Preparing for what’s next

I believe the Lord is going to bring great success to our church families, the Valley, our state, and nation

I believe as you begin to apply the things we have been learning through the teaching, your reading your daily devotions, your time in prayer every day God is giving us success

WE see it in the miracles we hear the Lord is performing here, every week someone shares with me the impact the service had on their lives, and I hear from many of you how the Lord has used you to touch hearts and lives….that is really a large portion of the purpose of church to equip you to impact the world.

The Lord is moving us on to success and blessing for what He has in store for us next…The position and authority he has called us to, but we must not neglect what He is doing in us now and especially not neglect what God is doing in you now.

WE begin this morning with a promotion story

Joshua 1:2

“Moses My servant is dead. Now, therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 

God speaks to Joshua directly for the first time….He has promoted him and promises great success

Joshua’s preparation for leadership and success was built over time 40 years to be exact

I believe as we look at Joshua’s preparation we can learn how to be a success and prepare for the next steps

In the chronology of the Bible, we first see Joshua here

Exodus 17:9

And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”

Somewhere along the line Joshua was trained to be a soldier. He used those skills to honor the Lord.

Many want God to pour all kinds of blessings on them. We want to see God move in our lives. God may have even placed a desire or a dream in your heart. Joshua shows us first how to begin to see that fulfilled it is all a matter of choosing to trust

1) Joshua trusted in the gifts and skills God gave him

 Joshua served the Lord with what the Lord had given him…

One of the odd things I see about human nature is that the things that come easiest to us we don’t seem to value….we want to do something else that seems in our eyes harder or more valuable in some way and in some ways it is more valuable to us because we don’t have the skills

People who come by being a parent easily don’t think anything of it

Ron or Dean with dry wall and mudding they have done it so much

Even one of the greats in baseball Roberto Clemente, in an interview about his greatness he simply said, “I love baseball, and I come to play!”

If we choose to recognize that anything we can do, is a skill and a gift and every good gift comes from God then….

Do what you can to the best of your ability, and it will honor God

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says “whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all of your might.” 

In preparing for what’s next, we need be faithful to use what God has given us now!

2) We see Joshua trusting in the people God has placed to mentor Him!

Joshua’s hope was not in the perfection of Moses but in Moses love of the Lord

Exodus 24:13,14

So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up to the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Indeed, Aaron and Hur are with you. If any man has a difficulty, let him go to them.”

Moses and Joshua leave the people in the hands of Aaron and Hur and head up the mountain of God.

Moses had the advantage of being in the presence of God for the 40 days he was up there….Joshua was alone feeling nothing from God, seeing nothing from God. He may have even been fasting like Moses

His hope was in trusting God, in Moses. He knew he was called to serve and didn’t doubt that call…No one will ever be a good leader until they learn to be a good servant…God will never trust someone with authority who doesn’t know how to work under authority

Romans 13:1-5

For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 

God places authority into our lives to help make us the best we can be

– Protect us – helping us to see what we sometimes can not see ourselves, literally defending us at times, spiritual authority protects by helping us understand God’s word, call to living, and His commands and praying for us.

– Present truth – often we do not want to see the truth we would rather deceive ourselves to save ourselves from pain…Unless we deal with the truth, the pain may be worse later… It is like when you do not discipline your children because it is hard on your heart or too wearying, later they end up not getting a solid career, into the right school, or even end up in trouble with the law…Speaking truth lovingly saves us pain

there is also a very positive side of authority speaking the truth and that is when the devil has lied to us and tried to tear us down, robs us of our hope and dreams…those in authority can speak life back into us…The truth of God’s word and restore hope

– Challenge and cause growth – the authority in our lives like our Fathers and Mothers is meant to push us to grow…To challenge us to become everything we are called to be. We will only grow to our fullest by having the authority train and challenge us one of the greek meanings behind this is the training of a vine, so it will produce more fruit.

When it came time for Joshua to lead, Moses and the Lord knew he could be trusted to obey the instruction of the Lord because he learned first to obey the instructions of the man of God, God had placed over him

He trusted in the presence of God

Exodus 33:11 So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant  Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

This takes a faith walk to believe that God is real and that He created you for a purpose…That faith walk in order to be a great leader needs to grow into knowledge

Proverbs 2:5 Then you will understand the fear of the Lord,

And find the knowledge of God. 6 For the Lord gives wisdom;

From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk uprightly;

We must have a real life knowledge of God to moves us to the next place to know as Hebrews writes that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him, to know that He is good, to know that He is, to know that he is real, powerful, present, he knows everything.

This is only developed by spending time with Him. Joshua was not satisfied with having a relationship with the Lord only through Moses; he wanted a real relationship with him in person where he got to know the Lord and his ways

Psalm 103:7 says He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.

Joshua wanted to know God not just what he could do

When you understand who God is you are ready for promotion insecurities and fear fade away…By knowing who God is, it is easy to discover who you are and your gifts and call…you can stand up for anything and also stand against anything

He trusted in the word of God

This is probably the most famous story of Joshua’s life

Numbers 14:6-9

But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

God had promised Israel a land of their own. He did not say how they would get it. Every promise of God was just as He said but they had to fight to get the promise….God knew there were giants and high walled cities, rivers to cross, mountains to traverse when He promised the land.

To move into the next step, you must trust God at his word for the first step.

First missions trip God told me to go….no permissions, no plans, no meetings set up, no hotel or transportation arrangements and me responsible for $50K of equipment I learned to rely on the Lord rather than my abilities

Shot video on the great wall BBC paid 100K for permission, met numerous persecuted Christians met the head of the three self-church, had the military always two steps behind us…there was no communication back home.

Joshua saw the problems but believed in the promise more than the problem…

Are you prepared for what’s next?

– When the Lord can trust you to use what you have

– When He can trust you to trust Him that he placed the leadership over you

– When he can trust you to get to know Him

– When He can trust you to trust Him at His word

Then you are ready…you may say I’m too old, too settled, too comfortable…you can make excuses all day, but until you are dead God has a NEXT plan for you if you the next plan is death, don’t you want to go see Him and have Him say “well done?”…why waste time…prepare for what’s next