Joshua chapter 3 tells us that Joshua along with the nation of Israel crossed the flood-swollen river of Jordan. These people had one major goal in their mind. To capture the city of Jericho (a militarily important target) which will prepare the way to conquer the promised land.
There was a challenge, however, the current of the Jordan is very swift at Jericho. Besides, it was the harvest season and the melting snows in the Lebanon mountains caused the river to overflow.
Just like Joshua and the Israelites, I am sure all of us have new goals (personal, educational, ministerial, professional) to achieve in the new year. Just like them, we will face unimaginable challenges while we run towards these goals. Today’s sermon is about how to overcome these challenges.
Text: Joshua 3:1-17
1. Take Immediate Action
A. Joshua’s task wasn’t easy. The flood-swollen river was over 1 mile wide. Joshua was responsible for safely taking 2 million people across.
B. He could have waited for the situation to improve. Instead, he took immediate action, (Joshua 3:1)
And Joshua rose early in the morning; and they removed from Shittim, and came to Jordan, he and all the children of Israel, and lodged there before they passed over.
C. Most people when confronted with difficult and risky tasks they put them off as long as possible. Often it only makes matters worse.
D. This year when you are faced with a challenging situation, don’t procrastinate. Trust in God’s strength and wisdom. Then get up “early in the morning” and go to it. At the end of the day, you will be glad you did.
2. Seek the counsel of the Spiritual Leaders
A. The leaders announced God’s order to follow the Levite priests to the people,
And it came to pass after three days, that the officers went through the host; And they commanded the people, saying, When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests the Levites bearing it, then ye shall remove from your place, and go after it.
B. Spiritual leaders have divinely appointed tour guides of our Christian walk. Follow them.
C. The previous generation died in the desert because they despised Moses’ instructions. Joshua was blessed because he obeyed Moses from the beginning.
D. Most of us miss God’s blessings because we ignore the counsel of our spiritual leaders. Disobeying their authority is a direct rebellion against God.
E. Even as you step into a brand new year make a fresh commitment to submit to Leadership.
3. Wait in God’s presence
A. The Israelites didn’t know where to go because they had never passed that way before, (Joshua 3:4).
Yet there shall be a space between you and it, about two thousand cubits by measure: come not near unto it, that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.
B. Likewise, We don’t know what the year 2021 has for us – for we have never been there before.
C. Now, the ark of the covenant was a symbol of God’s presence and His guidance.
D. It’s important that God’s children spend time in His presence for guidance and direction in the new year.
4. Sanctification is a Must
A. The people were ordered to put away anything and everything displeasing to God,
And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you.
B. Sin prevents us from becoming victorious Christians. It causes us to dwell in our losses.
C. If you examine your life, confess your sins and turn back to God you will be forgiven, (1 John 1:9)
D. Ask for God’s grace so that you will not repeat the same mistakes you made last year.
5. Trust God for His Word
A. God promised that they will overcome the nations that occupied the land He promised them, (Joshua 3:9-13).
And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, Come hither, and hear the words of the Lord your God. And Joshua said, Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan. Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man. And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord , the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap.
B. Do you remember any of the promises you received from God in the last year?
C. Remember and claim those promises when you face flood-swollen rivers of Jordan in life this year.
6. Faith in Action
A. Faith without actions is dead,
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
You must apply your faith to the challenges of life.
B. Follow these 6 principals I shared with you from God’s word.