This morning as I write this lesson that God has placed upon my heart, I am humbled that God has chosen me to do this. I will not pretend to anyone that I have all the answers in life. Beloved, I do not, I’m learning everyday of my life and most of the lessons that God gives me, are things that He is teaching me as I teach them to you. I am a servant of the Most High and growing in faith every single day and I pray that never stops. No, I do not know everything, but what I do know is this, God does, and God is faithful and He will NEVER fail. What He says, He will do. What He places on your heart to do, He will make a way for you to do it and do it successfully! He can open doors that no one can close, and He can close doors that cannot be opened again unless He allows it. He tells us so many times in His word to trust and obey Him in all things. He has proven Himself over and over again. Today we will be looking at an event in God’s word where God asked His people to trust Him in a situation that they had never been through before and they were afraid but they did it anyway and God honored it. I know there are many of you going through things that you have never been through before and maybe you fear that you will fail or maybe it seems that you do not have the skill or the strength to do it. My family and I are going through a time like this right now. A situation that we have never been through before and it is very hard and very painful but God is teaching me this lesson and so I pray that those of you who are going through the same kind of experience will be encouraged and those of you who are not, know that you will in the future if you continue to grow in faith, and it is my prayer that you will remember it and that it will help you on your journey when you come to this place. I love you all, and I am honored to serve you with this writing for the Glory of God.
Handout: The Journey
Teacher's Guide: The Journey
We will be reading in the book of Joshua today beginning in the first chapter.
1Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying,
2Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.
3Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.
4From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
5There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
6Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest.
8This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Moses, the man who had been chosen by God to lead His people out of bondage, had died. He was loved by all the people of Israel and so when he died they grieved for about a month. (Deuteronomy 34:8) The bible tells us, they grieved for thirty days until the time of grieving was over. There are times in our lives, when we are at loss. Maybe the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a job, whatever it may be and there is a time of grieving. The grieving process is not pleasant but it is healthy and necessary. However, there is a time when the grieving time is over and we must go on and do what God has called us to do in our life time here on this earth. God will be with His children. His word tells us that He is a comfort to the broken hearted and that He is a refuge in times of trouble. (Psalm 23:4; Psalm 71:21)
Psalm 9:9 “The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.”
So the children of Israel had mourned for Moses and now it was time for them to move forward into the plans that God had for them. Their beloved leader was gone but God did not abandon them, He already had someone to step in to take the place of Moses. His name was Joshua. Now Joshua had been an aide to Moses for some time. I’m sure he did not know all that God had in store for him but God was raising him up this whole time to take the place as leader. He was about to step into his destiny. In the book of Exodus 33:11, we see that Joshua was with Moses in the tabernacle and that when Moses went back into the camp, Joshua remained. He was in training. If we are going to be successful on our journey, it is going to take some time and preparation. We are going to have to be willing to spend some time in God’s word and in prayer. We are going to have to be willing to obey God and to pray for wisdom and to keep our hearts open. When one begins a new job, there is a time of training. Everyone understands this. More importantly we must understand that in life, there is a time of training and we must be willing to learn and take the steps necessary to be successful.
God had promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that they would inherit the land. However, they would have to go get it. He told Moses, the land that your feet walk upon will be yours.
Deuteronomy 34:4 “And the LORD said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.”
Joshua 1:3 “ 3Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.”
Joshua 14:9 “And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God.”
God could have just said the land that you see will be yours, but He did not. He wanted them to step out by faith, on this journey with Him trusting and obeying Him so that they would receive the promise! There would be obstacles, there would be battles but God wanted them to learn to lean on Him and trust Him because He would win the battles for them but they were going to have to fight and put forth the effort and so are we. God has placed a promise out before us and we are going to have to step out on the journey with Him to reach it and the places our feet touch, God will bless and He will give it to us. He always…ALWAYS honors His promises.
Joshua had never been in this position before. I believe he was terrified! I believe this because in the first chapter of Joshua, the Lord tells him severl times, do not be afraid, do not fear, do not be terrified, be courageous. If Joshua was not afraid, why did God tell him not to fear? I believe fear had begun to creep in and that the enemy began to whisper in Joshua’s ear, you can not do this Joshua, you are not qualified. Joshua, you do not have the skills to do this, you are not educated enough, you are not wise enough, you are not strong enough. What will the people think? What will they do? Is that familiar to anyone? It sure is to me. Are you in a situation now that you KNOW God has placed you and you are terrified. Maybe you are afraid you will fail God. Know this Dear brother and sister in Christ, God will not fail you! When you do your best and when you step out on faith toward that promise, no matter what comes in your path, God will help you to overcome it if you do not give up! If God has called you to do a specific task, if He has placed you in a position, then He will give you success if you hold fast to Him. God does not fail and if you are holding to Him, you will not fail. You will succeed in that reason why God has placed you there.
Just like Joshua, God tells us, do not be afraid or dismayed because I am with you wherever you go! If God be for us, Hallelujah who can be against us! No enemy can conquer that which God has already won! Praise You Father! God is speaking to me right now I hope He is to you as well. You can do it beloved; God has planned this for you since before the foundations of the world!
So many times we feel afraid when it is time for change and we forget who our God is. We forget that His ways are not our ways. It is human nature to judge others based on how we ourselves are. When we start to do that with God we mess up. God is so far above us and anything He is leading you to do, He will do through you if you trust and obey. Your life was meticulously planned! Do you get that? Do you really grasp the thought God places into you?
Psalm 139:17-18 “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: When I awake, I am still with thee.”
Ephesians 1:4 “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation
of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love:”
Think about the planning. It is humbling to just realize how much God loves us and that He would put so much thought and care into our lives. We were created for His pleasure! What an honor that is! Scientists say they have never found any two snow flakes the same. Of course they cannot view them all, but many have been and there are physical reasons as to why they are mostly likely no two the same. Think about that. Tiny little snow flakes that fall to the ground among many other flakes. It melts away and is gone. We never think about it. Look at the photos of the magnified snow flakes on the handout along with this lesson and see the beauty and detail put into them. These are real snow crystals that fell to earth in Northern Ontario, Alaska, Vermont, the Michigan Upper Peninsula, and the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. They were captured by Kenneth G. Libbrecht using a specially designed snowflake photomicroscope. Notice the detail and beauty of each one. If God places so much care and thought into each tiny little snow flake, think of how much care and thought He places into you and I! That is mind blowing to me. We are precious to Him and He wants the best for our lives. If He has placed you and I in a new direction or position on The Journey, He will make sure we are victorious when we obey Him. We are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us!
You may be like Joshua; you may be in a situation that you have never faced before. You may be insecure and fearful, but know that God is saying to you, Dear Child I have called you. Do not be afraid; do not be dismayed because I am with you wherever you go.
We will stop here but we will continue God willing next week and learn the lessons in this wonderful story of The Journey. It is my prayer that you will be encouraged and blessed.
Dear Heavenly Father…
We bow before You yet again in praise and thanksgiving for who You are and all that You do for us. We thank You that we can always trust You. Lord I pray for everyone that is on a new journey with You. Father give us strength and courage to step out on faith everyday and know that You will not fail. Father thank You for calling us and for putting so much thought in to Your children. Help us to place our thoughts continually on You. You are The Most High and we love You and bow before You always. Father I pray today that You encourage Your children and Father bless and favor this ministry so that we can reach many for Your honor and glory. In the Mighty and Precious name of Your Son JESUS we pray. Amen.
October 30, 2016