Scripture Reference Numbers 13
Each person has characteristics that make them different from others. Beyond our DNA, fingerprints and culture, we have things in our life that clearly identify us. In Numbers, chapter 13, we can properly distinguish the difference between Joshua and Caleb and Israel, just by listening to their conversation. One group had characteristics that identified them as people of fear. The other were people of faith. One group trusted in what God had spoken, and the other group doubted God.
All through the Bible and today, this is true of each one of us! We have things in our life that characterize who we are. Moses carried a staff and David had a sling shot. John the Baptist clothes were made of animal skins, and Sampson had his hair. What does all of this mean to us today?
Often, the characteristic that we identify with in our life is what God will lift to a spiritual dimension! He will use it in His plan for your life. The people in Numbers 13 must be a people that we identify with if we are to succeed. Joshua knew and believed the promise of God for his life. Do you? God and His plan and promises are always yea and amen! When that becomes real to you, then you, like Joshua will begin to possess the promises of God in your life. After Moses delivered Israel from Egypt, they became a generation of faultfinding, murmuring and complaining. They were a people who ultimately failed to receive the promise of God because of their disobedience.
God then spoke to Joshua after Moses died and promised him, “As I was with Moses, I will be with you. I will cause you to inherit the land. No man will be able to stop you. You will prosper and be successful.” From Moses, to Joshua, to you and me today, the promises of God are just as real and alive as they were back then! To become people who will possess and conquer in life, we must choose to identify with Joshua and his generation. What was different about that generation? Their mentality – they had a conquering, possessing and overcoming mentality. Their focus in life was on what would happen, rather than what couldn’t. They were determined to believe God. If you identify with Joshua, you will succeed!
If you choose to identify with Moses’ generation, you probably are identifying with complaining and failure. But that can change, and it is possible for you to have a complete turn around in your life today. You must be willing to identify with a Joshua generation. This is what you must do…
1. Leave your past behind you and get ready to cross over.
You must be willing to leave behind past success and failure, or you may miss what God is doing in your life tomorrow. Moses had past success with the rod God had anointed, but God was going forward and wanted to do something new in Moses’ life. However, Moses could not let go of yesterday’s success. God said, “Don’t strike the rock, just speak to it. You will get the same results as you did when you struck it for water.”
Moses missed out on what God had planned for him and never crossed over because he couldn’t let go of yesterday’s success. The same is true with letting go of yesterday’s failures. Joshua’s success was dependent on letting go of an entire generation of failures. God told Joshua, “Moses is dead, forget the past.” Peter had to let go of his yesterday and embrace his tomorrow. After denying Jesus, he was to cross over and become successful. Paul had to forget his past and embrace the plan of God for his tomorrow. Paul said, “Forgetting my past as Saul of Tarsus, and crossing over to my future as Paul the Apostle, I press on forward to the high calling of God in my life!”
2. Realize God created you to be more than a conqueror.
God has never, since the beginning of time, given man a promise that He intended for defeat. The Moses generation looked into the promise land and identified themselves with defeat. God never intended them to be defeated! What was the promise of God to those people? “Go spy out the land that I have already given to you! “ God later promised Joshua that every place he would set his feet on, he would possess. Remember , whatever God has promised you, that as He was with Moses and Joshua, He will be with you! Any obstacle you face can't stop you from receiving what God has promised, if you understand that you were created to conquer for God!
3. You must live a life obedient to God.
One word clearly describes the character of the people Moses, disobedient. The Bible tell us that as a result of their disobedience, they provoked God and they did not receive. Joshua and his generation were obedient to God and from the River Jordan to the Walls of Jericho, they were a people of success. They obeyed God in all they did. People who conquer and possess the promises of God in life are people who value God's Word, and because they value His Word, they obey it.
4. You must be fearless.
God told Joshua, “Fear not.” God was telling Joshua that if he was going to possess what he was promised, then he must not fear defeat. Joshua had the same promise from God that Moses did. “The I AM is with you.” Being fearless is denying your fear and doing what is right at any cost.
We must live each day like Peter did on the boat. When Jesus came walking on the water Peter said, “Jesus, bid me to come.” Fearless people always have a desire to be where Jesus is. They are a part of what Jesus is doing! They are people who are willing to step out of their boat of comfort and risk, even if there is a storm in life they must go through.
What has God called you to conquer and possess? If you are going to possess it like Joshua, you
a. must be willing to let go of yesterday…
b. understand that you were created to be more than a conqueror…
c. live in obedience to God’s Word…
d. fear not, God will never leave you or forsake you. The I AM is with you!
One thing will qualify you today, the condition of your heart. Can you say today, as Joshua did, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord?”
When you make a decision to embrace the Word of God, the Promise of God, and the Power of God for your life, then you will be identified by others as a person of God. People will identify you as someone who has been with Jesus. Like Mary of Bethany, after she anointed Jesus with perfume, you will have an aroma about you that identifies you as having been with Jesus!
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