FAITH TO ENTER GOD’S PROMISES
Follow the Word not the World
Jerry A Collins
How can we keep ourselves from wandering spiritually?
What is our greatest spiritual danger?
Why is it so important to know and obey the Word of God?
Sometimes we hear something said
by someone that sticks with us and becomes a sort of motto of our lives. We
remember it and even attempt to have it guide our lives. There are a few I have
heard that have done just that. I heard Dr. B.R. Lakin
say about service I plan like I am going
to live for the next 50 yrs and then live as if today may be the last day I
ever have. I heard Dr. Slavin say about
sanctification, Salvation is a once for
all act that is renewed everyday. I heard Dr, Hendricks say about impact, there is no limit to what you can accomplish
for God if you don’t care who gets the credit. These and others
have taken on significance in my life as I have moved forward. Joshua provides
us with some of his own guidance. It comes at the end of his life when he says
of himself I am old, advanced in years vs 2 & 14. He gathers the leaders of the nation and
passes on at least three mottos he wants to guide the people from this day
forward. These mottos are motivated by grave concern that
1. REFLECT ON GOD’S GOODNESS TO YOU IN PAST TO GUARD AGAINST INFLUENCE TOWARD UNBELIEF IN FUTURE
The important thing for Joshua is what God did and what he can still be trusted for.
3-4 What God did: God had been fighting for His people since the
very beginning. From
5 What God will do: God is not finished yet. He will thrust out the nations, drive out more and the tribes shall possess all that is left. God will do that for them. That is what he has already done for them. God promised to do that and they must faithfully follow based on what they know he has already done. The way to learn about God is to look at what He has done as recorded in the Word of God for us. What He has done is indicative of what He is doing and what He will do. For instance, God has always required faith as the means of following and obeying Him. Because that is what He has always required in the past, we know that is what He will continue to require in the future. It will never change from faith to sight. Recalling what God has done and what He requires stimulates us to persevere and to get back on the right path when we stray. This was the message Jesus gave to several of the churches in Revelation. Remember and repent He commands them in order that they may overcome, persevere, serve and remain faithful to the end. This is non way we can guard against influence of culture toward unbelief.
2. DEVELOP YOUR AFFECTION FOR GOD AND HIS WORD 6-13
What we adore and admire we will become attached too. Ultimately, whatever has your
heart has your attention. Joshua’s
concern is that the surrounding cultures will vie for
(1) 6-7 Be Firm about Keeping the Word of God. Be determined to know nothing more than the Bible knows. The Word of God, nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. This Word will prevent them and us from becoming secularized and assimilated into the culture vs 7. This is the means of resisting the worldly tendencies that can sneak up on us. Charles Spurgeon even said, our very blood must be bibline. A sure sign of letting our guard down is a lessening of respect for the Word of God.
(2) 8-10 Cling to the Lord our God. Genesis describes marriage this way. This idea is to hang on
tight, to stick like glue. Trust God and nothing else. Hang on to the Lord and
attach yourself to His will and way exclusively. The temptation would obviously
be strong to forsake God and cling instead to the people of
(3) Diligently love the Lord your God vs 11. Here
is a moment of intense self-examination. Moses commanded them to Hear O
3. UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES FOR WANDERING IN UNBELIEF
On the one hand there are rewards
for faithfulness, obedience and trust in the Lord. On the other hand, there are
severe consequences should we wander and turn to the influences of our
surrounding culture. When we have the firm assurance that God is able to do what
He promises, and we sinfully compromise this, God’s
judgment, discipline and anger is even more intense. Joshua foresaw
So, the Bible is a call to intimacy with the living God. You are on a journey which leads you toward knowing God. The spiritual life is learning to think God’s thoughts. Don’t keep yourself from knowing God intimately by:
(1) Letting culture define or influence your definition of God. Culture will define God for you but not biblically.
(2) Letting circumstances interpret what God is doing. Only God’s Word interprets what God is doing. Circumstances can be interpreted many different ways.
(3) Letting your wishes define God, that is, defining God by how you want Him to be. This is idolatry. Only scripture defines God for us.