ONE STEP AT A TIME! Josh. 1:3 “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised…”
You Get God’s Promise! Read the Bible. Ask God. You Write It Down! Promise Box. #GCCPromises: “I have filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God and have given him the skill, ability, and knowledge to do all kinds of work.” (Exodus 31:3 NCV)
You Take the Right Steps! There are 4 KEY STEPS to possessing any promise that God makes for your life! If you can learn and live out these 4 things, they will be PRACTICES that will guide you IN EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE!
Joshua 1:6-9 “Joshua, be strong and brave! You must lead these people so they can take the land that I promised their fathers I would give them. Be strong and brave. Be sure to obey all the teachings my servant Moses gave you. If you follow them exactly, you will be successful in everything you do. Always remember what is written in the Book of the Teachings. Study it day and night to be sure to obey everything that is written there. If you do this, you will be wise and successful in everything. Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t be afraid, because the Lord your God will be with you everywhere you go.” (NCV)
Step #1 to always practice…
BE RESPONSIBLE (v.6) “… You must lead these people so they can take the land that I promised…”
I noted “taking responsibility” in Pt. 2, but it bears repeating because being responsible is truly the FIRST STEP to not merely starting something, etc., but more importantly, seeing it through!
Joshua had to take the responsibility to lead and so do we! The “Promised Land” was promised, but it would be possessed one step, one battle, one area at a time! That required ongoing responsibility, which really takes the form of FOLLOW THROUGH!
What determines whether a person is responsible or not is whether or not they actually follow through! It’s one thing to have a responsibility to perform, or a goal you’ve set, or a task to complete.
The real question is: “Do you followthrough?” God makes and fully intends to keep his promises, but it will always require us “step it out”, to followthrough!
In sports, followthrough means to continue one’s movement after the ball has been struck or thrown. Followthrough means you hit the mark, you completed the pass!
We will never possess God’s promises and purposes for our lives without “followthrough”- the continued steps and staying the course that is necessary!
So, what are the STEPS you need to take and FOLLOWTHROUGH on?
Step #2 to always practice…
BE OBEDIENT (v.7) “… Be sure to obey all the teachings my servant Moses gave you.”
After accepting the responsibility to lead, OBEDIENCE is the next crucial step!
Obedience is the key to everything, especially as it relates to what the Bible states about how we should live our life and certainly regarding possessing God’s promises!
God told Joshua to “be sure to obey ALL the teachings!” THEN “he would be SUCCESSFUL in everything..” If we want success, prosperity, God’s blessing and favor on our lives then there is ONE significant thing we must do” BE OBEDIENT!
Job 36:11 “If they obey and serve him, the rest of their lives will be successful, and the rest of their years will be happy.”
John 14:23 “Jesus answered, “If people love me, they will obey my teaching.”
Prov. 13:13 “Those who reject what they are taught will pay for it, but those who obey what they are told will be rewarded.”
The Hebrew word used here is “shama” and it means “to HEAR and to HEED!” You hear what God is telling you to do and you do it! It’s not optional, it’s not voluntary, if you want your way to be successful you obey!
So, what’s God telling you, revealing in the Bible, that you need to OBEY and DO?
Step #3 to always practice…
BE WISE (v.8) “… you will be wise and successful in everything.”
God is telling Joshua and you and me that the wisest and smartest thing you can do is to do what God tells you! The flip side then is this: It’s foolish and stupid to NOT obey God!
I’ve said many times and learned from experience, “God does not bless stupid!” God gives you success when you act wisely and obey what He tells you to do.
Blessing, favor, success is not guaranteed. It is contingent on “being wise by being obedient!”
Success is based on God’s purpose for your life not our own plan! Someone will always be more successful… But God measures success not compared to others but based on your obedience to do what he’s called you to do!
Isn’t it the wisest, smartest, way to be successful, thing to do, is to do what you know is the right thing to do?
Prov. 3:13-17 “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. She offers you long life in her right hand, and riches and honor in her left. She will guide you down delightful paths; all her ways are satisfying.”
“you will be wise!” WHEN?? WHEN you OBEY what God tells you. And the result is being “successful!” And God says that! God promises that success.
Step #4 to always practice…
BE STRONG (v.9) “… Remember that I commanded you to be strong and brave.”
It’s time to be courageous!! Three times God tells Joshua to be “strong and courageous!” Why does God say that? Why is that so important?
Because nothing in your life of any significance or success, especially any promise of God, will ever be fully realized without the courage to see it through!
The actual Hebrew word here is “chazaq” and it means “to be strong, courageous, resolute!”
Where does this strength and courage come from? The CONFIDENCE that you’re OBEYING God’s WORD and therefore, God is WITH you!
David, as a teenager, had courage to face Goliath because he had the confidence that God was with him! Joshua had the courage to lead himself and the people of Israel to possess the Promised Land because he had the confidence that he was being, responsible, being obedient, being wise, and therefore, God was with him!
COURAGE is born out of the CONFIDENCE you have through CHRIST!
Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ, because he gives me strength.”
Paul is trying to tell us and Joshua is trying to show us that we possess, we see fulfilled, the promises of God because ITS WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOUR LIFE! Therefore, you have everything you need to see if through- as you STEP out in that CONFIDENCE and COURAGE that comes from knowing you’re doing exactly what God has purposed!
Phil. 3:12-14 “I do not mean that I am already as God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal, but I continue trying to reach it and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that, which is the reason he made me his. Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal, but there is one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize for which God called me through Christ to the life above.” (NCV)
Close: Paul teaches us that it’s about taking the STEPS! Joshua and the people of Israel possessed the Promise Land one step at a time- “I’ll give you every place you set your foot…”
WITHOUT TAKING THE RIGHT STEPS YOU’LL NEVER POSSESS GOD’S PROMISE!
So, practically you possess God’s Promise, His Word…. Write this down…
RESPONSIBILITY DETERMINES your STEPS!
OBEDIENCE DIRECTS your STEPS!
WISDOM DEVELOPS your STEPS!
COURAGE DEMONSTRATES your STEPS!
What I’ve learned: YOU POSSESS GOD’S PROMISE BECAUSE IT POSSESSES YOU!
For example, here’s a promise from the Bible we all should be possessing:
Luke 6:38 “Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”
How am I taking responsibility for what that says?
Am I being obedient as a giver?
Do I see how wise it is to give?
Is there courage and boldness to give and trust God to give back?
That’s how you practically possess any promise God is giving you!!
Response/Prayer: Do you want to be be more responsible, obedient, wise, courageous? Are you willing to take those steps?