word picture
And really in the Bibles original language the word for meditate is similar to the way certain animals eat.
And it is referring to the way animals eat food and then regergate it back up and then swollow it again and they keep doing it to get the most nutirents out of it
I told you it is disgusting.
But it is saying this is what I want you to do with the word of God.
Go so deep in it so that you get as much possible from how God is leading you.
Okay are you ready for the last thing?
Because the last point to live into the full calling God has given you is to be strong and courageous.
Look at verse 9:
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
You know whenever someone tells you to be strong and courageous, chances are the reason is because what you are about to face is going to either be hard or scary
Joshua he saw how God moved in the past but he also saw the challenges they faced and he had to be nervous.
and realistically we can guess he was a little scared about this call.
Even if you are equipped often times God’s plans for our lives are either scary or they might be difficult because we might know the destination, but God will often reveal the way there one step at a time.
so the in-between parts are scary.
But in the middle of this it says do not be frightened or dismayed, because God is with you wherever you go.
You know I heard another pastor say this, but Joshua he is considered one of the greatest leaders of all time.
But the reason he is, is not because of himself,
but the reason he is a great leader, is because he knew God was a great God
And while this mountain or hill you see might be to big for you, it is not too big for your God.
And let me close on this because it says that He goes with us wherever we go.
So this morning some of us might be pretty close to where God wants us
and others we might be further, but we have a God who goes with you wherever you are.
And that God knows the challenges you are facing
He knows the addiction you have
He knows the call on your life
He knows the things separating you from that call
And He wants you to live full into the call He has given you.
What would happen if you stopped focusing on yourself and kept saying I can’t do this and started focusing on God.
Because he is calling you to to a place whether that is spiritually or physically.
But you have to decide if you want to live into that.
Will you pray with me?