Wednesday Evening Bible Study
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As I was praying about what to minister for Bible Study, the Lord led me to go back to what I had taught at the beginning of 2020 and go over it again. When I somewhat “questioned” Him about teaching basically the same thing, He reminded of what He said in Matthew 18:19:
Matthew 18:19 NKJV “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.
In other words, Jesus had taught on this subject at least one other time and the disciples needed to hear it again. So, we must need to hear this again.
God wants 2021 to be a game-changing year for you and your household!
Now here’s the story…Joshua is born as a slave during Israel’s 400 years under Egyptian bondage. He ends up becoming Moses 2nd in command during the Exodus of Israel from Egypt. As the story of Israel’s new future unfolds, God has promised to bless them with a beautiful and fertile nation of their own.
The problem is….it’s occupied. Lots of people live there…warring people, dangerous people. When the people of Israel surmise the difficulty and danger of conquering the land God has promised, they panic, get cold feet and ultimately lose heart and faith that God will make good on his word. Because of their lack of faith, they spend the next 40 years wandering through the Jordan desert. It is a barren, dry and unforgiving place. Many die in the desert.
Finally after 40 years, God leads them to the brink of their promised land again…but before they make their first push in…Moses dies and Joshua is named his successor and the one who will actually lead them into this massive opportunity.
Now Joshua is facing the greatest challenge of his life…BUT HE ALSO RECOGNIZES THAT WHAT HE DOES IN THIS MOMENT WILL MATTER BEYOND HIS LIFETIME.
Joshua 1:1-9 NKJV After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: (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. (3) Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. (4) From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. (5) No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. (6) Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. (7) Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. (8) This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (9) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
- Whenever you ask God for a victory, he will always give you a strategy then you have to walk it out.
Psalms 37:23 NKJV The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
- God will always lead us in steps and stages.
In other words, God’s promises to you will not just happen out of thin air regardless of what you do or do not do….MIRACLES REQUIRE OBEDIENCE BEFORE THEY BECOME REALITY.
For 2021 to be a game changing year it will require you to…
- Believe fearlessly.
Did you notice how many times God told Joshua to “Be strong and courageous?” 3 times in 3 verses. (At least 8 times overall)
One of the things every one battles from time to time is self doubt….usually our greatest battles aren’t fought on the OUTSIDE…THEY ARE FOUGHT ON THE INSIDE.
When you win on the inside, usually the wins come easier on the outside.
But it’s also true THAT IF YOU LOSE ON THE INSIDE, GENERALLY THE BATTLE IS ALREADY OVER.
Too many people forfeit before they ever really get started and generally there are 3 common reasons or excuses why people usually forfeit:
- What’s ahead is too big – this is what cost Israel the first time around, they spied and observed that there were tribes of giants living there…they felt small and ill equipped.
- The contrary circumstances are too great – Joshua knew these people lived here and would not give up their homeland easily.
- I’m not good enough – Joshua did not come from a strong leadership background or heritage, or some great university….he grew up a common slave in Egypt.
God knew these things could work against his confidence, so the first thing God had to do was remind him THAT IF HE WANTED TO EXPERIENCE SIGNIFICANT CHANGE THAT IT WOULD REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT COURAGE.
What is it that you think you can’t do…what is it that you think is too big…what is that you think disqualifies you from doing great things….IF YOU DON’T FACE THE DEMON OF DISCOURAGEMENT NOW AND BRING HIM DOWN, HE’LL RUN YOU AND CONTROL YOU FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.
- Live intentionally.
Joshua 1:2 NLT “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.
Joshua 1:2 MSG “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel.
If you want things to be different in any area of your life, whether it’s your marriage, your finances, your business or your life in general….YOU ARE GOING TO NEED MORE THAN HOPE, YOU ARE GOING TO NEED TO EMBRACE RESPONSIBILITY.
You can wait, do nothing and just hope things will change… BUT THEY WON’T. Somewhere you have to begin to MAKE A PLAN, LIVE WITH PURPOSE…CHANGE YOUR DAILY HABITS.
Author – Randy Gage – “You don’t create your future. You create your daily habits and they create your future.”
- It’s ultimately your daily habits that will eventually create your future.
Philippians 3:14 NIV I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Sit down and write out some goals this year…forget resolutions…I MEAN LIFE ALTERING GOALS…What do you want your marriage to look like in 6 months? What do you want your finances to realistically look like in 6 months? What do you not know now that you would like to learn in the next 6 months?
Here is a guide to setting some goals for change in your life:
- S – Specific
- M – Measurable
- A – Attainable
- R – Realistic
- T – Timely
CHART A COURSE FOR YOUR 2021 AND THEN EVERY DAY ASK YOURSELF THESE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS….
”WHAT AM I DOING TODAY THAT IS MOVING ME TOWARDS THAT PURPOSE?” OR
“WHAT AM I DOING THAT I NEED TO STOP DOING THAT IS HINDERING ME FROM GETTING TO THAT PURPOSE?”
- Associate strategically.
Exodus 24:12-18 NKJV Then the LORD said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and be there; and I will give you tablets of stone, and the law and commandments which I have written, that you may teach them.” (13) 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.” (15) Then Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain. (16) Now the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. (17) The sight of the glory of the LORD was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. (18) So Moses went into the midst of the cloud and went up into the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.
Exodus 33:11 NKJV 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.
- There are some things that you can only get through association.
One of the things that made Joshua ready for the next level of his life was that he hung out with a spiritual giant like Moses. Joshua had a front row seat to some of the gutsiest leadership that you will ever find in all the Bible. This guy was fearless in the face of his enemies, patient and longsuffering in the wake of a murmuring nation…constantly walked in the literal presence of a Holy God on mountains…and stood between that God and destruction on behalf of the people he had been called to lead…..He was something else….and Joshua hung out with him all the time. You think anything rubbed off?…..Everything rubbed off. Who you spend most of your time with matters.
See if you really want to know where you’re going just look at your closest associations.
Are all the people around you negative, complainers and critical and judgmental of everything and everyone who isn’t like them or believe like they do?
Proverbs 13:20 MSG Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
- Commit faithfully.
Joshua 1:8 NKJV This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
It’s not enough to just know what to do…at some point you have to commit to become a person of action.
Procrastination is the arch enemy of your dreams and everything God has purposed for your life.
God never gives you a supernatural grace and strength TO DO until he sees that you have made a complete and faithful commitment TO DO.
Then once you step out… you unlock something supernatural that you will never experience as long as you sit in the boat and think about it….just ask Peter. All of the 12 disciples were on that boat that night, but only one can tell you what water feels like under your feet….any one of them could have experienced it but it was only experienced by the ONE WHO WAS WILLING TO DO WHAT NO ONE ELSE WAS WILLING TO DO.
What is it that you have been putting off? Don’t put it off one second longer and I promise 2021 will be an unforgettable year.
- Embrace new opportunity.
Joshua stood on the edge of a monumental breakthrough with some unique knowledge….he knew that they had been here before, 40 years earlier but they had failed to trust and believe God and the result was an incredible amount of wasted time and energy and the loss of tens of thousands of lives in the desert. But Joshua lived by a principle and a code that every one of us must accept if we ever expect to live a life of great purpose
- Just because we have failed, doesn’t mean we are failures.
Joshua knew they had been given a new opportunity, a second chance…and they weren’t about to waste it….this time it was going to be different. The previous years had been marked by aimless wandering and death…but then in the next 25 years Joshua and Israel would go on to conquer 6 nations and overthrow 31 kings. It was an amazing feat and one that might never have happened had they not been able to get over their past failures and mistakes.
Look, whatever you messed up in 2020…no matter how big the failure or how huge the mistake…DON’T BRING THAT GARBAGE INTO 2021…GOD HAS GIVEN YOU A NEW OPPORTUNITY, EMBRACE IT WITH A NEW PERSPECTIVE AND A FORWARD VISION.
- Trust God completely.
Joshua 1:9 NKJV Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
Dismayed – shattered, to break down the courage of completely, as by sudden danger or trouble; dishearten thoroughly; daunt: to alarm; perturb:
Isaiah 41:10 NKJV Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Isaiah 41:10 AMPC Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.
The fact that God was with him, was all the confidence Joshua needed. In the final analysis of our lives….you can slice it, dissect it and analyze it any way you want…but it ultimately comes down to this… YOU EITHER TRUST GOD OR YOU DON’T.
I believe this is going to be our most amazing year yet. THE BEST IS YET TO COME!