Tuesday, July 12, 2011

We Need More Champions


Joshua means Jehovah saves or Jehovah is Salvation. The Greek transliteration of this name is Jesus. (See Hebrews 4: 8). Joshua worked with Moses since the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai, He continued to be Moses’ assistant throughout the wilderness wanderings. (Exodus 24: 13) Joshua and Caleb were the only spies who favored conquering the land of Canaan despite the height of the people there. They were the only two of their generation that God permitted to cross the river Jordan. (see Numbers chapter 14 and Deuteronomy chapter 1)
Joshua 1: 1 After the death of Moses the Lord spoke to Joshua.
Moses was God’s set man, God always spoke to Moses, there was one defined leader who received his instructions from God then he delegated his authority. It wasn’t until after Moses’ death that God began to speak to Joshua and give him instructions, he was now God’s set man. So Joshua 1: 1 could read, After the death of Moses then the Lord spoke to Joshua. Joshua was now God’s set man to lead his generation.
Moses can represent the old way, the traditional way. After we allow the old traditional ways in us to die, then we can hear from God to receive His instructions for this generation.

Let’s take a look at Joshua 1: 1-6 Moses is dead and Joshua is instructed to take this generation and cross the Jordan. They are to break out of their boundaries and limits and possess the land God promised to their parents. Because their parents didn’t possess the faith to take the land , the promise still remained for whatever generation would have the faith to rise up and take the promise of God by force at the appointed time.
You see the promise of God was; "Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I have given to them…" God had already given them the land all they had to do to possess it was to rise up in faith and take it! This generation had wandered around in the wilderness and watched their parents, a disobedient and faithless generation, die out. Now it was their time, their day, their moment of destiny. All they had to do was have faith, faith in the God of the whole earth, faith in what He said, He was able to perform! You see God was giving them more than land He was giving them an opportunity to become champions of faith, giant slayers, land owners, history makers, world shakers and all they had to do was believe what God said!

     Joshua 1:1-6

1. After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' minister,
2. Moses My servant is dead. So now arise [take his place], go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land which I am giving to them, the Israelites.
3. Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses.

4. From the wilderness and this Lebanon to the great river Euphrates--all the land of the Hittites [Canaan]--and to the Great [Mediterranean] Sea on the west shall be your country.
5. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you..
6. Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

Take a look at Hebrews 3: 15, Then while it is [still] called today. If you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion [in the desert, when the people provoked and irritated and embittered God against them].
16. For who were they who heard and yet were rebellious and provoked [Him]? Was it not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?
17. And with whom was He irritated and provoked and grieved for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose dismembered bodies were strewn and left in the desert.
18. And to whom did He swear they would not enter into His rest, but to those who disobeyed [who had not listened to His word and who refused to be compliant or be persuaded]?
19. So we see that they were not able to enter [into His rest], because of their unwillingness to adhere to and trust in and rely on God [unbelief shut them out]. Amplified Bible
The book of Hebrews helps us to understand that God is in the business of making champions. He had already raised up Moses, a fugitive, a lone shepherd, seemingly a failure, and He sent him to champion a cause. Setting a whole nation free from oppression. And God did this through Moses by showing His signs and wonders to the whole world. When God used Moses all He needed was one man who had faith. When God met Moses in the desert Moses didn’t even have faith in himself, that’s a good place to start. Did you ever notice that as long as Moses thought he was the "big man" in Egypt, God didn’t even speak to him? But when he humbled himself in the desert tending sheep, that’s when God began to commune with him. The secret of a true champion is true humility. (That last statement could change your life forever if you take it to heart). The more He elevates you, the more you humble yourself, the more He lifts you up, the more you humble yourself, the more He enlarges you, the more you humble yourself, the more He increases you the more you humble yourself. And when you are small in your own eyes He’ll make you big in everybody else’s eyes. The bible says that Moses was the most humble man on the face of the earth. How did he get that way? Well, he didn’t start out like that, he was prideful, arrogant, full of himself to the point that he committed murder and expected to get away with it. But God had a destiny for him and had to hide him in the desert for forty years until he was no longer big in his own eyes but small enough for God to use him. So God introduces Himself to this lone shepherd by appearing in a burning bush. And Moses investigates a bush that is burning but not being consumed and recognizes that this must be the finger of God. And it’s at this place of recognizing God that God begins to show Moses that he has called him to be a champion.

Moses was a fugitive, banished from the only home he knew, Pharaoh’s Palace; and here he was alone in the desert, the man who was once in line to be the next Pharaoh, a god to the Egyptian nation, the mightiest empire in the world. Now do you see why God had to allow life to humble Moses? If you don’t humble yourself, I promise you life will humble you. Moses was so unsure of himself that he gave God the lame excuse of not being able to speak the Egyptian language fluently anymore. So God gave him his brother Aaron as his interpreter, his mouth piece.

Hebrews 11: 23-29 says, Prompted by faith Moses, after his birth, was kept concealed for three months by his parents, because they saw how comely the child was; and they were not overawed and terrified by the king’s decree.
When Moses came face to face with his destiny assignment it was faith in God that stood up in him and caused him to go in to the Pharaoh and say the Lord said "let my people go." That’s why the bible says train up a child in the way he/she should go and when he/she is old he/she will not depart from it. Moses was taught faith by his parents.
Moses a man of faith, a champion, had taken the children of Israel as far as he could take them and Joshua, his assistant, who had seen Moses’ faith in action, believes God and rises to do exploits. And he’s bringing a generation with him. Joshua must train a generation of champions. I believe that because this generation, the Joshua generation, saw their disobedient, unbelieving parents die in the wilderness they chose to believe God. Their decision to believe God put them in a zone, "the faith zone", the Hebrew writer called it "entering into God’s rest". Hebrews 3: 18 says, And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? Verse 19. So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 4: 1-3 says, Therefore since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He said: ‘So I swore in my wrath, "they shall not enter My rest,"’ although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

The works that were finished from the foundation of the world are our destiny assignments. When we recognize that God is, humble ourselves, and step into the "faith zone", we move from being ordinary men and women to champions.
Joshua was Moses’ assistant for forty years in the wilderness wandering and he learned his faith lessons well, through Moses his mentor

to be continued
I.    Joshua learns to live in the presence of God
II.   Joshua learns the importance of intercessory prayer
III.  Joshua learns to obey God, even if His commands do not seem to make sense
IV.  Joshua learns to switch when God says switch
V.   Joshua learns that with faith comes courage
VI.  Joshua learns The strategies of God are guaranteed to succeed
VII. Joshua learns to speak the "faith command"
VIII.Caleb inherits his land (he and Joshua are companions of champions)
IX.  Joshua fulfills his purpose
X.   Joshua raises up a nation of Champions who enter into God’s "faith zone" and find rest
Entering the Faith Zone