No Turning Back
November 21-22, 2020
We're going to be starting the book of Joshua today.
Thunderous applause in the room. I can hear the thunderous applause. That was thunderous, you know 25 people. Come on that was thunderous, but I'm excited and I love the book of Joshua. We're going to begin in Joshua 1:1-1. The title of our message, No Turning Back. Let's pray. Father, we love you. Thank you for your word that you send in power. We open our heart to you. Use this in our lives. Transform us. Draw us to yourself. Strengthen us in our faith through your word in Jesus' name. Amen.
We read at the end of Deuteronomy that Moses had died, but before he died he did some very important monumental things. One of the things he did before he died was to prepare Israel for crossing that Jordan and moving into the land that he promised them. You say, "Well, how did he prepare them?" By giving them Deuteronomy.
Deuteronomy is an epic speech of revival. He gave them some of the greatest words that God has ever spoken, Jesus said as much. When Jesus was asked, "What's the greatest foremost of all God has ever said?" He quoted Deuteronomy. "You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength." That is the word of revival right there. That's the word of revival, and he's quoting Deuteronomy.
See, here's the thing, we need revival now. We are living in a time of tremendous monumental change that's happening and we need revival now. In fact, I was thinking this whole pandemic thing has been going on so long. People are wearied, people are tired of it, and for some, it wears down their faith. No, now's the time to stand up. Now's the time to be strengthened. Do not grow weary in doing good, stand firm in the faith. Now is the time for revival. These words that he spoke were powerful.
Jesus said, "The second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself." Another quote from Deuteronomy because these were the very thing they need. The revival they need is spoken of in Deuteronomy. Another thing he did before he died was to commission Joshua. Laid his hands on Joshua, commissioned him to lead the people of Israel into the land of God's promise.
Remember, the name Joshua is significant because it is the same name as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It's the Hebrew version. We say Jesus as the English, Iēsoûs as the Greek, and Yeshua is the Hebrew. Although, also the formal version, Yehoshua. A Jew today would say, "Yeshua HaMashiach," Jesus the messiah. It's very important to recognize that he is the Messiah of Israel. It's a foundation to our understanding of who Jesus is.
There's a mini-revival going on in Israel by the way. There are Jews who are coming to faith in Jesus as the Messiah of Israel. It's really quite remarkable what's happening. The name Joshua or Yehoshua is significant. It has prophetic meaning even because the name means the Lord is salvation. Here's another question, is there a spiritual analogy between Israel crossing the Jordan and entering into the land of God's promise in the life of the believer? I say yes.
Remember now when Israel came out of Egypt, it was a picture, it was an analogy of a believer coming out of the world, out of the oppression of the world into salvation. There is a spiritual analogy. Then you might say, "Well, what is the analogy of Israel in the desert?" That's a very good question but to answer that, you must remember that in the desert there were two generations. Two significant generations. That generation that came out of Egypt was an unfaithful, rebellious, cantankerous, difficult generation and they died in the wilderness.
It is a picture of unfaithfulness. Those who will not move into the things, the promises of God and they stayed in the wilderness, and then they died in the wilderness. I'll tell you what, there's a lot of people today who are still in the wilderness and won't come out. They won't move into the things of God because that next generation, they're the ones who came through it, press into the land of promise.
There is an analogy. It's moving into the great promises of God, but even that generation must be careful because there are conflicts. There are obstacles. There are giants in front of them. They must press forward into spiritual maturity. They're going to have to walk faithfully in order to obtain the promises of God. There is the spiritual analogy. You must walk faithfully and steadfastly in order to obtain the promises of God.
Here's the thing, there are promises of God that you receive just by being in Christ Jesus. Salvation, redemption, forgiveness of sin, adoption as sons or daughters, eternal life but there are other promises that you obtain when you walk in them. Promises of God that you obtain when you walk in them. It's very important for us to see as we're going to look at this.
Things are about to change for Israel. It's a monumental time in the history of Israel, things are about to change. Their leader who led them for 40 years is gone. There was something so stable, so dependable, so comfortable having Moses be their leader. You just got comfortable with his leadership, but he's gone. He's dead. They're not going to have the pillar of fire. They're not going to have the pillar of cloud to direct their steps anymore. It's a monumental change. They're not going to have manna provided for them every morning. It's a monumental change.
It's important for us to recognize that there are times in life things change, things happen. We are right now in the midst of tremendous monumental shifts happening in our nation, in our world and it's important for us to grasp that there are spiritual principles that God wants to apply to our lives. This is what God did.
I. God Wants You to be Strong and Courageous
He took Joshua, spoke a word to Joshua which is what we're going to read about today, and that word that He spoke to Joshua was a word to encourage him, to strengthen his faith for the challenges that are ahead, the troubles that are ahead, the obstacles. Here's the thing, we get to drink from the same well. We get to drink from the same well because many of these promises are for us. This encouragement is for us because we are called to walk forward into the promises of God that He has for us as well. All right, that's all an introduction.
Let's read it together. We're in Joshua 1. We're going to begin in verse 1. "Now it came about after the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord that the Lord spoke to Yehoshua, Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' servant saying this, 'Moses my servant is dead, now get up.'" See, I don't know about you but I just love the strength of what He was saying. "Get up. Moses is dead, that which you had there as trustworthy, dependable leader, he's dead. Get up."
"Now my servant Moses is dead. Therefore, arise, and cross this Jordan, you and all these people to that land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of their foot treads, I have given it to you just as I said to Moses." Then He describes the borders, the boundaries of that land that He is promising Israel. He says, "From the wilderness, a desert, and this Lebanon all the way to the north." Mt. Hermon a snow-capped mountain about 9,500 feet in elevation, oftentimes there's snow there.
In fact, I mentioned before when you're on the Sea of Galilee and I've done this many times, on a beautiful clear day, you can actually look out and see there's Mt. Hermon. It's a beautiful scene from the Sea of Galilee. All the way, notice, over to the river Euphrates. All the way over there? This is the boundary of the promise of God. "All the way to Euphrates to the land of the Hittites which is in the South. All the way to the Great Sea, the Mediterranean toward the setting of the sun, this will be your territory. No man," verse 5, "will be able to stand before you all the days of your life."
Joshua is going to be strengthened as a leader that God calls. He says, "Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you. I will not fail you. I will not forsake you. Be strong and courageous for you will give these people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only this, be strong and courageous. Be careful. Be very careful to do according to all the law which Moses my servant gave you. Remember that he wrote it down and gave it to the priest so that they would have it. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you will meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that's written in it and then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you?" Notice this, have I not commanded it? "Am I not commanding you, be strong and courageous, do not tremble, do not be dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
This is a monumental verse. These are monumental verses and important for us to take hold of them and apply to our lives, starting with this, God wants you to be strong and courageous. He says a word to Joshua, but you will see this as a theme of the Bible that He says to believers in Jesus Christ. It's an aspect of faith. Three times, four in the entire chapter. "Did I not command you, Joshua, be strong and courageous."
Here's the thing, I mentioned this Wednesday, it bears repeating. Joshua has already demonstrated the strength of his courage. He's already demonstrated it. Do you remember when back in the time when Israel first came out of Egypt, they were maybe only a few months in their time of the desert when they came to the very doorstep of the promised land? Only just a few months, here they were at the doorstep. Moses sent out these 12 men to spy out the land, and so when they came back--Joshua and Caleb by the way were of this 12, when they came back, 10 of them brought back a report that struck fear in the heart of the people. "This is tragedy, this is terrible is what this is. Look at this, the people are great, there are giants in the land, their cities are fortified, this is a disaster." The people out of their fear, this is Numbers 14:2-3, "All the sons of Israel, grumbled against Moses and Aaron and the whole congregation said this--"
This is a speech I want to quote because it's key to the history of Israel. "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt or would that we had died in this wilderness." God says, "You know what? You will." "Why is the Lord bringing us into this land? That we would fall by the sword, our wives and our little ones will become plunder. Wouldn't that be better if we would return to Egypt? Let us find a man to lead us and take us back to Egypt."
Joshua and Caleb stood up in front of the people, "No. People, listen, no. If God is pleased with us, He will surely bring us into this land. He will give it to us. Do not rebel against the Lord." See a lack of faith is a rebelling against the direction of the Lord. "Do not fear the people of this land, their protection has been removed from them. The Lord is with us." The Lord is with us, do not fear them, but as we know, the people did not listen, they were unfaithful in that generation, but Joshua, he demonstrated the strength of his courage.
Why is God saying it to him now? Why is He saying, be strong and courageous? Because He is going to have to face that which he's never faced. Moses is dead, get up, now arise. There are obstacles ahead, there are giants in the land. He strengthens his faith even more. See, when you're navigating through troubles and trials, leadership is required.
See, there are some troubles and trials that don't end in one day. There are some troubles and trials that don't end overnight. There are some troubles and trials that you must navigate your way through. If you must navigate your way through a trouble, a difficulty, obstacles, leadership is required but it's leadership that's based on faith and trust in God. I remember when this whole pandemic thing, when we became aware, I think of the, at least, partly aware of the size of this and the magnitude of this thing, I immediately sense now is the time for leadership to arise, now is the time.
I tell you, we need leadership now. Believers in Jesus Christ need to stand up and speak truth and stand in courage and be men and women of faith now. Leadership must arise. That's why He says in verse nine, He said to Joshua, "Do not tremble, do not be dismayed, am I not commanding you?" See fear is the natural human condition in which everyone was born. Therefore, as I mentioned last week, it bears repeating, it's understandable.
Fear is an understandable response. Anxiety is an understandable response, but as I mentioned, just because it's understandable, does not mean that's what God wants. God wants believers to arise above the human condition. That's a theme of faith right there, to rise above the human condition, to operate beyond that what you were born into. "Do not walk according to the flesh, walk according to the spirit," He says. That's why and I love to quote this, Paul said in 2nd Timothy 1:7, "God has not given us the spirit of fear," you are born in that. "God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind." I'll tell you what, it takes a sound mind today because there's a lot of nonsense that is happening in the world right now. Anybody agree with me? It takes a sound mind today, but be driven by power and love.
A. Forget what lies behind
There are spiritual principles for moving forward into spiritual maturity and moving forward into the promises of God. Starting with this, forget what lies behind you, forget what lies behind. "Moses, my servant is dead, now, get up." It's monumental. Something's changing now. Forget what lies behind. Moses is described in Deuteronomy is like the greatest prophet that ever lived and he's gone.
By Moses, the entire army of Egypt was defeated. By Moses, the waters of the Red Sea were parted. By Moses, manna fell from heaven. By Moses, water came out of the rock and now he's gone. Get up. Move forward, get up. See, it's time to let go of the past. Forget what lies behind you. Moses is dead, God is doing a new work. Moses is dead, God is doing a new work. 2nd Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things pass away, new things have come."
God does a new work in believers lives. God's doing a new work. Let go of the past. Let go of the past. Forget what lies behind. Look at Joshua, even his background, when he was a young man, Joshua grew up as a slave in oppression in Egypt. He actually grew up in Egypt as a slave, that was his background. In fact, I would say when he left Egypt, we don't know the exact age, but it probably would be in his, my guess would be 20s. The first significant portion of his life, he lived under oppression and slavery. How do you let go of that? How do you let go of this?
In fact, wasn't that really the key problem to that whole generation? You can bring a people out of Egypt, but can you bring Egypt out of the people? There are so many people that cannot break free of the past. They can't break free. Many of you know my story, I grew up with a father who was an alcoholic, cantankerous, difficult, angry, poverty my whole first 18 years. I moved away and went to college. How do you break free of that? Many people cannot break free and they're stuck with it. They're stuck with it all their lives. It impacts them.
I know this, I know that God breaks people free from the chains that held them back. God wants to set people free today. Be set free from whatever was binding you. Let go. Forget what lies behind. Here's the thing, you can't rest on your laurels, the wondrous glorious things you've done, you can't rest on your laurels, nor should you be oppressed by your defeats. God is doing a new work. Joshua was a servant, and then the next phase of his life-- He grew up the first 20 years or more, let's say, in oppression and slavery, and then the next 40 years, he's a servant under Moses.
Now he's called to be a leader, but the thing is those whom God calls to lead, must be both servant and leader. One of the greatest preparations for leading is in serving. I love to quote Dr. Howard Hendricks from Dallas Theological Seminary, who said, "One of the best preparation for ministry is waiting on tables." Learn to be humble and serve others because it's the heart of the Lord. Jesus said the same in Matthew 20:25-28. He said, "Now you know that the rulers of the Gentiles--" You know how it is out there in the world, "The rulers of the Gentiles lorded over them."
What does that mean? Well, the best word I can say is they're bossy. They're bossy. They're dominant. They're oppressive. You know how it is out there. They Lord it over them. They are bossy. He said, "Their great men exercise authority." Then He says, "It is not this way among you." You're in the kingdom of God now. A whole different set of principles apply. "Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant."
He doesn't say anything wrongful about wishing to become great but, "Whoever wishes to become great shall be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be the slave. Just as the son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many." It's the heart of the Lord. Those whom he is called to lead must know how to serve. I also say this, they also must know how to lead because it's the time for leadership. They also must know how to lead. [chuckles]
One of the greatest lessons I learned in my ministry life about this came early on in the church, maybe we were two or three years as a church. We were meeting over at the academy. Some of you might remember those days because we would have this gymnasium, which we affectionately called the Sanctuasium. Underneath, they gave us this big storage area for all of our sound equipment and chairs and whatnot. People would meet early and haul all of this up the stairs because it was underneath. Chairs and sounds equipment and everything else had to be hauled up.
Well, one day I get there and no one is there to help. I am by myself. I know. I'm going, "You're kidding, nobody is here." We got to do church, so I got to start hauling this stuff and I started hauling. Some of these speakers were heavy. I know. I'm hauling these speakers up the stairs and I started having an attitude. I will confess right now, I started to have an attitude.
The attitude went something like this, "What is it? What is it, Lord? You don't think I serve enough, is that what it is? You don't think I serve, that you're trying to show me that I don't serve enough you think that's what it is? Oh, I'm serving now." I'm hauling this up attitude, just getting worse and worse. In fact, at one point, I was hauling this divider-- We had these dividers that we put behind the chairs in the gymnasium to separate the worship area from the fellowship area.
I was hauling these dividers and again, I'm grumbling and I got an attitude. I'm hauling this divider and I stumble. When I stumble, I put my foot out to hold myself and it smashes right against my foot. I know. Like, "Oh, you're kidding me. Oh my goodness." I set this down. I sit down to take my shoe off and it's bleeding and an attitude, "What is this Lord? I don't serve enough." Have you ever had one of those, "Mm-mm," where the Lord is just like, "No?" I was like, "What is it, Lord?"
It was like that Holy spirit moment where he says, "No, this is not about whether you know how to serve. This is about whether you know how to lead." "You're right, Lord. Now I see it." I'm like, "Oh, I got it." Of course, people started coming in, so I sent one person. "Would you mind going to the store and get me a bunch of clipboards and some paper?"
Everybody came in and during the service, during the announcements, I said to everyone, "Hey, I have a special announcement today. First of all, I want to apologize for I stole all of your blessings. I got here this morning and I had to haul all of this equipment and set everything else up by myself and I got all of the blessings. I robbed you all of your blessing." They all laughed of course. Humor is very important. They laughed.
Then I said, "Here's what we're going to do. Let's share this blessing. I'm going to pass around clipboards. If you sign up, if you would like to help me share in my blessing, I'm going to ask you to sign up on this thing." Oh my goodness. When we put it all together, there was a list like as long as your arm. Oh, we had so many guys sign up that we had like teams and rotating leaders and teams. Like, Oh, we never had that problem again. It's about whether you know how to lead.
Joshua is called to lead now. Get up. Moses is dead. Get up. Move these people. Arise. Let go of the past. Arise. Become the leader that God has called you to be. Whatever happened in the past, stay in the past. You can't change what lies behind, but you can change what lies ahead. You can't go back, but you can go forward. I've heard many, many times during this whole pandemic, people say, "Oh, I want my life back. I want my life back." Well, you don't get your life back. You get your life forward. God does a new thing. Things are changing. There's monumental shifts. Arise now.
Some people are getting discouraged and worn down. No, now is the time to arise, press into. It's like Philippians 3:13-14. "One thing I do--" I love this verse. "One thing I do, forgetting what lies behind reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." God is calling you to move forward. Therefore, let's see it this way. Don't stagnate. Keep moving forward.
B. Don’t stagnate; keep moving forward
Notice what he says in verse three. "I have given you every place on which the sole of your foot treads." You got to walk in it. You have to walk. Get up, arise, and walk. Don't stagnate. Notice, would you, the past tense there. Everywhere your foot walks, I have given it to you. Past tense. I've given it to you, but you got to walk in it. In order to obtain it, you must walk in it. No doubt there will be those who would like to stay in the comfort and predictability of the desert. There are many people.
The predictability of the desert, they've grown comfortable there. They've grown comfortable with the inconvenience. They've grown comfortable with the trouble. They've grown comfortable with the aspect of the desert. Many people do this in their lives. They just grow comfortable with their troubles. They had Moses. They had manna. They never had to sow. It's predictable, but to stand still is to stagnate. Life's going to change. Get up and move.
God's not going to provide for them manna anymore. The pillar of cloud will not be there anymore. Moses is not there anymore. God's doing a new work. Things change in life. Things change in life and God wants to change you in it. I can't tell you how many times I've heard in all the years of ministry when we're talking about transformation and God doing a new work, I can't tell you how many people who have said to me at one point or another, "Look, this is just who I am, okay. This is who I am, okay." Twister saying, "Look, I was born this way and that's how I am, okay. I'm not changing."
Well, my response is the same. "That may be who you were and maybe that's who you are, but that's not who God wants you to be." You come to God just as you are, but he loves you so much. He's going to make sure that you don't stay the way you came. When I came to faith, I came when there was a hymn playing. There was an old hymn in the church that our churches used to love to play. When it was time to make that altar call, it was, Just As I Am. Just as I am without one plea. Come just as you are. It's a very powerful, very powerful song. Come, come just as you are.
You don't have to qualify yourself to come. You just come with all your mess and all your troubles and all your brokenness, you just come just as you are. Here's the thing. I want to quote a verse from that hymn. I won't sing it. "Just as I am, you will receive me." In other words, you will receive, just as I am. You will welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve. Because your promise, I believe, Oh Lamb of God I come, I come. Because your promise, I believe, Oh Lamb of God I come. I come.
Here's the thing. If you would believe God for salvation, would you not believe Him for transformation? Because God wants to do that work too. If you will believe him for salvation, would you believe him for transformation? That is what God is doing now. Romans 12:2, "Do not be conformed to this world." Do not let this world shape and mold you, "But be transformed by the renewing of your mind." He will change the way you think, "So that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect in your life."
C. Don’t fall short
Therefore, and here's the principle of this, don't fall short. See, don't fall short because they do. Verse 4 describes these boundaries that He gave to Israel. "From the desert to Mt. Hermon, to the Euphrates to the sea," but they fell short. They never obtained these boundaries, because they did not walk in those promises. Now they will, they will, when their Messiah, Yeshua HaMashiach, comes at the end of the age and sets foot in Jerusalem, and establishes His throne over the earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, He will establish the boundaries that He has promised to Israel.
They fell short, they did not walk in them and I cannot tell you how many people fall short of the promises of God in their lives, because they will not walk in them. They will not walk in them but He gives the substance of why, why you must believe because I will be with you, just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail you. I will not forsake you. Be strong and courageous. Have I not commanded you?
See, it's a life lesson, isn't it? There's a connection between faith in God and being strong and courage through the troubles and the trials of life because we are having to navigate this now. When you navigate because the troubles and trials are of long-standing time, you have to navigate through a storm. That's when you must have faith to stand in the courage of it.
It's like Isaiah 41:10, "Do not fear," God says, "Because I am with you. Do not anxiously look about you, because I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely, I will help you. Surely, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand I will uphold you." God is an eternal dwelling place and underneath are the everlasting arms. Scripture says, Hebrews 13:5-6. "He Himself has said, I will never leave you, I will never forsake you so that we confidently say--"
II. May You Have Success Wherever You Go
Now see, that is faith. "Has He not Himself said, I will never leave you. I will never forsake you so that we confidently say, the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid, what shall man do to me?" I will not be afraid, what shall man do to me? Take my life, that's the worst. That's my coronation day. Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid even in death. He says, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I fear no evil. For thou art with me, your rod and your staff they comfort me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies." It's a great word.
Therefore, back to Joshua 1, the principle to be applied. May you have success wherever you go. God wants you to have success wherever you go. Problem is people define success wrong. That's what He says. Notice verse 7, "So that you may have success wherever you go." I'll tell you, there are a lot of people who will misuse that verse right there. They will twist and turn that verse to their own desire. What does it mean? How do you define it?
There are all kinds of self-help books out there that tell you how to become successful. The problem is they define success wrongly. The word in Hebrew is important to know. It's a simple word in Hebrew. It only has three Hebrew letters. We would say in English S-K-L, sakal, success. What does it mean? There are layers of depth to it. It means that God gives a success that is founded upon discernment and wisdom and understanding.
Notice, verse 7, "Be strong and courageous, be careful to do all according to the law which Moses my servant commanded you, do not turn from it to the right or to the left so that you may have success." That's how you will have success, but the word is based on wisdom. The word is wisdom and understanding and discernment. Let me give you another verse where the exact same word is used.
Deuteronomy 32:29, God is speaking through Moses again in Deuteronomy. It's a powerful chapter. He says this to them. "Oh, would that they were wise? Oh, would that they would understand this." Same word in Hebrew. "Oh, that they would understand this. Oh, that they would discern their future." Can you discern your future? That's part of success. Yes, you can. There's an aspect of it where yes, you can. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked, that which a man sows, he will also reap. If a man sows to his flesh, he will of his flesh reap corruption."
You can discern it, it's an aspect of the future. "If a man sows to the Spirit, he will of the Spirit reap life, even eternal life. Do not grow weary in doing good." You can discern it, is an aspect of your future. Based upon that success, that comes from that word, understanding, wisdom, insight. The success of God, the character of your heart, the faith and trust that you have in God, the wisdom that will guide you, the discernment that will help you to see what others cannot see. The discernment by which you can see what others cannot see.
A. Be careful how you walk
Therefore, He says, "Be careful how you walk." Verse 7, "Be careful how you walk. Be careful that you walk according to all that God gave you in His Word. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go." You need now to walk according to these things to find that success that God has for you when you walk according to it. I tell you God's word is filled with treasures of wisdom. God's word is filled with insights for life that will lead you into the success that God has for you, but it's God's definition of success.
Believers need to change their definition. The world defines success by the outward appearance of the thing, by how much stuff of the world they accumulate, by their stature in comparison to others, but God defines success quite differently. By the strength of character, by the soul within you, by the faith that you have to walk in the maturity and promises of God. Notice, Revelation 3:16-19. He's confronting the church here now in the latter days. The church is weakened in the latter days.
One of the reasons that the church is weakened in the latter days in the time of Revelation 3 is because they've taken hold of the definition of the world. That's why He says, "Because you are lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth." Because you say this, and they use the definition of the world. "Because you say this, I am rich, and I have become wealthy, and I have need of nothing." I don't need God. I have everything I need. I don't need anything from God.
He says, "And you yet do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you," He goes on to say, "To buy from me gold that is refined by fire. I advise you to buy salve by which you will open your eyes." God wants you to see what others cannot see. See, God directs your steps through His Word. He disciplines and trains so that you will be successful wherever you go.
2nd Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, training in righteousness. Training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate equipped for every good work." Hebrews 5:13-14, "Everyone who partakes only of milk," the elementary things, "is not accustomed to the word of righteousness for he's just an infant but solid food, spiritual solid food is for the mature who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil."
B. Treasure God’s Word in your heart
They know how to walk in this messed up world. That is the success that God would give. That's why he says, and we'll close with this, "Treasure God's Word in your heart." You want a principle. Verse 8, "This book shall not depart from your mouth, but you will meditate on it day and night so that you will be careful to do according to all that's written in it, and then your way will be prosperous, and then you will have success."
Many years ago, I was teaching a class for new believers. There was a fellow there who he'd come to faith from Eastern philosophy, some Hindu faith. He said, "Does Christianity have the idea of meditation like in the Eastern philosophy?" I said, "Not the same, no," because in the Eastern philosophy the idea of meditation is to empty one's mind of all thoughts so that you can become one with the universe, empty your mind.
They would say, "Repeat the sound of the universe so that you can empty your mind. Om. Empty your mind of all thought. Om. Empty your mind of all thought. Clear your mind, no thoughts. Om." I said, "That's the Eastern philosophy, but in faith in Jesus Christ is the exact opposite. God does not ask you to empty your mind, He asks you to fill your mind, to fill your mind. Meditate on these things."
It's like Philippians 4:8, I've read it before. "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if anything is of excellence or worthy of praise, dwell on these things," because Proverbs 23:7 says, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is." The question is, what's in your heart? What are you drinking? That's what goes into your heart. What are you drinking?
There's a word that Moses says to Israel in Deuteronomy 32, it's a great chapter, where he brings this to their attention because it's critical to faith. It's critical to faith. He knows he's sending them into this land where there are a whole lot of the gods of the world and the mass of the world. There's a lot of stuff. He says, "Be careful what you drink."
Then he says it this way. Powerful. "Indeed, their rock is not like our rock. Even our enemies themselves know this. For their vine," their wine, that which they drink. "For their vine is from the vine of Sodom. Their vine is from the fields of Gomorrah." That's what they're drinking. Strong word alert. That's a strong word right there. That is a strong word. What are you drinking? Their vine is from Sodom. Their vine is from Gomorrah. That's a strong word.
I'll tell you what, there's so much right now in this world that you can drink, that will poison your soul. There's so much. That's why he goes on to say, "Their grapes are grapes of poison. Their clusters are bitter. Their vine is the venom of serpents." They drink the deadly poison of Cobras. What are you drinking? Jesus said, "Come unto me all who are thirsty, I'll give you living water, and it will spring up in you as a well." What are you drinking?
The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what's good." How did he get a good heart? What are you drinking? "Because the evil man will bring forth out of the evil treasures what's evil. For the mouth speaks--" You drink that is what you're going to speak. You drink that, it's going to come out of you. "This book will not depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night that you would be careful to do all that is written in it, then you will make your way prosperous, then you will make your way successful.'
Let's pray. Father, thank you so much. Your heart after us is amazing. Your word, it's amazing. You stir us up. You make us thirsty for it God. We want these things. Church, today, how many would say to the Lord, "I want to drink from the living water. I want to walk in the fullness of the promises you have for me.
I want to drink from the well of living water. Water of life that comes from the heart of God, that springs forth from the throne of the living God. I want a drink of that water. For wherever that water flows, there is life. I want that life. I want to walk in the fullness of your promise for me. I want to drink deeply of that water."
Church, how many would say that? Would you just say that to the Lord by lifting your hand up to God? Just let him know your desire, your heart. Raise your hand to the Lord and just say it to Him, "I want to drink of that living water. I want to walk in the fullness of your promises for me. I want that character, that maturity of faith, that boldness, that strength, that transformation." Father, thank you for everyone who says yes and amen to the things of God. We're so thankful for you, for you take hold of our lives. We honor you. We praise you. We stand in awe of you. In Jesus powerful name and everyone said, Amen and Amen.