Courage and Confidence for the Mission

by | May 26, 2024 | Podcast, Sermons

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Preacher: Pastor David Ball

Scripture: Joshua 8

In the wake of the sin and faithfulness of Joshua 7, Israel was in danger of falling into the crippling affects of fear and shame. God in His grace called them to courage and confidence which fueled them to victory over Ai. Through the Gospel of Grace through our Lord Jesus Christ, God has given us courage and confidence through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Through Christ we are free from condemnation and free to obey the commands of God as we continue to live on mission as lights for the Gospel in a dark world.

Transcript

Once again uh good evening it’s so so good to be with you for those uh who uh have not been with us maybe a guest of ours uh this evening we’re in the middle of a series on on Joshua and yes the chapters are long but I’m insistent and maybe this is wrong but I’ve just too legalistic about it but I’ve insisted that every word of Joshua has to be read out loud during the series um and maybe that’s rational irrational I don’t know but uh you know but but we’re going to do it because we we’ve come this far now I’m just stubborn um but what we’re we’re looking at this series because in in the conquest of the land of the promised land uh God wasn’t just uh wasn’t just building up an army that’s certainly part of it uh to to reckon his judgment upon uh the inhabitants of the promised land to fulfill the Covenant that he had made with uh with Abram uh that to fulfill that promise that’s certainly part of it but God in this process is also molding the people of Israel into the people that he wants them to be not just as conquerors but the people he wants to be them to be as the inhabitants of the land he’s giving them this land and he’s called them to be his own people for a greater purpose than just for their own enjoyment that they might just uh just enjoy this beautiful land filled with milk and and honey uh and and it’s but it’s about more than that he’s chosen them to be a blessing to the Nations he he’s giving them this land that they might be a shining light for the gospel to the Nations to the world and so in this process as as they’re coming into and they’re they’re Conquering the land he’s teaching them he’s molding them and how to be a people that he’s calling them to be to Faithfully follow where he’s leading that they might be an example that he’s the one true God and so he’s teaching them through all of these encounters uh that they have and uh last week in Joshua chapter 7 we we dealt with the hidden sin of Ain uh that a Ain had kept for himself some of the devoted things uh that the Lord had said that you shall not keep because they’ve been devoted to me and he had warned them uh that if they were to keep those that they would they would suffer the same fate and that sin of Ain it permeated throughout all of Israel uh to the point where Israel rushed into battle against AI without faith which is what God had been teaching teaching them all along that he’s the one who goes before them to not get out ahead before uh the ark of the covenant to follow his grace and where he’s leading but when it came to Ai and uh and the sin that permeated from aen and into the community they just went flying off the handle trusting in their own might after Jericho they were they were so emboldened Jericho hadn’t actually grown their faith and trust in God and what God had done for them it had actually made them

cocky it built their own self-confidence and built their own self-reliance and so when it came to AI they said hey this place is easy we don’t even need everybody let’s not bother taking everybody just take a few and we’ll take this thing but the result was that they were routed and they ran away for their lives and were told worst of all their hearts melted within them like water that’s what the people of the land were supposed to do it’s seeing the mighty works of God and giving God the glory but here are God’s Own people who had gone off in their own strength and their own power and their own wisdom and had failed to follow in faith where the Lord was leading now their hearts are melting that’s not the way it was supposed to be but then later in that cha chapter ain’s hidden sin was called out Joshua said give glory to God and confess and God’s judgment he did and God’s judgment was rendered and aen received the same punishment that the people of Jericho had received and Joshua 7 ended with these words from the Lord then the Lord turned from his Burning Anger then the Lord turned from his Burning Anger but now what now what how will God deal with these people who have acted so faithlessly running off to AI cocky and overly self-confident without any mention or or concern for God at all uh they didn’t need him at least they thought but how’s God going to deal with them now ain’s been dealt with we we we hear that the anger of the The Burning Anger of the Lord uh has turned but how’s God going to deal with them remember God’s doing more than just trying to win a war because the truth is he didn’t need Israel at all he didn’t need Israel to destroy the the people in the promised land but God chose to use a people he chose to use a people because he’s building a people who will be his witnesses to the the nation because somehow in God’s great wisdom he sees this as the best way of reaching others who are

lost it’s using a people for himself to be his witnesses to the world these people to be a blessing to the Nations to the world a people who will be as witnesses witnesses that follow him the one true God and demonstrate to everyone around that his way is better than all the false gods and the fallen angels and the demons and the spiritual forces of Darkness that they’ve been following but these people kept failing God’s people couldn’t live up to it but he’s teaching them over and over again so what’s he going to do with them well what does God do with

us when we Act without faith when we act out of rebellion when when we take action in our own wisdom and our own strength when we fail to love him and love others the great commandment right to love the Lord your God with all of your heart mind and soul and to love your neighbor as yourself what does he do with us when we hurt the people around us with our our own selfish Ambitions our own ideas maybe out of our own woundedness even we react and we hurt them what does God do with us because we all do it because we’ve all sinned we all fall short of the glory of God uh even after we’ve received

Jesus we’re not sinless we continue to fall short so how does God our heavenly father father deal with us with crippling guilt and

shame that’s how most of us I think deal with our own failures right at least that’s how I feel but Joshua 8 paints a different picture Al together it P it paints one of incredible hope one that generates actually courage and confidence the kind of courage and confidence that lovingly urges us on

that gives us a spirit to continue the mission that Jesus has given us not the guilt and the shame that so cripples us and leaves us in total despair Joshua 8 is pointing us to the gospel of grace through our Lord Jesus Christ and the courage and the confidence it gives us to continue living on mission for Christ and so I invite you to open uh Joshua 8 uh we’re going to start with the first verse and actually I’m going to surprise you this week and that uh last week I tried to do the whole chapter this week I’m going to do completely the opposite I’m going to do one verse just to keep you well it’ll be a little more than one verse but it it’s close enough um uh just to keep you on your toes you never know what’s going to happen here doesn’t mean it’s going to be shorter it just means one verse so after all of the failure and all of the faithlessness and verse one we’re told the Lord said to Joshua do not fear and do not be dismayed do not fear and do not be dismayed I know about you but this is not what I would expect to hear God say at this moment do do not fear and do not be dismayed uh what I would think in my head that that God would say in the wake of uh completely faithless children uh that have been rebelling and acting out all around them would be something like be very upset and be very frustrated I would expect God would want them to feel the full weight of what they have done because as a father that’s what I do

I can’t let them off the hook right what kind of father would I would would I be I got to make them feel the burden I got to make them feel the weight of what they’ve done I got to make them feel the guilt because the next time they’ll learned a lesson at least that’s what I think anyway right they they’ll remember the pain they’ll remember guilt they’ll remember the shame of what they had done and what they had experienced the last time and next time they’re going to act right next time they’re going to act right that’s how I think and that’s what goes through my heart because that’s the way I think that’s what goes through my own heart when I sin against God and I think about what his attitude is towards me but God doesn’t say that God says to them do not fear and do not be dismayed God seems to so quickly to show his people grace even after their faithlessness to him now don’t get me wrong uh he he was angry in Joshua 7 and we saw his anger burn and we saw the punishment for sin but once the sin of aen was paid for God quickly turned from his Burning Anger and he offered them words of incredible Grace do not fear and do not be dismayed are those the words you hear in your own heart after you’ve fallen into

sin do you hear God saying those words to you well what does God mean by these words what does he mean by them let’s start with do not be afraid do not be afraid 39 times God says do not be afraid uh in the scriptures mainly in the Old Testament uh and it really falls into into four categories when God sayso not be afraid I’m sure you can think of most of these just offand uh God says do not be afraid when he’s reassuring his people uh who are in in times of Terror and usually the terror they’re in is because they’ve encountered God in some way one of his Messengers an Angel um or him you know some some sort of uh encounter with the Living God and they’re in fear and he sayso not be afraid well we also see uh that he uh he says this as his encouragement when his people are called to venture into unknown lands he says Don’t Be Afraid do not be afraid think of Abraham when when Abram was called do not be afraid this is the land that I’m giving you uh number three it’s when he commands his people into battle he sayso not be afraid and then the fourth gives his people the Divine assurance that he’s with them that he’s with them he sayso not be afraid in Deuteronomy 31:6 do not fear for it is the Lord your God who goes with you God doesn’t want his be his people to be afraid I want my kids to be afraid when they’ve done wrong I want I want to fill them with you know healthy amount of fear I’m not talking about you know overbear doing overdoing it but I want him to feel a little bit of fear but God doesn’t want his children to be afraid but let’s think about this what would they have been afraid of why did God need to say this to him do not be afraid what would they have been afraid of at this time well I can think of a few things maybe it’s God’s judgment in their lives right that God has now removed his promise and his uh and his his favor from them because of their faithlessness because of they the way they acted or another they might be afraid physically of the a military defeat like the one they just experienced with with

AI or maybe they’re afraid of just an un unknown future they can’t predict what’s going to happen so they do take total occupation of the land then what how are they going to manage how are they they going to govern how are they going to be able to hold this land against all the people who are going to come against them

inevitably so what’s the danger of the fear what is the danger of the fear in the hearts of his people why is God so concerned that they would feel fear and I think likely why in the same time why is he not want us to to experience the fear because I believe that it’s the fear that will make them quit fear makes cowards of us all doesn’t it fear makes us afraid to even try especially when we get hurt and out of fear it’s easier just not to risk it right I’ve been hurt before I just can’t possibly try again fear threatens to to undermine the hearts of his people that they’ll quit the mission that they’re called to here in Joshua they’ll just quit this mission that God’s got them on of Conquering the land how about us what threat does fear play in our lives because the truth is we aren’t any different we’re on a mission same as God’s people were on a mission in Joshua we’re not called to conquer the promised land we’re not called to take up Military Arms against anyone our mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with our friends with our families with our neighbors with our co-workers and our greatest threat to living into that mission it’s fear isn’t it it’s fear maybe it’s a a fear of offending

people maybe it’s a fear of being rejected maybe it’s a fear that that will um that somehow will’ll mess it up you know if I actually share my faith with someone I’m gonna say the wrong

thing or maybe it’s

uh maybe we out of we have a fear that if we do share the gospel with our friend or our family member our coworker our neighbor it’s going to jeopardize our reputation and our relationship with them they’re going to think we’re that those weird Jesus

Freaks these are the fears that we feel and when we feel those fears guess what we don’t do we don’t share the gospel we don’t share our relationship with Christ with anyone and so God saying to us every bit as much as he was saying to his people in Joshua 8 do not fear he’s assuring us that he’s with us that he has called us to this Mission and those that he calls he also equips for the task that he is calling them to so God says do not fear the fear will make you quit but then secondly God said don’t be dismayed the word dismayed it can also mean uh translated as to be shattered or to be broken God used these words when his people were facing seemingly impossible tasks in other places in the scriptures David said it to Solomon when when he was in instructing Solomon to build this Temple it was a mighty task that seemed impossible but he saido not be dismayed son in 2 Chronicles 20 the Lord said to King Jehosaphat and to the people when they were facing a threat of an outside force he saido not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde for the battle is not yours but the Lord’s and again a few verses later do not be afraid and do not be dismayed tomorrow go out against them and the Lord will be with you why would the people in Joshua 8 be dismayed why would they be shattered why would they be broken because they feared that God was no longer with them because of their sin and their un their faithlessness they felt the guilt and the shame of it have you have you ever felt that

way I think if you care at all then you have you had to have I know my heart feels that way you know there’s times where I’m like how can I possibly be a pastor today I lost my temper today I was quick fused I barked at somebody I hurt him

you know and I usually justify it well they deserved it because they did this to me that God can’t possibly be with me because I don’t deserve it have you ever felt the weight that that kind of of shattered heart

causes but in in 81 God wants Joshua and the people to know that despite their sin despite their faithlessness that he is faithful that he is with them that the battle that is before them it isn’t theirs it’s his and that’s exactly what happens God delivers AI into their hands he was with them he led them and they followed his Direction and AI Was Defeated you you heard it you can go back and read the those verses yourself how does that relate to us friends we’re called on Mission and God is speaking the same words to you and to me today do not be afraid do not be dismayed only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ has he given us any reason to really believe

him the sin of achen was dealt with by the life of achen and his family God in his great love for us has dealt with our sin through the punishment of his own son Jesus took our sin upon him he died the death that we deserve that’s what sacrificial love is all about and that’s the kind of love that casts fear out of our Lives 1 John 4:18 there’s no fear and love but perfect love cast out fear for fear has to do with punishment and whoever fears has not been perfected in love when we’ve been perfected in Love by the sacrificial love of God for us in Jesus we have nothing to fear because by faith in Jesus God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who’s been given to us that means that God is with us always and in every situation Even in our own failure Even in our own faithlessness the spirit of Jesus never leaves us or forsakes US he is with us because in Jesus’s perfect love we are all free of condemnation it’s what Paul said in Romans 81 there there is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus the the gospel of grace it gives us the freedom from all condemnation even our own failures we are free to repent and to find renewal and newness of Life In Christ always but not only are we free from condemnation meaning we have nothing to fear we’re also free to obey God not out of obligation or Duty or some even selfish ambition in order to do it to gain favor with God a tit fortat but out of true heartfelt gratitude for the grace that we’ve received in Jesus because that’s what pleases the Lord Romans 82 then goes on to say for the law of the spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death the holy Spirit of life is alive in us showing us the goodness of God’s commands and the desire giving us the desire to live our lives according to them and Joshua 8 it ends with the renewal of the Covenant a renewal of a commitment to God and to his command God’s grace towards them and continuing to be with them even in the midst of Their Own faithlessness It gave birth Earth to a renewal of obedience to God’s commands God’s grace towards us through his son Jesus K Christ gives birth to freedom freedom from condemn condemnation freedom to obey God’s

commands God through Joshua 8 is calling us to be a people of grace-filled freedom as he’s preparing us to to be a light of the Gospel to our community to our neighbors to our friends as that building gets prepared the promised land as I’ve been calling it in this series it’s just a building but he’s preparing us to be a people a Grace filled people that we might shine brightly as his gospel lights in this Dark World without fear and without dismay but full of the confidence and the courage that comes only in the gospel of our Lord Jesus

Christ may he come by the power of the Holy Spirit and make us that kind of gospel filled Grace filled people of Freedom who find the freedom of all condemnation and the freedom to live our lives in obedience to his command amen

 

 

 

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