Have you ever noticed that negative news seems to dominate the airwaves? Rarely is positive news reported by media outlets.
Here’s a thought, let’s focus on the positive rather than the negative! Maintaining a positive, optimistic attitude is a key to living victoriously. Focus your thoughts on what is admirable and what is pure, you will be better positioned to achieve your best and remain victorious in your Christian walk.
Paul wrote to the Philippians,
“From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.” Phil. 4:8 CEB
I began this new series last week examining principles from the life of Joshua, specifically from Joshua 1:1-11 to provide keys to living victoriously.
An entire generation of Israel wandered 40 years—longing for the Promised Land, but they died wishing and wandering. However, Joshua nurtured a victory within himself, during the desert years.
Have you ever wondered, what caused Israel to wander? Fear. Grumbling. Complacency. Lack of faith and trust. These attributes robbed the people of the courage to posses what God had already promised and given them.
Are you wandering? If so, what is robbing you of confident faith and trust in God? Are you anxious? Fearful? Grumbling? Complaining? Distracted?
But Joshua was becoming what God declared and promised. When God commissioned Joshua, he responded in faith and turned others’ dreams into land, cities, homes and possessions—the inheritance for generations to come. Your breakthrough affects generations that follow—your marriage, your family, the Church, and society.
Key #1: Joshua succeeded because his heart was confident in God, not in the circumstances around him.
He wasn’t swayed by the news or circumstances. Joshua fist learned as a warrior under the leadership of Moses fighting the Amalekites (Exodus 17:13-14) that adverse circumstances doesn’t negate God’s commitment to His promises.
Joshua also learned how to value the presence of God. This strengthened his heart and faith. He knew God intimately and knew he could trust Him.
Joshua was on the mountain with Moses and the elders of Israel experiencing God, even eating a meal with the Lord in His presence! (Exodus 24:9-18) Can you imagine?!
Have you ever been in a prayer meeting where the Lord’s presence was strong and tangible? Jesus has torn the veil that separates us from the Holy Presence of God, we can enter in fully into His presence!
Later, Joshua would wait with Moses, just to be in the presence of the Lord, at the tabernacle of meeting (Exodus 33:7-11). He valued being with the Lord. It changed Him. It strengthened his heart.
Joshua learned the value of silence, solitude, and meditation on God’s promises.
When God commissioned 40 years later, he could rely on his history with God. He could be confident in the Lord because he knew God intimately.
As a result, Joshua’s worldview was anchored in God and His promises, not the circumstances he faced. This came as he learned to wait in God’s presence. His mind was renewed and the impossible became probable.
In our culture, many are anxious and fearful. Have you been anxious lately? Has a situation caused you to be paralyzed by fear? FEAR is False Evidence Appearing Real!
God loves to answer petitionary prayer. But if you are solely focused on answered prayer, you will miss the main point of prayer—seeking the face of God! Desiring Him and His presence!
God surrounds us. But we often miss Him, looking for a heavenly vision, or to hear His voice in an earthquake or thunder from a mountain. Remember Elijah? But he heard God in the cave in a still small voice.
Psalm 46:10 tells us to “be still and know that I am God.” Be still, cease from striving, become aware that I am here says the Lord! Know that I am God, know Me intimately and rest in Me!
Key #2: Realize your greatness is in God.
Twice the Bible makes this wonderful, all-inclusive statement: “for all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27 NASB, cf. Matt. 19:26). Note the preposition with. To you all things are possible, with God.
Joshua did not have a red carpet rolled out for him! He didn’t ride into Canaan on the back of an Arabian stallion but marched in upon the basis of knowing God and His promises.
God told him “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you.” (Josh. 1:3 NKJV)
Notice, it’s past tense. God told Moses 40 years prior the land was their inheritance! But the people of Israel failed to trust God and act on what was revealed.
God expected Joshua to act in faith on what had been revealed to him, knowing that God had already gone before him and would be with him.
Your life is hidden in Christ. He is the vine, you are the branches—your ability to bear fruit, to possess the promises depend on your dependence upon Jesus, His Greatness.
Your success is in God, His Word and how you apply His promises for yourself—not in your circumstances or negative news. God is your greatness! His Word is sure, and He watches over it to perform it!
If God be for you, who can be against you? Rest in God alone!
Key #3: All of God’s promises to others are yours by faith.
God’s Word is for you as much as if He personally appeared and spoke it to you. Your only requirement is to believe and act on His promises by faith.
There are situational promises, but at times God will take a situational promise in scripture and allow it to become a Rhema word to you …a God breathed word.
Moses dies, and God directs Joshua to “cross over.”
The Jordon is at flood stage, a mile wide, a raging, daunting river to cross. In the natural, it didn’t seem to be the right time to cross over.
But what had God promised Joshua? “From the wilderness … to the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.” (Josh. 1:4)
For Joshua and Israel, the only land remaining to be possessed was what Joshua had made up his mind to have. It was theirs by faith. And it happened when he decided. Joshua’s faith and courage opened the door; history was made.
The Israelites had to cross the river Jordan, and seize the gift offered. They literally had to tread with the “sole of the foot” upon the land they desired to receive from God.
Your job is your Jordan river!
While on a mission’s trip to Brazil in 2003, the Lord spoke to me, “Your job is your Jordan river.” Our church plant was barely a year old, I was working a full-time job to support my family and the ministry, and now God was prompting me to quit the job to better pastor the church. In fact, he said to me, “the church can’t become what I want it to be unless you quit the church and pastor the church full-time.”
My response, “But God, we are the biggest givers in this small church of 20 people, we don’t even take a salary from the church, how are we going to make it?!”
When I arrived home, I was hoping my wife Carolyn would have a “word of wisdom” about this new directive from God! To my shock, she said, “God has been speaking to me that you are to leave your job, I’m in agreement.”
I gave my notice at work, left the job, and set out to “cross our Jordan.” We spent all our savings, and suddenly the church grew, and we were able to take a small salary. God provided as we kept trusting and obeying him. The river was daunting, but following Jesus was miraculous! Today, Passion church is thriving, but it began with a step of faith as God guided.
Every promise of God is intended to provoke you to action.
What has God promised? How much of His kingdom is available? How much have you made up your mind to have? There are realms in God’s kingdom that will only be realized as you determine to possess and occupy with God.
Until next week, seek the face of God! Spend time in His Presence! Realize your greatness is in God. You can trust Him and what He has promised you!