Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February 10, 2016

So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there.  The Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemies into their hands. Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; everyone was fulfilled.”  Joshua 21:43-45

The Book of Joshua can be summarized in three words: power, presence and possession.

Joshua remembered how God’s power had brought them to the banks of the Jordan ready to cross over to Canaan, the Land of Promise. It gave him courage to believe the God Who had led them out of Egypt and had led them through the wilderness would now lead them in to Canaan.

As he gained encouragement and strength from remembering God power he encouraged God’s people by reminding them of all God had done!

It was God’s power demonstrated in the plagues that finally broke down the Pharaoh’s resistance so he agreed to let God’s people go.

God’s power opened the Red Sea to deliver His people and then closed it to destroy their enemies.

God’s power provided nourishing manna every morning for 2,000,000 people over 40 years in a wilderness.

God’s power brought water from a rock when His people were thirsty!

And’s power wouldn’t wane when they entered into Canaan!

Do you believe in God’s power?

Do you know God’s power?

Do you depend on God’s power?

As amazing as God’s power is there’s something far better than His power and that’s His presence because when you have His presence you also have His power!

Moses knew God’s presence like few others who ever lived. Joshua coveted God’s presence and sought it for himself and his people.

The presence of God dwelt on the Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant between cherubs’ wings. That was the visible symbol of God’s presence that always went before His people wherever they went.

It was the presence of God that led Moses and the people in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. It was a desire for His presence that led to the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness.

God’s presence was the purpose of the Promised Land! It was there they could worship Him and know Him and serve Him in peace! He would be their rest!

Is God’s presence welcome in your life?

Is He real and precious in your life?

Can others recognize His presence in your life?

Through God’s power and His presence the Hebrews would possess the land promised to Abraham of old. Which, by the way, raises another inspiring truth – because of God’s power and God’s presence and God’s possession you can be sure He will deliver on His promises – every one every time!

God’s power and His presence and His possession as revealed in the Book of Joshua are the essence of His glory and the entrance to your Glory Days when you make them personal through your faith.

February 9, 2016

Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.” Joshua 1:6

Remember when you were a kid and you were afraid in the dark or the monsters under your bed? You would cry out for your parents and your mom came in to comfort you. She would turn the lights on and look under your bed to show you there was nothing to fear. Her parting words as she tucked you back in and shut the lights off were, “Be brave, there is nothing to fear.”

How did that work out?

One of the hardest things to do is to not be afraid when you are fearful.

So, how does that happen? Ah……they never told you that did they?

As I read the first verses of Joshua 1 my mind went back to those childhood moments of trying to overcome my fears. God sounded a lot like your parents or mine when they told us to get a handle on our fears except for the fact that he got over his fears while we struggled with ours.

We know the rest of the story therefore we know Joshua DID find courage to lead God’s people to victory after victory as they conquered Canaan. What can we learn from how he overcame his fear?

Joshua remembered what God had done for His people in the past. He was aware that they best predictor of what someone may do in the future is what that someone did in the past.

Joshua saw the miracles God did when He led them out of Egypt. And he remembered how God had delivered

From the mighty Egyptian army by closing the Sea back on them after He had opened it for them. God led them with a cloud during the day and a pillar of fire at night, gave them manna every morning and water in a desert land.

As He remembered the mighty acts of God and as he reasoned that God is the same yesterday, today and forever he concluded that what He had done before He could (AND WOULD) do it again!

But not only did Joshua remember but he also received what God had for him – faith, hope, courage, wisdom, blessing and vision. Don’t think Joshua never experience fear. He was dedicated but he wasn’t dead! Rather than allow fear to rise in his heart he chose to receive faith from God.

Fear is a choice. So is faith. Whichever you receive will shape your reality. Like Moses before him Joshua received faith and rejected fear!

Are you struggling with fear right now?

It may not be monsters under your bed or a dark room, but fear is real and it will lead you to a dark place where you don’t want to be.

Don’t make the mistake of believing Joshua never struggled with fear. Fear was real in his world, too, but when it tried to arise in him he rejected it. Instead, he chose to remember the God He served and received faith to overcome his fear.

What worked for Joshua will work for you! When fear threatens you, remember the God you serve and receive His presence, peace and power!