“LIVING UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL! Conclusion!

These trees are robbing us of growth in our Christian life and taking us away from spiritual activity. Let’s fight off these giants that keep us from reaching God’s potential in our lives.

WATCH THE PLEA VERSE 16.

The tribe of Manasseh cried out, “we want more land, but the Canaanites are more than we can handle.”

Sounds like some of us, we want more but are not willing to fight or dig in the trenches for it. We say, “I can’t get victory in my life because the enemy (flesh) is too strong for me.” But, what did God say, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13.

Yes, we can have victory over the flesh, but only through Christ.

NOW, HERE IS THE PROMISE VERSES 17-18.

I love the final challenge Joshua made. “You are a great people who have great power. The mountain will be yours and all the surrounding area. You will drive out the Canaanites. The chariots of iron may be strong, but you are stronger and greater and you can do it. Simply drive out the enemy and take your possession. You can live to your potential and capacity. Just drive out the enemy. Lay the axe to the trees, take possession and you will have power, strength for every temptation; grace for every trial; power for every difficulty.” Enlarge your potential – capacity. How?

  • Faithful service.
  • Consistent prayer.
  • Spirit filled Bible study.
  • Love for the lost.
  • Compassion for others.
  • Sacrificial giving.

All these will help you and I live to God’s potential for us.

“LIVING UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL!” Part 2

Notice these people who had such a great opportunity, and yet failed to live up to their potential.

LOOK AT THEIR PROBLEM VERSES 12-13.

The land of promise was already theirs, yet they failed to live up to their potential, why?

  • Because they could not drive out their enemy.

The Canaanites dwelt in the land and controlled that portion they inhabited. Manasseh was too weak to drive them out. They had been promised God’s power, but had not yet experienced it.

Tragedy: with many Christians today the enemy of the flesh and the world occupies their life which makes them too weak to drive out the enemies.

  • Because they would not drive out their enemy.

They became stronger, yet had become accustomed to the enemy and tolerant of them. What a lesson for us! So many times Christians become stronger in the Lord yet have become insensitive to sin and tolerate worldly habits and practices, which eventually weaken them. They begin to justify their sin and say, ‘I can handle it.’ In other words, “I can control my sin.” We need to drive out all the enemies if we want God’s full potential in our lives.

SEE THEIR PRIDE VERSE 14.

Notice how pride filled their hearts. They felt they deserved more than one lot because of their greatness. Watch it!

Many want more and have become discontent with what they have and say, “Lord, I deserve more than this.”

Spiritual pride and coveting often robs people of living up to the fullest potential. Use what you have now and God will give you more.

NOTICE JOSHUA’S PROPOSAL VERSE 15.

Joshua responds somewhat sarcastically and gives his proposal: if you want more land, go out and claim it. Go to the forest area and cut down some trees in the land of the Perizzites, the land of the giants. Often God does the same with us, He may make us go back to our original giants and clear them out, if we failed to do so the first time.

Joshua was not about to hand them the land on a silver platter and the lesson for us is that we too need to lay the axe to our trees and make room for growth. The tree of TV, friends, music, etc.

TO BE CONCLUDED TOMORROW!

“LIVING UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL!”

Joshua 17:12-18

It has been said that most people only use about ten percent of their brain capacity. Two important things to consider:

  • Most of us do not develop our spiritual and mental capacities to our fullest potential.
  • Most of us do not develop and use our physical bodies to the fullest potential.

Now, having said that I believe all would agree we only use a small amount of our abilities. You could be a marathon runner or a great athlete, but if you do not exercise right; eat nutritious food and get enough rest. The result is that this athlete will not live up to his fullest potential.

The great tragedy is that most Christians today are not living up to their potential in spiritual or physical life, and all due to the lack of spiritual or physical exercise.

It is bad enough to neglect the physical, and emotional life but even worse to neglect the spiritual. As a matter of fact, it is my belief that sub-normal living has become the norm.

I’ll prove it to you: anybody living the normal Christian life today is considered abnormal. So, the question today is, are you living up to your Christian potential?

Back to our text: Israel had victoriously entered into the promised land of Canaan, and in the following chapters Joshua deals with principles of possessing the Promised Land.

Each tribe had been given a place and portion of the land of inheritance, and now all they had to do is to march and claim it.

In chapter eighteen we see that right in the middle of the Promised Land is Ephraim and the Tabernacle was set up as a reminder to all that the Lord God was in the midst of them.

What a blessed promise and truth for us today, I am with you and I will never leave you nor forsake you. Christ wants us to realize that He must be in the very center of our Christian life. Even with the tribes of Manasseh and Ephraim realizing the Lord’s blessed presence and His promises they still failed to live up to their potential, because of disobedience.

CONTINUED TOMORROW!

“ATTACK!” Conclusion!

Please read Joshua 8:1-29 again.

I believe that is exactly the reason the Bible commands us to pray “without ceasing.” When we cease to pray we will let our guard down, and attempt to win by our own methods. 

We need to be suited in the Armour of prayer to fight the battle. How?

  • Be involved in Wednesday Evening prayer service.
  • Start praying specifically in some kind of a prayer group.

WE NEED POWER IN SOUL-WINNING!

The best way to defeat the devil is to win a soul to Christ. We need power in our soul-winning. (Give personal soul-winning illustrations).

  • Power in our private soul-winning. Whenever God gives the opportunity.
  • Power in our public soul-winning. Church organized soul-winning.=

WE NEED A PRACTICING FAITH! 

That is, believing while in the midst of the battle, or deliverance in midst of a storm.

We need to fight the battle of faith: God has given us several methods whereby to fight by faith all the way to victory:

Look again at verses 3-5, 14-19, 21, 25-26.

  • By ambush: we are to ambush the devil. Judges 7:16-22.
  • By surprise attack: attack the devil without warning, but never without a plan.

Let me say in closing that we are in a battle of faith, a spiritual battle, and God has given us the victory; all we have to do is to claim it by faith, attack!

“ATTACK!” Part 2

The way I see it, that is the problem with our wars in recent, too many politicians not listening to the Generals.

Napoleon did more than win battles; he gave France laws which for the most part still endure. Until, of course President Chirac came into power.

Let me say that God has enlisted us to fight the good fight of faith for Him. We have to do more than resist the devil, but again, we must launch an all-out attack.

The Armour and weapons of our warfare are all offensive, not defensive weapons. So, what can we do to launch this all-out attack on our enemy; the devil?

WE NEED PRAYER IN SERVICE VERSES 1-2!

This is where Joshua failed in the battle of Ai the first time in chapter seven.

In this battle, God encourages Joshua to attack, with the assurance of success, and directs him what method to take, 

“The Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not.” By the implementation of justice on Achan in chapter seven, the wrath of God was turned away, the children of Israel were reassured, defeat was succeeded by victory; and the case of Ai gives us an example of God’s chastisements for sin, and how they are often made to pave the way for greater victories in the future.

Joshua, who had been greatly discouraged, but was  encouraged by a special promise given to him in Joshua 1:6, “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them,”  and Deuteronomy 31:6-8).

“Take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai.” The number of fighting men amounted to six hundred thousand, and the whole force was ordered into battle. The rest of the people, including the women and children, stayed in the camp at Gilgal.

 “I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land … lay thee an ambush for the city.” God assured Joshua of Ai’s defeat, but allowed him to follow his own tactics in achieving the victory.

TO BE CONCLUDED TOMORROW!

“ATTACK!”

Please read Joshua 8:1-29

Today we hear much about “attack,” not only by way of the Iraq, Afghanistan and ISIS war, but also among politicians.

According to Webster’s Dictionary “attack” means to begin to perform, to undertake, to enter upon. It is also the offensive part of a contest as; “his attack was better than his defense.”

Let me say that to fight the devil we cannot just resist him, but we must launch an all-out attack.

Napoleon was asked, “what are three most important things necessary to fight in a war: money, money and money. In warfare men are nothing, a man is everything.”

Today it is more like: money, machinery, and men. But, to the Christian it is:

  • The Armour – his protection.
  • The Sword – his source of fighting.
  • The Spirit – his source of power.

Napoleon, in addressing his soldiers after victory over Milan said, “Yes, soldiers, you have done much, but remains there nothing more to do? Shall it be said of us that we knew how to conquer, but not how to make use of victory? Well then, let us set forth we have still forced marches to make, enemies to subdue, laurels to gather, injuries to revenge. Let those who have sharpened the daggers of civil war in France, who have basely murdered our ministers and burnt our ship at Toulon, TREMBLE!”

That’s probably the last time France caused any other nation to tremble, ha. But, notice what else he said:

“The whole art of war consists of a careful and well-thought out defensive, together with a swift and bold offensive. The art of war (he said at the beginning of his career) consists, with inferior forces, in always having larger forces than the enemy at the point of attack or defense.”

To win a war, Napoleon summed up everything by these words: “no precise rules can be laid down, everything depends on the character of the General, his abilities, his weaknesses weather and a thousand other circumstance which never repeat themselves.”

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!

“Jesus and The Bible Go Together! Conclusion!

Proverbs 28:9, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.”

THE BIBLE HAS MUCH TO DO WITH YOUR POWER!

Jeremiah 23:29, “Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?”

Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Here is an important truth: if you do not love the Bible, you probably will not love Jesus.

That brings us to the last important truth:

THE BIBLE HAS MUCH TO DO WITH YOUR JOY!

Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.”

Psalm 16:11, “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

Read Psalm 119:9-16; Psalm 19:7-14.

Jesus and the Bible go together because the Bible has much to do with:

  • SALVATION
  • FAITH
  • PRAYER
  • POWER
  • JOY

But, notice that we started with salvation!