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The Thread of Life – Part 10 (Courage)
July 25, 2021

The Thread of Life – Part 10 (Courage)

July 25, 2021   /   Jesus Church

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Catch up on our series HERE

 

The Thread of Life – 31 Stories that point to Jesus

Part 10

 

Welcome to Jesus Church – Here and Online

  • How awesome was it to hear from our kids director last week
    • I love knowing that she is leading my kids
    • Also have an amazing Jr. High leader
  • Best part… passionate about Jesus and His word
    • Kathy’s desire is that when kids grow up and go to church
    • When they hear the pastor talking about Bible stories
    • They will know exactly what they are talking about
      • She told me that: I was sold right there…

We are in a series walking thru the Bible – 31 stories that lead to Jesus

  • Left off with the Israel wandering in the desert… waiting 4 promise
    • Question was… how do you live in the space between
    • Most of us don’t like the space between
    • Because we’re looking for the destination
  • And Israel was so focused on where they wanted to be
    • That it made them resentful of where they were
    • And oblivious of what God was doing in their journey
    • Which is sad… b/c God does His best work in the journey

What God does in us while we are waiting is often times

far more important than whatever we are waiting for

 

This week we continue the story is a man named Joshua… PRAY

Story: Story of a young boy (Chicken soup 4 the soul)

Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. The doctor explained the situation to her little brother, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. I saw him hesitate for only a moment before taking a deep breath and saying, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the boy had misunderstood the doctor; he thought he was going to have to give her all his blood

What a brave little boy… I love stories of courage

  • I hear stories like that and wonder… How would I respond
    • Because these are stories that inspire
    • We’ve all heard of the hero who runs into the burning building
    • Or someone who risks their life to save someone drowning
  • And while most of us try to play life safe
    • If life was a pool… most people want to stay in the shallow end
    • But will there be a timea we are called on to have courage

And it may not be as dramatic as putting your life on the line

  • Courage isn’t always worthy of getting ur picture on the news
    • In fact it might not even be physical courage
    • But ALL OF US are called to be men/women of courage
  • We think of courage as something we don’t need in everyday life
    • But it takes courage to live life God has called us to
      • Courage to break off a relationship you know is bad
      • Courage for a husband to lead as a spiritual leader
      • Courage for employee to stand up to a boss
      • Courage to ask for help and accountability
      • Courage to give up something you know will destroy ur life
  • More than we think… Courage is a quality VERY MUCH NEEDED

 

If you have Bibles – Turn to Joshua 1

Moses has now died and appoints Joshua to fill his shoes

  • Joshua is 40 years younger than Moses (reps the next generation)
    • And he will be the one leading the people into promised land
    • And Joshua serves as this great example of courage
  • Interesting… Joshua about to lead the people into promised land
    • 40 years earlier … Joshua was sent to scout out Jericho
    • Num. 13-15 – 10 spies come back in fear

Num. 15:27-28,33 (NIV)

They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there… We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

  • 2 spies say that they can win against them by the power of God
    • One of those spies was Joshua
    • But he is overruled… its too scary… can’t trust God’s promise
    • So they wander for 40 years because of fearful

Josh 1:2-7 (NIV)

Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

God sends people a 2nd time to take land that he promised Abraham

  • God tells Joshua 4x to be strong & courageous
    • Why… b/c this isn’t gonna be easy
    • God’s preparing Joshua for what’s to come
  • This is how God works: Prepares us now for what’s required later
    • Have you ever experienced this…
    • Looking back years later… you see how God was preparing you
  • In fact: It’s happening right now
    • If you could read ur own stories
    • You would see how clearly God prepares ur lives ahead of time
    • And looking about there are stories all around this room of that

So Joshua gets to Jericho – Now they get why God said what he said

  • This place would have been very intimidating
    • Outer wall 6 ft thick
    • Inner wall 12 ft thick
    • Each wall stationed with guards
  • And against this wall… there’s nothing they can do
    • Cant go around… can’t go over it
    • It’s just there and they have no clue how do find victory
  • Ever felt that way in life… no clue how to claim victory over a wall
    • Seems impossible: Health… Finances… addiction… mentally
    • Come across these walls and can’t figure out what to do
      • What did God say: Be strong and courageous

And check out what God says next…

Josh 6:2 (NIV)

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.

Don’t you love the grammer that God uses… “See I have delivered”

  • I’d be having a conversation with God at this point…
    • Hey God… you missed one small detail – Wall is still there!!!
    • You said see… and nothing has changed
    • So either I’m crazy… or your in a different reality
  • Which is exactly what’s happening: God speaks victory b4 u see it
    • And he uses past tense to help us understand courageous faith
    • Speaking of what hasn’t happened as if it already has
      • If God has promised it…
  • If God hasn’t promised it, this doesn’t work
    • You might want to jump off a roof and fly
    • But unless God has promised it… you’re going to the hospital
    • But God promised this land 14 TIMES to His people

Courage/faith is speaking of God’s promises as if they already happened

  • There is courage… faith… and THEN they hear God’s plan

Josh 6:3-5 (NIV)

March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.”

  • Now we all know the story so it normalizes it a bit
    • Imagine being Joshua… this is ur moment to establish yourself
    • To prove your capable of filling the shoes of Moses
  • And He has to tell everyone… we’re gonna yell really loud
    • Ever been in a situation where u know things not gonna go well
    • And you can’t tell if ur courageous or just stupid

Story: My first Jr. High dance was much like that…

  • But God tells Joshua the plan… I’m sure he had his own plans
    • Remember… he saw this city 40 years ago
    • Probably been planning how to take them down for 40 years
    • I can guarantee none of those plans included a marching band
  • I wonder how much it felt like courage… how much stupidity
    • March around – Blow your trumpits
    • But everything happens exactly how God said it would
    • At end of day everyone knew the battle belonged 2 the Lord

Courage isn’t absence of fear… it’s moving forward in spite of it

  • Sometimes we think courage is just not being afraid
    • But courage is moving forward even if we are afraid
  • Physiologist tell us that’s not how we tend to deal with fear
    • Top way to deal is avoidance
      • Alone at party – Just don’t go
      • Relationship gets hard – Avoid that person
      • Bill comes in you can’t pay – Don’t open
      • When help is needed – Look for someone else to help
      • Child needs discipline – Turn up volume on the TV & ignore
  • When courage is called for… many people would rather avoid it
    • But courage is doing what ur called to do even when afraid
    • Even if you don’t see how it will turn out

Heb 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

 

You see… Faith is needed in order to find courage

Num. 13-14 – Joshua has faith… but the older generation has fear

  • Fear will never produce the promises of God
    • First time they have fear and can’t do it
    • Not one of that generation see God’s promises become reality
  • Second time they believe… that faith brings courage
    • And what changed… instead of focusing on their smallness
    • They focused on Gods bigness

There is nothing more life changing than taking your eyes off

your smallness and putting them on God’s bigness

Confront walls by not looking at how big you are, but how big ur God is

  • B/C comparing yourself to the wall… makes u look pretty stupid
    • Compare God to the wall makes you victorious
  • Joshua found courage not b/c of a change of situation
    • He found courage b/c of a change of focus
    • Understanding who I am… and who God is
  • Our stories would look way different if we focused on Gods bigness
    • And that’s what God wants… your story to be about His bigness
    • Not about your inadequacies/failures/limitations…

Is. 40:12 (NIV)

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales
and the hills in a balance?

  • I can fit about a tablespoon of water in my hand
    • God fits the Pacific Ocean
  • Breadth of my hand is about 9 inches
    • God holds the span of the stars in his hand
  • Please… Take your eyes off the wall and onto God

Question is how? B/C everyone wants to be this way

But how do you do it…

  • Listen to “eye of the tiger” over and over… pump myself up
    • Do I get a self help book… mind over matter
    • Do I go to seminar after seminar – Find the secrets of success
  • I’d suggest most effective way to find courage… prayer/worship
    • B/C as we pray about challenges, he reminds us how big God is
    • As we worship we declare what he reminds us of
      • Because none of this is by us… it’s only by God
  • You can’t look for courage in yourself… it’s only in god
    • Courage is fear that has said its prayers

5 word lies that rob you of faith and courage

  • It’s too late for you
  • You’ve messed up too much
  • No one will want you
  • It’s never going to happen
  • You will just fail again
  • You’re never going to change
  • There’s plenty of time left
  • You will always been alone
  • You’ve failed as a mom
  • You’re just like your dad
  • God doesn’t love you anymore
  • It’ll be like this forever
  • You’ve wasted too much time
  • You’re on your own
  • You don’t need any help
  • God’s done giving you chances

5 new words to replace

Josh 1:5

I will be with you

  • This is what Jesus says to us
    • Jn 14 – I am sending the comforter
      • We don’t live life alone
      • And we don’t live life full of fear
    • We live life full of faith and courage
      • Why… because God is with us

 

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