We are called to follow God wholeheartedly as overcomers. This is how Caleb survived as waited to enter into the land that he saw with faith eyes. He refused to dwell on the challenges; he faced fear with faith. Joshua 14:6-12
Sermon # 11305
11:00 AM on 7/30/2017
If you had the privilege to witness that talent show yesterday, it was an awesome time. Thanks to all those worked so hard to make it happen. Those young people showed their skills, talents, gifts. Let’s pray they don’t end up on Broadway and waste them all. Keep them in the kingdom.
Camp Life – If we don’t get energized we will die! We get a special anointing for the work. To see those young people having such a great time and gathering around the campfires, meeting in the morning for the messages, and out for the day for innumerable activities. We don’t want to leave any child behind. Every camper who expresses a desire, if you can help, contact us. I have a list of young people that express a desire to go but need sponsored. It can change them.
We go evangelizing and it happened a few weeks ago an older young man came up and we gave him a tract. He said you don’t remember me, do you? I’m sorry, I don’t. I was hoping he wouldn’t say you owe me money! He said I was at camp life 15 years ago. He said I will never forget that as long as I live. It can really make an impact on people’s lives. Be praying about that if you can help out.
Joshua 14. I’ve been looking for something for some time now. Haven’t found it yet. Perhaps you can help me out and bring it to everyone’s attention. I’m looking for a problem free life. If that comes across your table, let us know. We know no such thing exists. Job said as the sparks fly upward so a man is born unto trouble. There is trouble everywhere in our world. Pick up the newspaper, watch the news, and go home at the end of a day to a house of trouble. It’s in our home, family, lives. I don’t think the headline of any newspaper would read we only have good news to report. All good news tonight! Stay tuned. We’ll have a commercial free half hour of good news. Don’t wait for that program. It’s not coming. If you wait for a problem free life, you are better off having sole control of a remote control TV. Some men clench it with an iron grip. My wife will say give it to me. With a little fear, I give her the remote control. Take it. It’s yours. She deletes all those sports channels. A hassle free, always blue sky existence. Preceding the blue sky, we had some thunderstorms, rain, clouds, bad weather. It’s not going to happen. Smooth sailing through life is not going to happen. This was my concept as a new believer. I was wrong. I needed instruction and to be taught what the Bible teaches. I thought that’s it my sinful life and now it’s behind me. My problems are in the rear view mirror. My life is going to be blessing after blessing. I was surprised. I had this concept, this idea that now I put my faith in Christ problem free. Boy was I wrong. Jesus gives us a promise. In the world you will have plenty of trouble. Be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.
I put my Spirit in you and that Spirit overcomes the world as well, 1 Jn 5:4. What is required of us? To live like that. An attitude of faith towards God. That’s all he is looking for. Not necessarily our activity but faith produces that. More than anything else we want to please God with a faith that is working because it is motivated by his great love. Problems happen to rich, poor, sophisticated, retired people spiritual people, and secular people as well. Everyone has problems. Not everyone deals with them the same way. P. Gerry just mentioned those twelve spies and ten came back with an evil report. That evil report sent a nation into the wilderness for 40 years. It makes you think about what you will share with someone. Imagine if what you share could send someone into exile for 2 or 4 or even 40 years. Yes, it’s a land that flows with milk and honey but the proverbial but. Giants, walled cities. We are like grasshoppers. They embraced the grasshopper complex. Don’t embrace it. Embrace the attitude that Caleb embraced. Maybe the observations are accurate but what is more important is what God said to us. Didn’t he say he is giving us the land? He didn’t say anything about earning it or deserving it. Why don’t we mix faith with the promise and step out of ourselves and lift up our heads and eyes to the Lord who can make it all possible. Joshua and Caleb had an attitude of faith. The other ten brought defilement on the nation. Some are overcome by their problems. It happens to us from time to time. We are hoping and believing and asking God to change the way we think and approach life so we are not overcome by our problems. We are going by the grace of God to overcome our problems. God is going to use our problems to strengthen our faith and make us the people he always intended us to be, people who overcome in life. Some are left bitter. God says as you look at those challenges you can get through them and not become bitter but better, more of the people I intend for you to become. Some people face their challenges with fear and others with faith. All we have to do is make that simple adjustment. Caleb did that. People like that are unique, we think. They are super Christians. They have a unique characteristic in their soul and see things others don’t see. They have a faith undaunted. They are not special people. Every one of us can be like Caleb and Joshua. Caleb looked at his problem differently. His faith stands out. It wasn’t his strength or unique characteristic. Sometimes we think these are special. Every one of us has been given a measure of grace. Everyone has been given a gift, maybe multiple gifts. We can do amazing things if we reveal to our ears what he has given us and receive by faith what he has promised us and live in the reality of those promises. Go back in time when Caleb first spied out that land. 45 years earlier he was that guy. He believed the land could be taken. He took notice of Caleb’s courage and faith.
Nu 13:24, who wouldn’t want that on their resume, on their grave stone. People going by in a cemetery looking at your headstone, undaunted by the challenges of life, had a different spirit. They followed me wholeheartedly. That’s on Caleb’s resume. We are reading it today. What kind of spirit catches the eye of God? What qualifies as a different spirit? We want to be like Caleb and believe God implicitly. We want to take that step of faith. We want to be like him. How? The answers begin to emerge. Caleb speaks up at the distribution of land. They come into the land and now Caleb has a promise to claim. vs. 6.
Joshua 14:6-10 Notice the words repeated. The Lord, the Lord, wholly following the Lord, this is what the Lord said, this is what the Lord promised.
vs. 10-12. I can count at least nine times in this passage when Caleb is speaking, “the Lord.” If you are looking for the secret to a person’s life who had a different spirit and followed the Lord wholeheartedly, it’s found in this passage. He is not talking about himself. He mentions he is as strong when first saw the land but the name mentioned over and over is the Lord. His heart and mind is saturated with God. God is on his mind, in his thoughts.
I remember the song Ray Charles sang, Georgia on My Mind. Our theme song is Jesus on Our Mind. We can populate that theme in our lives.
What do we know about Jesus on our mind? Everything about this world challenges that fact. We are challenged every day to keep thinking with God. Natural tendency is to cleave to the dust. We need to be quickened on a moment by moment basis, the promises of God pouring into our hearts consistently. Why do we have Bible college after many decades? It is the place where our mind is saturated with the word of God. Time to get our souls saturated with the Word of God. The greater the risk the things of this world will saturate your soul and you find all these other things on your mind. What caused Caleb to have a different spirit? His mind was centered on the Lord. What is the emphasis for you and me? If someone would take a transcript of our thoughts, he kept saying “the Lord, the Lord.” We might say “the problem, the problem” or “the finances, the finances” or “the jerk, the jerk.” I can’t get him off my mind. Or “the pain, the pain,” the hurts and wounds of yesterday that I can’t release to God. Maybe these things are on our mind. Caleb is going into the Promised Land. A whole new generation is entering into the Promised Land. They don’t dwell on their problems. Don’t deny the presence of them. Some think C. are not living in reality. We face our problems. We know they are there. But what we are declaring is there is a God who is greater than our problems and his power can help us overcome our problems. With the truth of his promises we will see our problems but through the grace colored glasses God has given us and we will overcome those problems by God’s grace. That’s what he tells us. We have to marinate our minds in the Word of God.
One time years ago we went to Ohio and a man said I’ve been cooking you ribs for three days, marinating. When you go there the meat fell off the bone. We were holding it up to each other. Catch it! I’ll never forget those ribs! God wants us to do the same things with our minds. Marinate our minds with his promises. Let the Word dwell richly in your hearts. Let that be what you think about. Let that be the first thought that comes to mind when you wake up in the morning. God is good. He will strengthen me. He won’t stop thinking of me. He has my picture on his refrigerator. With the promises of God, start your day and you are marinated in those promises. Caleb was different because his mind was soaked in God.
Ps 42:5 The psalmist said why are you cast down oh my soul? Why disquieted within me? The struggles of his life threatened to pull him under. Overwhelm them with their problems, with their financial needs. Overwhelm them with troubles in the workplace, at home. The devil loves to do that. Just like Daniel in Babylon he had to purpose in his heart not to defile himself with the diet the king set before him. I will have the diet God set before me. The diet I find in church three times a week, in the Bible college. Once doesn’t cut it. If I came to church once a week, you would be visiting me in jail! If I come twice a week, maybe on the street corner, but three times a week you will see me in here. We need our minds drenched with the Word of God. We can’t make it out there unless we hear what we hear in here. I cannot live except by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. And it’s not found out there. Imagine the news saying good evening. Welcome to the program. We’d like to first quote a Scripture verse. We’d like to wrap it up with prayer. That won’t happen. We are reporting from Washington and it’s not good. They have fired more missiles and directed them at your home and family! The psalmist said I will hope in God. My soul, why are you cast down? Hope in God. And I will yet praise him. That’s a faith statement. Did you ever make a faith statement like that? You get the bill in the mail. Hope in God. I will yet praise his name. I never seen the R forsaken nor his children begging for bread. God will come through. He always has and I know he will again. We have to learn to treat our cast down thoughts with the thoughts of God. One set of thoughts go in one direction and the other in the other direction. We keep looking up and trusting him. Some day we might find ourselves in the ICU. If we live long enough to the cemetery, to the unemployment line, to the detox program. Lord, I have to keep my eyes on you. Imagine Joseph forsaken by his brothers. Can you imagine how overwhelming that must have been when he was sold into slavery? Given all these dreams by God. What a contradiction. I’m sure something will happen to you and will contradict what we are hearing this morning. He can’t just let you receive God’s thoughts. It threatens the nature of the devil. Let you go out the door unchallenged without confronting you with sight. Sight always challenges you with the thoughts of faith. He doesn’t want you to meditate on your misery. How good we are at reciting our problems. Like David showing up at the camp and hears Goliath for first time. He says to his brothers, who is this guy? They told David everything about Goliath. They knew how big he was, how many threats he had made, how heavy his armor and how big his spear was. They knew everything about the problem that the giant became bigger and bigger in their minds. No one saw how big God was until little David showed up in the camp. David said my God is the only giant I see. If you give me a few stones, I have already taken out a bear and a lion and I can see his head fitting right between those two on my mantle at home.
Jn 14:27 AMP says stop allowing yourself to be agitated and disturbed. Immerse your mind in my thoughts. When troubles come our way we can be stressed and upset or we can trust God. Caleb could have cursed God or been angry at God. Caleb could have complained. Why did I have to suffer with this unbelieving mob of Israelites for four decades? You should have taken Joshua and me right in and told those guys to wander until they were all dead. He didn’t complain that way. Even through that wilderness wandering and he was associated with those who complained and moaned and kept saying how we long to be back in Egypt. Were they in an Egyptian spa there? Does that kind of complaining and moaning have a way of evaporating what they were in? They were slaves but no one brought that up. The luxury of Egypt? Are you kidding me? How about the lash of the taskmaster whip, that you were slaves and all you did to cry out for God to deliver you and then you complained about what he did. You didn’t grow old or sour Caleb. You stepped forward with your well drenched mind to collect the promises. He never allowed his mind to drift away from the promises of God. He could have but he didn’t. Lord, I’m here to collect and God graciously gave to him.
Col 3:2 AMP set your mind and keep them set on what is above, the higher things, the better things, the things of God, the glorious things. Keep your mind set. Park at the promise of God and don’t go anywhere. Put on the emergency brake of life until my soul is drenched with the promises of God. First flesh and then spirit. Tendency to say why is this happening to me? Let me change that. All things work together for my good. Why having this trouble? Lord I’ll count it all joy. You’ll work patience in my life. You’ll bring capacity in my soul, create capacity in me to face the next trial. That’s how God operates. Why set our minds on things above? God is there above all this mess. We sang it this morning.
Isaiah 6 holy, holy, holy. We are sinful and you are holy and above it all. You are untouched by it all. Pain doesn’t plague you. The weather doesn’t disturb you. Diseases don’t affect you. We are in you so everything in you cannot touch and phase us as we walk in who you are. God has resources that we don’t have. We need to get in touch with those resources. He has wisdom we haven’t imagined. Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly above and beyond what we ask or think. You might say I don’t think that way. Look to him that can do exceedingly above and beyond what you think. My thinking is not so high. That’s alright. His is higher. He giveth more grace. We like that verse so much we named our ministry after it. We got GG from it. God, this trouble is overwhelming me. I’ll give you more grace. If you will take this from my life and remove it. No, I’ll give you more grace. That’s how God operates. Stare less at the mountain in front of us and look to the one who has the power to move it. It’s so big, so great and overwhelming but look more to the God who says I can move that. Cover your ears every time the pessimist starts crowing. We’ll keep looking to God. Just because someone else sings the blues you don’t have to join the chorus. I have another way of thinking and living.
I determined in my heart to show up three times a week to hear something to sustain me and give me capacity to deal with them differently. I’m going to sign up for Bible college to keep me built up. Unless you already learned everything there is to know about God, then we will come to your class. I don’t think so. Always more to learn.
Joshua and Caleb outnumbered 10 to 1. They had to travel with them for the next 40 years. When the mind is filled with faith, you are ready to take on a God sized challenge no matter what it is. Some things come down the pike and overwhelm us. We just need to hit that volitional switch and think with God.
I’m going to set my mind on things with God and park there. If I can do that, I will live life like more than a conqueror.
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