Last week I spoke out of the Book of Numbers Chapter 13 about Caleb and Joshua, and I want to continue with the two of them this week.
Two men, who stood above the crowd, and stood against the crowd, with the crowd not liking it and the two didn’t care. They were men who stood for the truth, and men who stood in faith. They were men who were all about honoring their God, and they also all about honoring their Elders, especially Moses and Aaron. They didn’t move in and out of their faith. And I guess it was easy for them, because they saw what God could do. They were there to see the plagues over Egypt, and crossed on dry land through the Red Sea. They knew that God was the God of the fulfilled promise.
As followers of God, Joshua and Caleb lived like followers of God. They spoke like followers, and were even ready to endure the wrath of those who did not believe in what they said. Even when those against them saw what they saw in Egypt, and passed with them through the Red Sea.
It is surprising how quick we can turn when get caught up in our physical nature. It brings to mind Jesus and His disciples crossing the Sea of Galilee, and the storm comes, and His disciples are with Him and start freaking out. Lets read it. Mark 4:35-41.
“Later that day, after it grew dark, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake.” After they had sent the crowd away, they shoved off from shore with him, as he had been teaching from the boat, and there were other boats that sailed with them. Suddenly, as they were crossing the lake, a ferocious tempest arose, with violent winds and waves that were crashing into the boat until it was all but swamped. But Jesus was calmly sleeping in the stern, resting on a cushion. So they shook him awake, saying, “Teacher, don’t you even care that we are all about to die!” Fully awake, he rebuked the storm and shouted to the sea, “Hush! Calm down!” All at once the wind stopped howling and the water became perfectly calm. Then he turned to his disciples and said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Haven’t you learned to trust yet?” But they were overwhelmed with fear and awe and said to one another, “Who is this man who has such authority that even the wind and waves obey him?”
The men in the boat had been with Jesus about two years now, and they still jumped back in disbelief. So you can see that some people can even have seen the power of God, and fall into disbelief. I guess to us, what kind of people are we?
Yes after Jesus left, and the Holy Spirit was poured out, His Disciples would die for their faith. As was stated last week, Joshua and Caleb almost died for theirs, but as Joshua and Caleb, and as Believers like the early Disciples, and those after are we in a place to die?
Dying to self is the biggest hurtle. Then dying to people is another. Not carrying what they think, but only carrying what the Word of God says, and the Spirit.
Dying to self and dying to people can be a lonely place, but setting yourself apart to be fully in Christ brings reward. It truly brings fullness of heart that only he can give. I want fullness of heart, because then there is full trust. If the waves are bashing around the boat when crossing the sea, I’ll be asleep with Jesus because I know that I am with the Savior and everything will be fine. I am not alone.
I have been hearing from the Lord and I have probably been saying this much, the words “set apart”, and “consecrated”. Jesus is drawing out His people, those who are called by His name, who will be His Armor Bearers, but who will also stand up for Him in the fight. The Holy Ones of God, the Nazirites, the Levites, who will speak the Word of Truth with Power and under anointing who will not back down.
Because we are coming into the days where those who call themselves “Believers” or “Followers” of Jesus Christ are going to have to make similar decisions like Joshua and Caleb if they will stand for their faith, or go with the crowd.
When pondering on all this, I looked back at my own failures not standing up for my God, because I was worried about what people thought of me. I kind of did the Peter thing, not so blatantly denying Christ, but not being fully truthful of who I was. A follower of Jesus Christ.
Many, when they are young worry about what people may think of them because they want to fit in. I had to come to grips with myself and question if I was a follower of Christ or not. I had to make hard decisions. If I was in Christ, then I had to live like it, and talk like it even if it went against the crowd, and not just act like it. There are enough posers out their in Church. If I had to pay the price, then I did. And at times I did pay, but words don’t hurt me.
I am not going to stand in front of men to be judged, but stand in front of a living Holy God.
If we believe in the Words of Jesus and what He said about the future, we are going to have to make a choice. Its black or white, yes or no. There is no grey when it comes to God’s Word.
Remember these words…. “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
Jesus, “Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; Matthew 7:23
Jesus didn’t come to earth to be brutalized and die, so we could just play around with our salvation. We have grace, yes, but God hates sin and Jesus hates wishy-washiness.
“I know all that you do, and I know that you are neither frozen in apathy nor fervent with passion. How I wish you were either one or the other! But because you are neither cold nor hot, but lukewarm, I am about to spit you from my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16.
Today we need to stand and be passionate for Christ and God’s Word, that is the only way we will take our family, our friends, our city and beyond for Christ. And today, we see the lines being drawn very quickly where we will need to stand. But is the church up to it?
We are already having to make the stand today concerning abortion, homosexuality, sexual immorality, and all other types of immoral living in society, and we are even debating it in the church. With the church even fighting over this, which is madness, we have to see the times as they are as the Apostle Paul said in his second letter to Timothy:
2 Timothy 3:1-5. “But you need to be aware that in the final days the culture of society will become extremely fierce and difficult for the people of God. People will be self-centered lovers of themselves and obsessed with money. They will boast of great things as they strut around in their arrogant pride and mock all that is right. They will ignore their own families. They will be ungrateful and ungodly. They will become addicted to hateful and malicious slander. Slaves to their desires, they will be ferocious, belligerent haters of what is good and right. With brutal treachery, they will act without restraint, bigoted and wrapped in clouds of their conceit. They will find their delight in the pleasures of this world more than the pleasures of the loving God. They may pretend to have a respect for God, but in reality they want nothing to do with God’s power.”
2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time is coming when they will no longer listen and respond to the healing words of truth because they will become selfish and proud. They will seek out teachers with soothing words that line up with their desires, saying just what they want to hear. They will close their ears to the truth and believe nothing but fables and myths.”
Every day we hear or read or see this in full display among people through out the nations. They revel in their sin. They are belligerent. Shaking their fists at God. We saw it this last week in a state on the east coast where they wanted to pass a bill to save children who live after an abortion. There were politicians who were against it. They were for letting the child lie there and die. Before the abortion crowd could say, “its not a child.” Now it purely is, and they don’t care. They are approving of infanticide. This is our world today, and it will get worse.
And just a side note about abortion and infanticide, all of the false gods of the nations that Israel dealt with, Ashtoreth the goddess of the Canaanites, Baal the god of the Canaanites, Chemosh (Kemosh) the god of the Moabites, Dagon the god of Philistines, and Molech god of the Ammonites, all sacrificed children, and were gods and goddesses of sexual immorality. These gods of the past are still worshipped today and are present even here in the United States. Satan doesn’t change; he just twisted things to have the same outcomes.
For us who believe, we shake our heads. How can people believe this? With no Holy Spirit, people can believe anything. That’s why we are here to speak the truth. Speak light in the face of utter darkness.
Today, we who are supposed to be watchmen and sound the alarm and stand in the gap for those who cannot help themselves, we must understand and prepare ourselves for a reality that as we stand a part, we may stand alone. We may be a target. But being a target is not bad. Because darkness is not targeting us really, its targeting Jesus in us, and we know the story. People in general react in fear of the unknown or have fear of the darkness, but we do not have the spirit of fear, because we have the Spirit of God in us, which is power and a sound mind.
Looking back to Joshua and Caleb who stood alone, they spoke the truth with no fear. Caleb sounded off twice to the whole nation of Israel and it’s Elders, but they did not believe, so the Children of Israel suffered for their unbelief and died in it. They did not get to see the promise of God unfold.
Joshua and Caleb did see the promise as we spoke of last week, and they lived the promise. God is true to His Word for those who believe. Now the path is not always easy, and I know we like easy, but to follow Christ, we are put in a position to have faith in Him through the many trials that we will live through, because faith builds endurance.
Romans 5:1-5, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Joshua and Caleb endured 40 years, and still had faith, and I imagine we are praying, “no way God, not that long for some of our trials….” but God is faithful to the faithful. Joshua’s faithfulness caused him to lead the nation.
Joshua 1:1-3, “After the death of Moses the LORD’s servant, the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s assistant. “Moses my servant is dead. Now you and all the people prepare to cross over the Jordan to the land I am giving the Israelites. I have given you every place where the sole of your foot treads, just as I promised Moses.”
Joshua followed in the footsteps of Moses because of his faith 40 years earlier, and being Moses’ Minister as it says in some versions, and because of his faithfulness, He heard the voice of the Lord. God spoke to him as He spoke to Moses. Joshua walked out a promise, and now walked into the promise, and God gave him basically anything he wanted.
“I have given you every place that the sole of your foot treads.’
This is an example to us. We continue on in faith, and it reminds me of all the people who may have gone before us here in Kenosha, those who prayed, offering themselves to the Lord in intercession to see him move here. Dying and not seeing the promise, but setting a foundation of faith for us who continue the intercession to see the fruit of theirs and our prayers. That is why we do not grow weary in praying.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9, NIV
We are the Joshua’s. We being in a place to persevere, and believe like the forefather’s believed, and continuing on in faith, but also having the ability to hear from God, to carry the mantle, and the promise to be fulfilled.
But also having faith, that everywhere that our foot treads, we will be given that ground.
Having faith that every word that we speak from revelation from the Holy Spirit, that God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven here. Asking to receive it in Jesus name.
That is how Joshua and so many other people who are our examples operated. They spoke out the words of God; receive directly by God, through His voice, His Son’s voice, the Holy Spirit, an Angel, or through a Prophet.
Lets read what God said directly to Joshua.
Joshua 1:5-9, “No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. I will be with you, just as I was with Moses. I will not leave you or abandon you. “Be strong and courageous, for you will distribute the land I swore to their fathers to give them as an inheritance.”
Our land was promised years ago to those who have gone to sleep in the Lord, and we must believe that the inheritance given to our forefathers is still viable today. For 30+ years men and women of God have been praying for the hearts and souls of the people of Kenosha and the region to come to a saving knowledge of Christ, and we must believe with them that it will happen. We in our prayers, praying over the land so to speak to see promises given years ago come to pass.
“No one will be able to stand against you as long as I live. I will not leave you or abandon you.” If God said it, we must believe it. We must pray for it, in faith.
James 5:16, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Or in the Passion Translation, “for tremendous power is released through the passionate, heartfelt prayer of a godly believer!”
So we believe what we pray because God backs it up when we pray His truth to be revealed in the hearts of men and women. Taking ground actually in the spiritual realm with power.
For the physical mind to be engaged, the spiritual mind must be in tune with the Holy Spirit.
Continuing in Joshua 1:7, “Above all, be strong and very courageous to observe carefully the whole instruction my servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Be strong and courageous, sometimes that attitude is so far away from us when the heat is continually turned on in our lives. But in faith we persevere, together. Family holding up family.
We have purpose, we have calling, we have a future, and it is greatness.
We need to be strong and courageous. Faith with the Word of God does that.
Proverbs 30:5, “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”
Isaiah 55:10-11, “For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”
We have to believe that. So in our security in Christ and the Word of God because of our knowledge of our father in Heaven, we stand. We speak the truth even if it is not liked, because as God is our witness, He will reveal His truth with power. He will stand for us. When the truth is revealed, like Joshua and Caleb, we will see the promised l, and actually it will be others and others like us who walk with is who will take the land.
It is coming soon too. We have to believe it. For so many years, the foundation of faith has been laid for us. We must in faith fulfill it.