Overcoming Obstacles

joshua6Joshua 6 records the Victory that the Nation of Israel had when God gave them victory at Jericho. From this chapter and other scriptures there are 7 ways to overcome the obstacles that keep you or your church from being where God wants you to be.

  1. Realize that God has a PLAN. Joshua 6:2-5, Jeremiah 29:11
  2. Understand the place of PURITY in your life. Joshua 3:5, Joshua 5:2-10
  3. Exercise you FAITH in God. Joshua 6:7, Hebrews 11:1
  4. Practice PATIENCE on the Journey. Joshua 6:15, Psalm 40:1
  5. Control your SELF. Joshua 6:1, Proverbs 16:32
  6. Claim the PROMISES of God. Joshua 21:45
  7. Have confidence in the Spiritual LEADERS in your life. Joshua 6:27
Our Big News

Our Big News

December 15, 2013 was my first Sunday at First Baptist Church Dalhart, Texas as their new Pastor. This moment was the result of God’s leading and the culmination of years of prayer.

5 Things God taught Me during my Ministry Move

  1. There is no substitution for prayer.
  2. God want us to know His will and He will clearly direct our paths.
  3. God prepares and equips us for service.
  4. Ministry friends are a great source of counsel and encouragement.
  5. God’s glory should be the focus, not selfish ambition.

We are excited about this new season of ministry and look forward to making Dalhart, Texas our new home.

Last Words from a Great Leader

Joshua 24:14-25

God worked through Joshua’s life in a powerful way. His life and the journey of Israel to the Promised Land provides great insight into the character and strength of God and how we should respond to Him. In this passage, Joshua gives a farewell address and makes a charge to the people Israel before his death. Joshua 24:14-25

Think about these ideas about final words:

  • Final words are chosen carefully
  • Final words are focused on the needs of the audience
  • Final words from credible sources should be heeded

In the first part of Joshua 24, Joshua reminds the people of Israel about God’s powerful acts and His faithfulness. Then starting in verse 14, he charges Israel to fear God and serve Him with faithfulness. He also charges them to throw away the gods their forefathers worshiped beyond the river and in Egypt. Choosing to serve the Lord becomes the focus of verse 15. Joshua 24:15 is the most famous verse in the book of Joshua. It says,

“But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”

At the end of his life, Joshua challenged the people of God to follow his example by worshiping and serving God alone.

Clear Application for Today

  • Final words are important.
  • Remembering God’s faithfulness in the past helps us follow Him in the present.
  • Who we worship and serve is a choice all must make.
  • Fathers are the leaders of the family who can make this decision to honor God for the whole family.
  • God desires our worship, service, and allegiance.

City of Refuge

Joshua 20:1-9

Before the People of God crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, God told Moses to set aside six cities to be known as Cities of Refuge. These cities were places that people who may have accidentally killed another person could flee to a city of refuge and be protected from the “avenger of blood” (family of the deceased) until the elders of the city could investigate the circumstances. If the person seeking refuge was found guilty, they were put to death. If they were found to be innocent, they could continue to live in the city of refuge without fear.

These Cities of Refuge can be seen as a picture of our salvation in Jesus Christ. We are all guilty (Romans 3:23), and there is an avenger seeking our souls. (John 10:10) There is a place we can run and find safety for our souls. The place is a Person, Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12) We must run to our Savior Who is our Refuge.

Has God brought you to a place where you understand you are guilty? Have you taken your guilt to Jesus and placed your faith in Him. He is our Refuge.

Joshua 7 Defeat on the Way to Victory

God gave the people of Israel a great victory when He caused the walls of Jericho to fall. He was fighting for His people and giving them victory that they could not accomplish by themselves. Joshua 6:27 says, “And the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.” As is the case after spiritual victories, defeat and discouragement closely followed.

In Joshua 6: 17-19, Joshua clearly instructs Israel that everything taken from the city belonged to God. He warned them to stay away from “devoted things.” He told them that failure to obey God would make the camp of Israel “liable to destruction and bring trouble on it.” (NIV) One of the soldiers, Achan, son of Carmi, disobeyed this clear instruction which led to defeat for the people of God.

The next nation to conquer in the Promise Land was the people of Ai. After Joshua scouts them out, he determines that the conquest of Ai will be easy for the army and only sends three thousand men to fight. They are defeated and embarrassed by the army of Ai. The victory of Jericho is quickly overshadowed by the defeat of Ai. It is important to understand what caused the defeat at Ai. It was the disobedience of Achan, which resulted is God allowing the Israelites to fight in their own strength, leading to defeat. Sin must be dealt with in the lives of God’s people for God’s presence and power to be experienced.

Joshua is broken over this defeat and seeks the face of God. God leads him to consecrate the people and search out the disobedient tribe. Achan is found out, and he and his family are judged and stoned.

After the sin of Achan is discovered and confessed, the conquest of Ai continues. With God once again fighting for His people, Ai is soundly defeated and taking possession of the Promise Land continues.

Clear Application for Today

  • God is the source of victorious Christian living. By faith we can be strong and courageous.
  • Knowing right from wrong must be followed by obedience. Achan knew what was right and chose his will over the will of God.
  • Seeking more knowledge about God is important, but not as important as obedience to what we already know.
  • Disobedience to God strips the power of God working in our lives.
  • If we want God to fight our battles and give us power to do what He has called us to do, we must be obedient to do things God’s way.
  • Like Achan, our sin affects our family.
  • Confession of sin leads to restoration and renewed spiritual power.
  • When you surrender to the Lord, no defeat is permanent and no mistake is beyond remedy.

Is there a spiritual barrier present in your life that must be dealt with before the power of God returns in your life?

Joshua 2 Spies, Conquest and an Unusual Convert

Joshua 2 Spies, Conquest and an Unusual Convert

Forty years earlier Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan and only two came back with a faithful response, Joshua and Caleb. This time Joshua sent two spies into the city of Jericho to return with a report of the city before the armies of God would invade the city. These spies are protected by a prostitute named Rahab.

Only two women are mentioned in Hebrews 11, “The Hall of Faith,” Sarah, the wife of Abraham and Rahab the prostitute of Jericho. Rehab is also mentioned in the Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:5. Rahab is known for her faith in God and the resulting actions she took to protect the spies. The most important thing about Rahab was her faith. She had heard the report about what the God of Israel was doing and choose to place her faith in Him. Rahab demonstrated her faith in God by helping the spies. James tells us that “faith without works is dead.” Rahab obedience gave evidence of a changed life marked by faith.

Rehab is concerned for her safety and the safety of her family and asks the spies to promise her protection. They grant her request. They instruct her to tie a scarlet cord in her window to indicate her location for the invading army. This is a reminder of the blood sprinkled on the door posts in Exodus 12. In Joshua 6, Rehab and her family are protected by the two spies and saved when Jericho fell.

This chapter focuses on the faith of an unlikely example. The faith of Rahab.

Clear Application for Today

  • Sometimes God uses unlikely people to fulfill His purposes.
  • The Promises of God extend to all who will trust Him.
  • Faith requires courageous responses to the circumstances of life.
  • Faith is demonstrated in actions, and those actions lead to obedience.
  • As a child of God we can meet the challenges of life with strength and courage.

What circumstance are you facing that you must put your faith fully in God and work it out with acts of obedience?

Joshua Courageous Living

Joshua Courageous Living

In Joshua Chapter 1, God commissions Joshua to take Moses’ place of leadership as the people of God move toward the promise land. God tells Joshua three times to be strong and courageous. (Joshua 1:6,7,9) The basis for this strength and courage is found in verse 5, where God tells Joshua that He will be with him like He was with Moses. God promises, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Again in verse 9 God shows Joshua where his strength and confidence should come from. “Have I not command you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Clear Application for Today

  • God will never call you to something He will not give you strength and courage to do. Joshua 1:5,9
  • The Word of God is essential in your life if you are to fulfill God’s calling. Joshua 1:8
  • God will involve others in the work as you fulfill God’s calling in your life. Joshua 1:16-17
  • Others involved in God’s work will encourage you to be “strong and courageous.” Joshua 1:18