so kleinfrans (who isn’t so) asked me to post the 8 slash 9 oops points from last nite’s preach on joshua in my blog so here they are:

i started with deuteronomy 34 vs 10-12 dealing with the death of moses

i then read from joshua 1.1-9, 1.12-18, 2.1-21, 5.13-15 and 6.1-27

[1] don’t let the ghosts of the past cripple you – be you! [moses was described as being one of the greatest men that lived and no-one saw such powerful miracles happen again as he had performed – tough context for a new young leader like joshua to be faced with – but God didn’t want joshua to be another moses, he wanted him to be a solid joshua]

[2] meditate on the bible – ‘Be strong and very courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.’ [1.6-8]

one of the biggest shortfalls in the western church today is people not reading their bibles (and so the only bible they are exposed to is on a sunday if they are in a bible-preaching church) and people not knowing their bibles – how can we live the stuff if we don’t know what the stuff is? we need to be reading, chewing, wrestling, meditating, engaging with, living…

[3] play for the team – the Reubenites, Gadites and half-tribe of Manasseh were given land to the east of the jordan so they already had their land, but joshua calls the fighting men to join the rest of the israelites in crossing the jordan and claiming the land that was meant for them – only then could they return home and enjoy the benefit of the land that was already theirs – imagine the transformation that would happen in south africa if we refused a second jacket until everyone had one, if we refused a second meal… house… car… etc

[4] don’t look down on who God chooses to use – in the story of jericho it is rahab the prostitute who God uses to help conceal the spies and God rescues her and her family as a result – in fact all through the Bible from king shepherd boy to gideon to some of the prophets to the disciples to paul, God uses an assortment of strange unqualified people to do the work of His kingdom – and it works because God is with/in them – useless by themselves but with God unstoppable. and not just the people who God chooses to use but possibly the person He is wanting you to impact – everyone gravitates towards the cool people, the rich, the popular – but if you listen honestly it may be the lonely, the sick, the imprisoned, those with HIV, the prostitute, that He is wanting you to reach

[5] spy out the land – preparation is good, it is important to be ready. even if God is going to be working the miracle of bringing His people into the promised land and defeating jericho, it still makes sense to plan well so you can do your bit properly – so moses sends spies into the promised land and joshua sends spies into jericho – understand the context of where you are and what God has called you to. if you as a Christ-follower are not reading the newspaper or checking out a site like (four local headlines, four international headlines, four sports, entertainment, social headlines every day) to have an idea of what is going on in the world (miners trapped in mine, koran-burning threats by ‘pastor’, big strikes across the country) so that you can engage with people around you who generally will know what is going on and have questions and comments worth listening to

[6] recognise God when He speaks – joshua encounters an angel just before the battle and falls facedown in reverence – he recognises when God has pitched up (or sent a messenger) and acts accordingly – are we looking around in our daily lives for where God is already at work and where maybe He wants us to jump in and connect and engage?

[7] don’t look down on weird methods – the people have to march around the city for seven days playing musical instruments and then issue a loud shout – that kind of activity is frowned upon as a modern method of warfare – but when God is in it, it is going to work. gideon attacks a crazy huge army with a small group of men armed with trumpets and candles. david takes on a giant military commando with a little sling and some stones. Jesus one time spits in a man’s eyes to heal him of blindness (on another occasion He simply speaks a word and the man is healed) – and so if God tells you to do something and it seems a bit weird, then maybe it still is God

[8] honour the word you have made – the spies make a deal with rahab that if she stays silent about their whereabouts and hangs a scarlet cord from her window, she and all her family will be kept safe. one of the biggest christian lies i have experienced is “i will pray for you” – i used to say it to people a long long time ago and i used to really mean it and i used to really forget half of the time. which is not good. we need to be people of our word. Jesus goes as far as saying don’t make promises because your word should be valid enough. so if you say “yes” then it’s a yes. period. the world has a picture of christians who say one thing and then do another.

[9] worship God: ‘The city and all that is in it is to be devoted to the Lord. Omly Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.’ [6.17-19]

And so in summing up, following Jesus on a daily basis and engaging with Him and God’s kingdom is like crossing the road:

[A] Look both ways – see what God is doing – understand the context – ask God to show you where He is at work and where He wants you to be involved

[B] Listen – let God speak to you through His word, through the quiet still small voice, through other people
– invite Him to speak and then give Him space to

[C] Cross the street – do it – do the thing you need to do – and when crossing the street it is imperative that you look after those who have been placed under your care to make sure everyone crosses safely – speak, live, thrive, be the church you want to see in the world.