Joshua 1-4, Psalm 65
The Book of Joshua tells the story of the Israelites taking possession of the Promised Land. Though some see this as a picture of the believer entering heaven, it is probably more accurate to see it as us entering the Spirit-filled life. In Heaven, there will be no wars, but in the Promised Land there will be a continual struggle. Once we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we must move forward in the Spirit-filled life and go to war against our flesh, the world, and the demonic world which will seek to hinder us in becoming all that God desires for our life. Paul writes of this internal war within the heart of the believer in Galatians 5:17, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” John also writes of this in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
We have all seen our share of war movies. In these movies, there is a strategy, practice maneuvers, motivational talks, etc. But notice the battle plan of Joshua. In Joshua 1:8, the strategy is stated, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” In Joshua 1:5 and 1:9, they are told that God would be with them every step of the way. In Joshua 3:5, before embarking on their journey, we read, “And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you”.” So their strategy was to abide in the Book of the Law, now their preparation for battle was to sanctify themselves, or set themselves apart for holiness. Lastly, they had to be active participants. The priests had to step out in faith into the Jordan River, bearing the Ark of the Covenant, in Joshua 3:13-16. God miraculously stopped the waters in the Jordan River after the people responded in faith to His command.
Repenting of our sins and accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is the first step in the life of the believer. Our strategy is clearly stated in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Just as the Israelites were commanded to meditate continuously on the Book of the Law, we are to continually abide in His Word. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus tells His disciples the same thing, as the Israelites were told in Joshua 1:5,9, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” We can step out in confidence knowing that we have a God who promises to always be with us. We too must not be spectators, but be active participants in the Spirit-filled life, if God is going to use us. There is a world out there which needs to hear the message of the Gospel. Jesus commands us to actively participate in His plan in Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Prepare yourselves for battle as Joshua did, and see all that God has truly planned for your lives. Paul emphasizes this in 1 Corinthians 9:26-27, “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley: