God with us in Crossing the Jordan River
Joshua 1: 1-18
3rd March 2019
With Peter Veysie
George Methodist Church
8am and 10am
- Discern God’s voice.
1: 1 The Lord said to Joshua. It is interesting to me that Moses had mentored Joshua in the understanding of when it was God’s voice and when it was not. He had built up an understanding of this, which came from an intense time – escape from slavery and 40 years in the desert. He had been in the ‘school of hearing’ for a long time. So often I will hear people saying that God spoke to them. I have never heard the audible voice of God, but I certainly know when there is a direction from God and when it is not from Him. I do feel that I have the gift of discernment and know that often there are prophecies and words which seem to be said to have come from the Lord but they are not.
A long journey with Moses led Joshua to understand that this was the Lord speaking to him. Sometimes you need to journey a bit with the Lord to really discern His voice – Walking with the Lord.
- Understand the promise of destiny.
1:3 “I will give you every place where you set your foot.”
Again, Joshua is given a promise of destiny as he moves into Canaan. Remember that this place was not like an empty home waiting to be inhabited. There were people in the land of promise and they were nicely settled. It was not without a battle and a struggle that God was going to give him land that ‘he set his foot upon.’ We need to also see how this has been taken out of context – where the ‘name it and claim it’ theology becomes a sick manipulation of God’s Word. Remember that God is always about the business of love and He will work in ways to bring peace ultimately. It will remain His land and not ours as well. Don’t underestimate this wisdom.
3.Make sure you have been mentored and have mentors.
1:5b “As I was with Moses so I will be with you – I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
It is a reassuring thing to know that you are not alone and we need that reassurance often. It is also for us to be reminded that we are on a mission for the Lord and not on our own mission. Joshua was in the footsteps of his mentor Moses and was reassured of this fact. As you move into a God thing you need to know that you are not alone, but you also need to have strong mentors around you so that you know that you are going in the right direction. Joshua had Caleb going into the promised land with him. He was not alone. Who is your mentor as you take on the things of God? Jesus even brought people around him to share the vision. He was not alone.
- Be strong and courageous X 4. 6,7,9,18
It is interesting to me that God told Joshua four times to be strong and courageous. I think it was because of the fact that he showed humility and his own inadequacies. It is so important as a leader (of anything) to not be too ‘in control’ but to be dependent on the Holy Spirit. I like to see the heart of leaders being humble. It is important that they also are aware of their own failures. God uses us despite our weaknesses and our failures and yet still says be strong and courageous – not in your own strength but in the strength which He brings.
- Do not let this book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything in it.
I really feel as we learn from Joshua today, that the most powerful way to stay in tune with God is to spend time with Him. This means a dedicated time of prayer, reading and meditation. We are surrounded by so many distractions. Have a dedicated place also where you will meet with God and keep to the same place. It is amazing how much discipline we need to do this. I have a place in the lounge and an early time to spend with the Lord and in doing this, I hope and pray that He is still speaking to me. Find a way also to make it exciting in asking God to show you something that you may not have seen before – probe it a bit. Use a SPADE – Setting People Action Direction Evaluate.
- Do something
“In three days from now you will cross the Jordan.”
When it comes to doing something for God, the time comes for us to put it into action. Having felt it strongly from God that you are needing to do something there is that action plan that needs to be put in place. Nike JDI
- The Lord your God is giving your rest.
This might sound strange at this point, but I think that it is a very common thing that if you are clear about what God wants you to do you sleep better and you get into a place of rest. It is so much a part of who God is, that rest is not ‘slothing’ around and doing nothing, but rather understanding that you don’t have to work it out anymore – God has given you direction.
- The people buy into it.
It is so easy to get caught up in our own mission and not find out as to whether there is ‘buy-in’ from everybody else. We need to see that as Joshua shared the vision and made it clear, the people were then right behind him. Verse 16 “whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go.” This was not just because Joshua was renowned as a good leader, but rather because of the fact that he showed attributes of humility and being led by the Spirit of God. People will go the extra mile when they know that they are involved in something which is hedged in by the Holy Spirit.
- Just as fully as we obeyed Moses so we will fully obey you, only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses.
We also need to be careful not to lose sight of the ball and the Spirit as we continue. We can be so busy doing God’s stuff that we forget why we are doing it.There is a word of accountability here where Joshua is held accountable by the people.
- The ‘buy-in’ was so strong that the people crossed the Jordan into the promised land where “giants” were lurking.
Our challenge is to understand that crossing over is difficult and there are still challenges in the “so-called” promised land, but cross we must. Maybe we need to ask ourselves today – What is our Jordan and what is stopping us from crossing it ?