First Church Sunday 23rd August 2020
“Joshua 1:1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, Joshua 1:2 “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Joshua 1:3 “Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.” (Joshua 1:1–3 NAS95)
Today I am going to speak on verse three, “every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses” or as the NIV puts it “I will give you every place where you set your foot, As promised to Moses.
Lockdown came and changed our lives. We were not allowed to be out and about. I have to tell you that I loved it at first. I enjoyed being at home. Yet, the work and the need to be creative and to put something for Sunday morning worship became a priority and still is.
I had to think fast, the fact that I trained as TV Director and Producer is a real blessing and yet sometimes a struggle, your eyes are trained to watch for the errors, the unseen!!
My time during lockdown became like living in the wilderness.
So what do you do in the wilderness? You look for water, you stroll, and you take shelter when you can, and you hope you find your way to the tracks that lead to safety! Every wilderness is different, and it brings its own challenges.
Yet for us, the people of Faith, the wilderness experience is something that we do not our own but with God. In the wilderness, we have God, he leads us, and he does it by his Word and his Spirit, and in this case, like Joshua with Promises.
So I want to say three things about this verse.
Promises: God’s Word comes to us as Promises.
He is the God of Promises, and His Word is definitive.
The Promises of God never changes; in fact, He does not change. What he says he will do, he does.
But his Promises are strong, foundational and they don’t change. His Promise is his Word to us! David understood this when he said:
“Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. Psalms 19:8 The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.” (Psalm 19:7–8 NAS95)
What is the Promise that God gave to Joshua? Well, technically, it was a promise that he made to Moses! Which is about to be fulfilled by Joshua!
“I will give you every place you set your foot.”
A great promise from God!
What is the challenge? That it is by Faith!
Faith. Every Word we receive from the Lord, whether it is by the Logos Word or the Rhema Word, it is always given by Faith and applied by Faith.
The book of Hebrews says that “… faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 NAS95)
The word “assurance us the Greek word for “Substance” and a substance has a unique kind of matter with uniform patterns!
That is interesting because wishful thinking does not have a substance as Faith does.
The reality of the Kingdom of heaven, which is unseen, is by necessity a reality that has substance, it has a pattern, that even though it is not seen with the physical eyes, it can be seen with our spiritual eyes, with the eyes of Faith.
God is alive; his reality and his spoken Word can create, he brings things into existence.
Faith is a powerful substance in the Kingdom.
What is the challenge of Faith?
It is not just that we cannot see it with our natural eyes, but we need Faith to please God. “And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV11-GKE)
The promises of God to us given by Faith are our legal rights.
It is fascinating to read and understand that Joshua before he set his foot on the promised land, was legally his!! A land that they have never walked before! It was theirs given by God’s decree. God said it!!
What is the challenge?
That the legal ownership of the Land was given before they experientially own it!!
Experience. Experiencing possession of the Land that you never walked upon can be full of adventures, exciting but also very challenging. Full of obstacles, full of enemies, uncertainty and by no means safe. It is a challenge! Joshua was told repeatedly to be courageous!
He needed to be.
I believe that for many of us, this was the experience of lockdown.
We have his Word, his Promises given to us by Faith.
How then, do we walk upon the Landscape of the unknown?
What do we need?
How do we do it?
Today I want to remind you all what God told Joshua.
That in Christ, we have possession of everything that the Lord has given us! We have the promise of eternal life, and we are heirs of his Kingdom and ambassadors of Christ. We have dominion and power, and we have his Presence in us and within us.
It is still time for us to recover, and reclaim was is legally ours!
I want you to hear from the Lord “I will give you every place where you set your foot, As promised to Moses, to Joshua, to David, to Paul, and now to us!!
If we don’t, we will not move from the wilderness experience, we will settle there, and it will be for another generation to enter the promised land.
Let us pray!!