After a dynamic worship set by the choir, today, Sunday, November 25, 2012, Pastor Brian McBride preached, filling in for Pastor Boykin. His message was entitled "Do Not Fear the Lord Your God is With You." Reading from Joshua 1:1-9, Pastor McBride spoke on the fears that Joshua faced, after Moses died, and how the fears he faced relate to our own lives.
Joshua was facing three types of fear. The first was the fear of change. Now that Moses was dead, Joshua was responsible for everything. It was up to him to lead approximately five million people into the Promised Land. Joshua had been mentored by Moses, but he had come to the place where he could no longer rely on being a student of Moses. He had to put into practice all of the spiritual truths that he had learned, facing the reality of his situation. In our lives, when we are facing change, or some type of trial which is really big, it doesn't matter how much head knowledge we may have, of God and his ways, we have to put into actual practice the things we have learned. Change for us is an inevitable reality of life. We get old. We gain weight. Spiritually, we have to be ready to face change. We fear change; because it is not comfortable. But how we respond to change is the key issue, when we face trials.
Joshua also faced the fear of adversity. There were giants in the land which Joshua knew about from his previous exploration of the land. Joshua knew he would have to face the enemy. We have to face our enemy as well. When God has promised us a blessing, the enemy knows about this, and he does everything he can to thwart God's promised blessing for our life. One of the biggest weapons he uses is the gun of fear. One of the bullets of the gun is the bullet of the "past." He uses it to remind us of how we have failed in the past, but we have to leave our failures behind, in order to get to the place where we are going. We as Christians often have the misconception that if we believe in Jesus, we will never have trials. Life is supposed to go very smoothly without any hitches. This of course is not true. During our times of trial, we sometimes need to stand up, and look the enemy square in the face, and tell him that we will not be moved. We have God on our side, and He is bigger and greater than any adversity the enemy throws at us, and He will get us through.
The third fear that Joshua faced was the fear of un-readiness. The last time the Israelites were at the door of the Promised Land, the people had not been ready to enter the Promised Land, so they rebelled against Moses and were then forced to wander in the desert for forty years. Joshua did not know if this group of people would complain as well and refuse to move, claiming they were unready. We, as Christians, often refuse to step forward into what God has for us, because of the fear of un-readiness. We tell God that we are not ready, just like when Moses told God he was not ready to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, because he couldn't speak properly. We, however, must be willing to move. We cannot continue to remain comfortable in our personal sins, or in whatever place or position we are in that holds us back from moving in the direction that God wants to take us. The longer we sit, the more difficult it will be to move. We have to step out of our comfort zone and step forward.
After his sermon, Pastor McBride had everyone in the audience raise their hands as an act of surrender to God, and he prayed that they would release everything that hindered them from going forward with God.
Click here for a video archive of this powerful sermon, as well as the rest of the 11:00 AM service.
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