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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
This past weekend, we kicked off the new year with a new series, “Taking Ground: A Study Through Joshua.” In this first message, Pastor Doug shared from Joshua 1 as Joshua is appointed leader of the people of Israel and given an amazing encouragement by God. We also explored how both God’s command and His promise to Joshua apply to us!
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
God Has to Prepare Us to Receive His Promises (Joshua 1:1–2): There are many promises made to us by God in the Bible; there are also likely promises the Lord has directly spoken into your life. Here are two things we must always remember, though, as it pertains to receiving God’s promises: 1) You have to receive a promise by faith, trusting in Him, the Promise Maker, and 2) You have to be prepared to receive His promises.
The Israelites experienced 400 years of preparation in Egypt as slaves before being delivered. Then, there was a 40-year period of preparation in the wilderness, wandering and waiting before they entered the Promised Land. We all have our Egypt seasons and our wilderness experiences. And sadly, some of us spend our entire life in the wilderness, surviving without thriving, wandering without experiencing the promise of God, without experiencing the victory of God. Why? Because we aren’t willing to fight for the victory.
And here’s the thing about the victorious life that believers often fail to realize: God promised us victory, but He hasn’t promised us victory without battle. As believers, we have already received ultimate victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ, and we will experience it when we die. But if we’re not careful, we will miss out on experiencing the abundant, victorious life here and now that God promised and Jesus came to give us if we don’t fight the daily battle for it.
God’s Promise Is Greater Than Your Capacity (Joshua 1:3–5): For the people of Israel, victory is assured. This wasn’t because Joshua was a great leader or because Israel was a great nation . . . it was because God is a great God!
Do you have a big dream? Has God put something seemingly crazy and way too big on your heart? Good! Honor that call on your life and go for it in His power and fight for it. He is bigger and greater than the immensity of the dream, and He is stronger than the struggle to achieve it.
Remember, Canaan was a place of war; in the same way, we are in enemy territory, we are in a battle every day. And while it may be easier to sit, wait, and do nothing than to fight, to wander and survive as opposed to getting out of your comfort zone and following the Lord into the unknown, it will never lead to a life of true joy, purpose, and satisfaction. We’ll miss out on all that God has for us.
Pursuing God’s Promise Requires Courage (Joshua 1:6–9): God says to Joshua three times in this passage, “Be strong and of good courage.” Why? Because to be intimidated by the world (fear) is as fatal as being attracted to it (lust). Fear is cancerous; it grows and infects every part of us if we let it until it eventually paralyzes us.
So how do we do this? How can we be strong and of good courage? God tells us in this passage: 1) Believe in His promises (Joshua 1:6), 2) immerse yourself in His Word so that you may be able to live a life of godly prosperity (Joshua 1:7–8), and 3) trust that He is with you always, wherever you go, that He is fighting for you, and that He will carry you into the victory and prosperity He promised (Joshua 1:9).
Receiving God’s Promise Requires Obedience (Joshua 1:10–18): There is always a time gap between deliverance and abundance. In that gap, obey! Obedience looks like faithfulness in both the big and the small things (Luke 16:10). We can’t expect to live in the promises of God and experience the abundance of Christ if we’re not living in obedience to God and walking as Christ walked.
What are you doing today? You’ve been delivered from sin, you’ve been justified by the blood of Jesus, but are you walking in obedience and experiencing the victory? The victorious Christian life is a series of new beginnings, of ups and downs; it’s a daily battle. Maybe you haven’t been living in obedience, maybe you haven’t been experiencing abundance . . . there is still time. Start now! When you do, you’ll begin to see a difference. When you do, godly prosperity will take place. Maybe it won’t look like what the world deems as prosperity, but it will be better because it will be a true, deeply satisfying prosperity that can be found only in an obedient life of faith in Christ
Quote to Remember: If your dream doesn’t scare you, it’s not big enough.—Doug Sauder
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.
1. Has God made you a promise? Are you presently prepared to receive it?
2. God is not always gentle in preparing His leaders. How is he preparing you right now?
3. What are you fighting for in your life today?
4. One of the great temptations in life is to sit back and do nothing. What can you do to be strong and courageous?
5. What has God shown you in the past that can give you courage today?
6. The Bible tells us that “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much” (Luke 16:10 NIV). What are you doing to be obedient in the big and small things in life—in your words, deeds, habits, thoughts, and attitude?
Join us this Wednesday for a powerful panel discussion on the importance of a dedicated devotional life. You’ll also receive practical tips and best practices for creating a consistent habit of studying and meditating on God’s Word.
Then on the weekend, Pastor Chris Baselice of our Plantation campus will explore Joshua 2. Come discover how God used an unlikely hero like Rahab and how He can use you, no matter who you are or what you’ve done, to make a difference in the world.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.