At this month's beginning, my husband preached a message at our church entitled “Requirements for Victory” that I noted, not realizing how I would be called to apply these truths to my life in the same week and month to follow. I will share the five excellent sermon points which are clearly extracted from Joshua 24. I will follow with some questions for you that I am asking myself and some actions necessary for victory.
1. Be courageous [for God]. “And I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and ye came unto the sea; and the Egyptians pursued after your fathers
with chariots and horsemen unto the Red sea. And when they cried unto the Lord, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them; and your eyes have seen what I have done in Egypt: and ye dwelt in the wilderness a long season. And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you.”–Joshua 24:6-8
2. Cleave [to God]. “And I brought you into the land of the Amorites, which dwelt on the other side Jordan; and they fought with you: and I gave them into your hand, that ye might possess their land; and I destroyed them from before you. Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord.” –Joshua 24:8, 14
3. Choose [to serve God]. “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods
which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” –Joshua 24:15
4. Make a covenant [with God and others]. “And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the Lord. And Joshua said unto the people, Ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord, to serve him. And they said, We are witnesses. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel. And the people said unto Joshua, The Lord our God will we serve, and his voice will we obey. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem.” –Joshua 24:21-25
5. Create a memorial [to remember]. “And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God, and took a great stone, and set it up there under an oak, that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the Lord which he spake unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.” –Joshua 24:26-27
My Questions about the Battle
Does it seem you are chased by bad circumstances? Have you experienced deliberate attempts to hurt you or your family? Does the song ever come to mind, “One-two-three; the devil’s after me. Four-five-six, he’s always throwing sticks…” ? Do you feel trapped in a wilderness situation with little hope of change? Do you want to give up the fight?
Do you fear God or man? Whose words do you listen to- God’s or man’s? Whose expectations do you live by – God’s or man’s?
Who are you serving? What are you giving your life to? What decision have you made?
Have you made your choice known with a commitment to God? Have you shared your choice with anyone else? Is your choice so deep that you’ve made yourself accountable to others who have made the same covenant?
What stands witness of the choice you have made to remind yourself of your commitment? What legacy are you leaving your children to clearly know your choice? A marked turning point? A journal? A life well lived? A marked Bible? A gold ring? A wall hanging? A song? A stone?
Battle Actions & Bible Artillery
1. Take heart. Strengthen yourself in the Lord. Let God fight for you.
“That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;” – Ephesians 3:16 “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.” –Exodus 14:14 “O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.” –Psalm 140:7 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” –Joshua 1:9
2. Cling to Jesus.
–the only One Who will never fail or disappoint
–the One Who loves you more than you could understand
–the One Who gently guides and corrects our ways
–the One Who created you and purely desires to form your life to be beautiful like Him
–the One Who doesn’t love you less if you do not perform duty
–the One Who gave Himself for you in death and lives for you and is always present for you.
–the One Who offered pardon for your sin and grace for when you still sin
–the One Who knew humiliation, betrayal, reproach and feels your every infirmity
–the One Who has the exact prescription of grace needed available for your heart
“But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” –Joshua 22:5 “But cleave unto the Lord your God, as ye have done unto this day.” –Joshua 23:8
3. Choose God’s way. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His way is much better than we could imagine for ourselves.
“Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.” –Proverbs 1:28-30 “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:” –Deuteronomy 30:19
4. Voice your choice. Speak. Write. Share. Be accountable to a trusted Godly friend who will support your choice to serve the Lord. He designed us to encourage each other.
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” –II Timothy 2:2 “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” –Malachi 3:16
5. Create a tangible record of some sort to signify decisions made for God.
“And Moses and Eleazar the priest took the gold of the captains of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tabernacle of the congregation, for a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord.” – Numbers 31:54 “Then ye shall answer them, That the waters of Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord; when it passed over Jordan, the waters of Jordan were cut off: and these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel for ever.” –Joshua 4:7 “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name.” –Malachi 3:16