Joshua 1:1-9 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying, “Moses My servant is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel. Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory. No man will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
We think that personal transformation is the endgame, but it’s not. Our transformation is supposed to lead us to be God’s agent of transformation to our communities…to those around us.
God’s plan for Joshua was to usher in God’s transformation to the nation around him.
The whole book of Joshua is about transformation:
– A river transformed into a walkway
– A wall transformed into ruins
– An occupied land transformed into the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise
Joshua was to lead the charge to capture that which God had promised, leading to the transformation of literally everything around them.
But, God had some instructions for him to follow first:
vs. 7-9 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
The formula to follow if he was to see the big change take place:
Truth + Power = Transformation
It’s the formula that we have to follow if we are going to see a transformation take place beyond the doors of this sanctuary.
Much of the text is devoted to making sure Joshua was grounded in the Truth. Here the Truth is the written Word of God. The first thing he had to do was know the Word. The Word tells us about God’s heart for us, His children.
We want to know God’s Word, but we often think it’s too difficult to understand. This is a big lie from the enemy.
Here are some practical starting points:
1. Set aside a regular time, 10 minutes each day in one of the Psalms. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you. He will.
2. Study the Word in community.
a. Men – Wednesday mornings at 6:30 am in the Veranda
b. Women – Monday evenings and Thursday mornings
c. Abba’s House – Monday evenings
The point is we get together with others, open the Word, and allow His truth to speak to us.
However, the danger in knowing stuff is that we don’t ever learn what to do with it.
Reread vs. 7-8
Joshua not only had to know the Word, he had to obey it. We often think we can have “special arrangements” with God where is OK with us going against His written Word; we convince ourselves that He “understands our situation.”
You cannot obey God while disobeying His Word.
Obedience is always followed by the promise of success or prosperity.
When He tells us to do or not do things, He’s trying to lead us to the only real source of joy; he’s not trying to rob us of joy.
Reread vs. 8
Obedience was not enough. God also demanded that Joshua proclaim the Word.
It can seem like speaking God’s Word pushes us back as a culture, but actually, it’s the only thing that will truly bring about transformation around us.
Acts 6:7 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
When God’s Word goes forth, things change.
We are to declare God’s truth over all of our circumstances. Jesus did this more than any other, and we have the same weapons He had.
– Weakness: the joy of the Lord is my strength.
– Overcome: my faith is the one who has overcome the world.
– Alone: don’t ask for him to never leave you, declare that you serve a God who has already promised to never leave you.
– Dads: declare God’s truth over your kids every morning before school.
We have to stop seeing God’s Word as a list of things God might do and instead understand that the promises it contains are promises that we can take to the bank. There is an undeniable transformation that takes place around us when God’s Word is proclaimed.
3 times Joshua is told to “be strong and courageous.”
The strength is not his own.
Deuteronomy 34:9 The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith.
Joshua’s power was not his own, but a gift from the same Holy Spirit who indwells us today.
No matter how well you know the Scriptures, your ability to step out and truly be successful at seeing lives around you transformed will be hindered if you don’t rely on the power of the Holy Spirit.
Recall Jesus’ last words to the disciples before going back to be with the Father. He told them to wait for the promise, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They had the truth, but not yet the power.
And just like that, God’s biggest agent of transformation, the church, was born.
The transformation we are experiencing is not about us, but is about those outside of us; we are to be agents of transformation to our community.
Are you ready? Is the formula in place in your life or are you out of balance?
1. What will our lives look like to have the formula in place? (Truth + Power = Transformation)
2. How can you change your routine this week to incorporate this formula?