Tag Archives: joshua

07. God meets our financial needs when we’re doing his work

God knows we can’t fulfill his plan unless our financial needs are met. If we do the work he calls us to, there’s no time to worry. Budget your money, save, serve, and live by faith.

Whatever ministries God has given to you, doing them is a full-time job.

How to make a budget

Making a budget is natural for me. I can do a great job of stretching the income. But I’ve learned that there is a second step in financial management that I ignored much of my life, yet this second step is even more important than budgeting. The second step is living by faith. These two steps should be combined.

It is simple to make a budget. Add together all the income you expect each month. Then you add together all your monthly bills and living expenses. Minimize the first total and maximize the second. For example, if you expect to bring home a total of between $1200 and$1500, go with the $1200 figure. If a utility bill usually runs between $90 and $125 this time of year, go with $125. This way you are prepared for the worst scenario and if the best happens you can rejoice.

Your tithe should be at the top of your budget. Don’t cheat God. Next should be the most important things, such as house payment or rent, car payment, etc. Grocery allowances, clothing expenses, gasoline for car, etc can usually be slimmed down if necessary. Include a small pleasure item or two, but nothing extravagant if your income does not allow it.

Throw your credit cards away if you cannot use them responsibly. That means using them only for things that must be ordered by credit card such as online purchases, purchasing no more than what you have money to cover, and paying the bill each month before interest fees are added. One or two credit card should be sufficient for the above needs. Choose cards that offer reward points that you can use.

How to save money

Savings are easier if they are automatically deducted from your check into a credit union if this is possible at your place of work. Have a special account for emergencies. You may also want to open an account to save for a family vacation, a special project, Christmas, children’s education, etc. If your employer offers a matching retirement savings plan, maximize your deductions into it if you can. Seek investment help from trusted a trusted adviser, especially during times of economic crisis.

Tell yourself that you can only put in, you cannot take out. Make it a challenge to see how much you can save. Even small amounts can add up quickly. $10 plus $2 still equals $12, even with no interest. If your employer is matching $2 as well, it equals $14. Except in emergencies, your savings accounts are off limits except for their intended use. Make removing money for emeregencies a last resort.

How to live by faith

Even with the best management, there is not enough money to cover everything. That is where the second step comes in. Over and over the Scriptures teach that God will take care of his children if they live for him. One of the most important places to apply our faith is in the matter of finances. If we are worried about finances, we will not be free to be all God has called us to be.

God knows that. So he has arranged things so we don’t have to worry. But we are so busy worrying and trying to figure out how we can make more money that we don’t have time to do the work God has called us to do.

The wonderful thing I’ve discovered is that God will always take care of his servants. God has given each of us work to do. That work may include learning to be the best wife we can be, raising our children for him, witnessing of his goodness to our community, teaching a Sunday School class, keeping the nursery at church, doing an excellent job for our employer even if we don’t get recognized for it, or spending hours in intercessory prayer.

How to stop worrying

Whatever ministries God has given to you, doing them is a full-time job. If you do them as God has called you to do them, you will not have time to worry. Worry takes time away from God’s work.

Oh, you may spend 24 hours a day being a wife. But how much time do you spend working toward being the wife God has called you to be, actively with your mind? Or do you put your mind to worrying about how you are going to pay the bills (or fretting over what your husband has/has not done). I’ve learned if I will actively with my mind concentrate on being what God wants me to be, I have no time left over for fretting about anything.

So that leaves me with one alternative when it comes to finances. I must trust God for what I don’t have time to worry about. This does not excuse us from making a budget and sticking to it. We can’t expect God to bless us if we spend our money unwisely. But we are not to fret if we find there is not enough money to cover the budget.

God instructed the priests to carry the ark of the covenant into the water as they marched toward the promised land. He promised to part the water as they stepped into it

“Joshua said to the Israelites, ‘Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD — the Lord of all the earth — set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap'” (Joshua 39-13 NIV).

Here is what happened when the priests started walking into the water (which was at flood stage and flowing swiftly, and could pull them into the current and drown them if they stepped into it.)

“Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground” (Joshua 315-17 NIV).

God has promised to take care of your needs too. “So do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?’ or `What shall we drink?’ or `What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 631-34 NIV).

Application

Step into the water. God is not going to part the water until you do. But as you keep walking into the water that God has called you to enter, he will make a way for you to do what he has called you to do. God knows you cannot accomplish his will unless your financial needs are met.

If God is dealing with you about a certain amount he expects you to give as your tithe, and you are holding back because you feel there is not enough money to tithe, you are getting it backward. If you are busy about his work, giving him your time and money from the top instead of from the bottom, he will make sure your needs are met so you are free to do the work!

Sound impossible? It is. But God is master of the impossible. I challenge you to try it by faith. Stop worrying and start serving God.

Questions for thought

  1. How much time do you spend worrying?
  2. How much time do you spend doing the work God has called you to do?

Back to Foundations of Faith Contents page.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

03. You have enough faith: Choose to exercise it.

You’ve chosen to believe, trust, and surrender. Now, choose to keep the territory you’ve gained by exercising your faith. Keep your mind on God’s provision. He will take care of you.

Choose to keep your mind on God’s sufficiency rather than the perils of the desert.

Lessons in the Desert

The Israelites were in slavery in Egypt. They watched God provide safety for them and sent devastation on the Egyptians in a series of plagues. The plagues were designed to convince the Pharaoh of Egypt to “let my people go.” But they were also designed to teach God’s people that they could place their faith in God.

Finally Pharaoh sent the Israelites out of Egypt. As the Israelites left Egypt, they were surrounded by warring nations. They had been slaves, and had never gone to war. They did not know how to fight a battle. They must depend on God for safety in their journey.

“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.’ (Exodus 13:17 NIV)

God could have easily and safely protected the people through the warring land of the Philistines. Many years later he would use a little boy named David with a sling shot to defeat the Philistine giant Goliath. What stopped God from leading the Israelites through the Philistine country during the Exodus from Egypt? Was it God’s inability to deliver them? No.

We can’t say it was the Israelites’ lack of faith either. They had learned faith through God’s faithfulness over a lifetime of slavery and through their deliverance in the plagues. They had faith, else they would not have marched into the desert under the leadership of Moses.

Yet their faith wavered greatly at times. For example: “They said to Moses, ‘Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, “Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians”? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!'” (Exodus 14:11-12 NIV)

So did they have enough faith? How much faith is enough?

The faith they had was enough to start the journey, else God would never have called them into this journey of faith. But they wavered back and forth between following God and following the ways that seemed right to them. They had problems with surrender. As their mind considered the danger they faced, they began to fear rather than trust God. They wondered if God really could or would deliver them. Deep in their hearts they knew that God had proved himself to them. But they often kept their minds on the problem and not on the God who is bigger than the problem.

You can exercise your faith

You have enough faith for today. Does it look like tomorrow you may die in this desert? Everyone of the Israelites who asked that question did just that. None of the original group that left Egypt, except for Joshua and Caleb who proved their faith, were allowed to go into the promised land.

We’ll plan to study the story of Joshua and Caleb in another session. The important thing today is that we put our faith into action by choosing to believe God, to trust him, and to surrender our minds to him. Our minds are where we live. Choose to keep your mind on his sufficiency rather than the perils of the desert. In one way or another, almost everything about the Christian walk is a choice. Faith is no exception.

“And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him” (Colossians 2:6 TLB).

You’ve chosen to believe. You’ve chosen to trust. You’ve even chosen to surrender. Now, choose to keep the territory you’ve gained by keeping your mind on the assurance that God will take care of you. Read these Scriptures every time you start to doubt or waver, and thank God for the victory he has already given you.

How much faith is enough? God has given you all the faith you need for your present circumstance. You just have to choose to exercise it.

“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ He replied, ‘If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea,” and it will obey you.'” (Luke 17:5-6 NIV)

You have mustard seed faith. But that mustard seed will not germinate unless it is planted in the proper environment. Plant your mind in the Word of God. Water it daily with his promises. Let the sunshine of his sufficiency dwell in your mind.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)

Questions for thought and discussion

  1. What stopped God from leading the Israelites through the Philistine country during the exodus from Egypt? Why would God send the Israelites into a cruel desert amidst warring nations. Could not God have transported them to safety through the Philistine country quickly and easily, sparing them the 40 years they spent wandering in the desert?
  2. Did the Israelites have enough faith as they started off for the promised land? What was their problem?
  3. Review the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. What was different about David’s faith and the faith of those who complained in the desert?
  4. Where exactly do we make the surrender? Is it a one time thing? How can we tell when we are not surrendered?
  5. Do you have enough faith? How much faith do you need? How can you get more?

We’ll talk about faith for our problems next.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

19. From victory unto victory: It’s time to take the land!

God commissioned us to train our children. He will not call us to fruitless labor, for he will enable. We will defeat the giants, and we will train our children. God has given us the land!

“So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed….” (Joshua 11:23).

It’s Time to Take the Land!

The battle had begun. It was time to take the land in the power of God. Read the following accounts of battle, and see God’s power displayed!

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.”

The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!”

When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to the LORD and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it–men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”

So Joshua and the whole army moved out to attack Ai. He chose thirty thousand of his best fighting men and sent them out at night with these orders: “Listen carefully. You are to set an ambush behind the city. Don’t go very far from it. All of you be on the alert.

“I and all those with me will advance on the city, and when the men come out against us, as they did before, we will flee from them. They will pursue us until we have lured them away from the city, for they will say, `They are running away from us as they did before.’ So when we flee from them, you are to rise up from ambush and take the city. The LORD your God will give it into your hand.”

Joshua had taken about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, to the west of the city. They had the soldiers take up their positions–all those in the camp to the north of the city and the ambush to the west of it. That night Joshua went into the valley.

When the king of Ai saw this, he and all the men of the city hurried out early in the morning to meet Israel in battle at a certain place overlooking the Arabah. But he did not know that an ambush had been set against him behind the city.

Joshua and all Israel let themselves be driven back before them, and they fled toward the desert. All the men of Ai were called to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were lured away from the city. Not a man remained in Ai or Bethel who did not go after Israel. They left the city open and went in pursuit of Israel.

Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Hold out toward Ai the javelin that is in your hand, for into your hand I will deliver the city.” So Joshua held out his javelin toward Ai. As soon as he did this, the men in the ambush rose quickly from their position and rushed forward. They entered the city and captured it and quickly set it on fire.

The men of Ai looked back and saw the smoke of the city rising against the sky, but they had no chance to escape in any direction, for the Israelites who had been fleeing toward the desert had turned back against their pursuers.

So Joshua took the entire land, just as the LORD had directed Moses, and he gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal divisions. Then the land had rest from war.

These are the kings of the land whom the Israelites had defeated and whose territory they took over east of the Jordan, from the Arnon Gorge to Mount Hermon, including all the eastern side of the Arabah…. thirty-one kings in all.

–Joshua 6:2-5,16,20-21;8:1-7,12-20;11:23;12:1,30

Application

God, you have parted the Jordan before our eyes. We have stepped into the land of promise, and the battle begins.

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

–John 15:4-5,16

God gave us a commission. He said, “Train up a child in the way he should go” (Proverbs 22:6). He will not call us to that which he does not enable us. He will not call us to fruitless labor.

We will train our children. We battle with giants who strive to produce the fruits of evil in our children. But our God has given us the land.

Thought for Today

God has told us to take our children for him, and that we will do! We will bear fruit of righteousness in our children through the power of our God. For we are branches of God’s Son!

Questions for Discussion

  1. What are the giants God is calling you to take for the protection of your children?
  2. What Scripture promise will you carry with you to battle?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

18. Battling the giants: Reclaiming our children

God commissioned Joshua to take the land of the giants. Joshua didn’t hesitate. Will we tremble in fear as our children follow giants today, or will we reclaim our children for God?

“God is getting ready to do something great!” (Joshua 3:5, paraphrased).

Commission and Covenant

“After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: ‘Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them–to the Israelites'” (Joshua 1:1-2).

This was an awesome responsibility that God placed upon the shoulders of Joshua. Fear had kept the Israelites from inhabiting this land forty years earlier. Those people had died in the wilderness, and a God had raised up a new generation.

Then Moses died, and Joshua’s first commission from God was to take the land of the giants. But with God’s commission, God gave a promise!

I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates–all the Hittite country–to the Great Sea on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Be strong and 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.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

–Joshua 1:3-9

God promised to be with Joshua. He told Joshua to take courage in the fact that God would never leave or fail him. He told Joshua that his success would come from meditating continually in God’s Word.

“Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you'” (Joshua 3:5).

Consecration and Conquest

When God spoke to Joshua, Joshua didn’t hesitate. Immediately he told the people, “Get your hearts right with God. God is getting ready to do something great!” (Lois’ paraphrase).

Joshua said to the Israelites, “Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you.

Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD–the Lord of all the earth–set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”

So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them.

Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (the Salt Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho.

The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground.

–Joshua 3:9-17

With this, the Israelites entered the promised land. And the battle had begun!

Application

God gives a commission to parents today. God says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The giants have claimed our children. If we would carry out God’s commission, we face an awesome task.

But every promise Joshua had, and many more, are written in God’s Word. These promises are ours today. God tells us to “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16 NIV). “…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” (Hebrews 13:5 NIV). Will we tremble in fear as our children follow the giants? Or will we take our children for God?

God, as mothers, we ask you to cleanse and prepare our hearts. Our children are in the land of the giants. But the land belongs to you. You have commissioned us to take it. You are getting ready to do something great!

Thought for Today

“Get your hearts right with God. God is getting ready to do something great!” (Joshua 3:5, Lois’ paraphrase.)

Questions for Discussion

  1. How did God use previous victories in Joshua’s life to prepare him to face the tremendous responsibility of taking the land of the giants without the aid of his mentor?
  2. How did God bolster Joshua’s faith with a promise?
  3. What are the giants God is calling you to take for the protection of your children?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

17. Learning from Godly leaders: Mentored by Moses

History was in its infancy, yet Moses asked, “Has God ever before done anything so great?” We have far more than Moses today. We have the risen Savior living inside us.

“Has God ever before done anything so great in history as we have seen?” (Deuteronomy 4:32, paraphrased.)

Moses Was Meek, but God Was Mighty

The Bible says of Moses:

“(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth)” (Numbers 12:3).

Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.

–Exodus 4:10.

God delivered through this meek man Moses, slow of tongue, some of the mightiest exhortations ever spoken. Joshua learned from this great leader, and applied these Godly principles in his own life. Here are some excerpts from some of the messages Joshua learned from Moses:

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live.

–Deuteronomy 4:7-9

We hear God saying to us today, “Do the giants of the world today have gods who hear them when they pray the way we do? Do they have so marvelous instructions as those written in the precious Book that God has written for us?”

Take time to pray to the God who always hears us and read the book he has written for us. Teach these things to your children and your grandchildren.

Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other.

Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived?

Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?

You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.

–Deuteronomy 4:32-35

God Interceded in History’s Infancy

History was in its infancy, yet Moses asked, “Has God ever before done anything so great in history as we have seen?” We have far more history than Moses had. We have the risen Savior living inside us! Has God ever before done anything so great in history as what he has done for us?

You must destroy all the peoples the LORD your God gives over to you. Do not look on them with pity and do not serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.

You may say to yourselves, “These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?” But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt.

You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out. The LORD your God will do the same to all the peoples you now fear. Moreover, the LORD your God will send the hornet among them until even the survivors who hide from you have perished.

Do not be terrified by them, for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a great and awesome God.

–Deuteronomy 7:16-21

Application

Joshua learned giant warfare from the great teacher Moses. And God is saying to mothers today, “You shall not be afraid of the giants. Remember what God has done. God is a mighty God among you.”

“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).

We will learn from our mentors as Joshua did. We will learn from the Godly wives and mothers who have set the example for us. We will learn from our pastors and teachers and leaders who teach us the truth of God’s Word.

But we have a Teacher far greater than these. The Holy Spirit himself will be our teacher. God’s Holy Spirit will teach us all truth. He will guide us step by step. He will encourage us. He will teach us how to fight the giants, and he will empower us to do it!

Thought for Today

In the twenty-first century, we can still hear God’s voice through his Spirit saying, “Do the giants of the world today have gods who hear them when they pray the way we do? Do they have so marvellous instructions as those written in the precious Book that God has written for us?”

Question for Discussion

  • Who will be my teacher?

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

16. Faith for the battle: Listening in God’s presence

Joshua found faith for the battle by listening in God’s presence, meditating upon God’s deliverance, and rehearsing God’s words. God told Moses, “Make sure that Joshua hears it.”

“Write this…to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it” (Exodus 7:14).

Joshua Rehearsed God’s Words

In chapter 15, we saw that Joshua remembered God’s deliverance and God’s banner. Joshua also rehearsed God’s words.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven” (Exodus 17:14).

“Make sure that Joshua hears it.” God gave Moses the words to write to describe what happened, and God told him to read and discuss this especially with Joshua. God was nurturing Joshua’s faith. “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). God was preparing Joshua to be a man of faith.

God is challenging us today to study his Word that we might become God’s faithful women. We must accept the challenge. Only by faith can we pull our children from the edge of the sword.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

–Ephesians 6:10-18

We go to battle for our children against the armies of Satan himself. Our sword is the Word of God, and our shield is faith in God’s faithfulness. The victory is ours as long as we hold God’s banner high.

Joshua Spent Time Listening God’s Presence

Not only did Joshua remember God’s deliverance, God’s banner, and God’s Word, but Joshua also remembered his personal encounters with God as Moses’ aide. Wherever Moses went, Joshua went to assist and minister to Moses. Whenever Moses encountered God, Joshua encountered God also.

Then Moses set out with Joshua his aide, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. He said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are with you, and anyone involved in a dispute can go to them.”

When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the LORD looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

–Exodus 24:13-18

When Moses received the instructions for the tabernacle and the ten commandments written on two tables of stone with the finger of God, Joshua was near. Joshua and Moses went together up into the mount of God. For six days, Joshua and Moses fellowshiped in the light of God’s glory. On the seventh day, Moses went farther, into the midst of the cloud, and he stayed there forty days and forty nights.

Joshua probably could not go all the way with Moses. But Joshua remained in the warmth of God’s presence. For forty days and nights, God spoke with Moses. God ministered to Joshua during this time as well. Joshua probably could not hear God audibly, but this was a time of refreshing for Joshua. Joshua basked in the glow from magnificent splendor of the glory of God. He meditated upon the ways God had delivered them. Surely Joshua rehearsed again and again the words of God that Moses had already shared with him. He experienced the calming atmosphere of the presence of God. And he waited in anticipation to see what Word God would give them through Moses.

When Moses and Joshua came down from the mount, Moses brought with him God’s instructions for building the tabernacle. But before the actual tabernacle was constructed, God would talk with Moses inside the makeshift “tent of meeting.” When God met with Moses in this makeshift tabernacle, Joshua was there:

Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the “tent of meeting.” Anyone inquiring of the LORD would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. And whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people rose and stood at the entrances to their tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.

As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the LORD spoke with Moses. Whenever the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance to the tent, they all stood and worshiped, each at the entrance to his tent.

The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent.

— Exodus 33:7-11

Application

Joshua delighted in the presence of God. Just being in God’s presence while God spoke with Moses gave Joshua strength. It was during these times of refreshing that Joshua found the faith to go back into the battle.

Joshua remembered God’s deliverance. Joshua fought under God’s banner. Joshua rehearsed God’s Word. Joshua spent time in God’s presence. These things made a difference for Joshua, and these are the things that will make a difference for us!

I wrote earlier about Joshua meditating on God but, when I proofread what I had typed, I discovered that instead of typing “meditated,” I accidentally typed “medicated.” This may be the best rendering of all: “Joshua medicated on God.” As we medicate on God, our spirits are healed!

Thought to Remember

Like Joshua, we can win this battle if we remember our past encounters with God, and spend time in his presence through Bible study, prayer, meditation, and medication on our faithful God.

Question for Discussion

  • How can I have the kind of faith that gets results? (part 2)

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

15. Remembering the past: Lessons from Joshua

Joshua believed God’s promise, remembered God’s faithfulness, obeyed God’s orders, experienced God’s victory, and led the Israelite army under banner of God’s deliverance.

“The Lord is with us. Do not be afraid” (Numberrs 14:9).

Joshua Believed God’s Promise

How can I have the kind of faith that gets results? The story of Joshua in the Old Testament shows us a wonderful answer to that question.

When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country.

At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land…. They gave Moses this account: “We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. But the people who live there are powerful, and the cities are fortified and very large. We even saw descendants of Anak there. The Amalekites live in the Negev; the Hittites, Jebusites and Amorites live in the hill country; and the Canaanites live near the sea and along the Jordan.”

Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size. We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”

Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the LORD is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the LORD is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

But the whole assembly talked about stoning them. Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the Tent of Meeting to all the Israelites.

–Numbers 13:17,25,27-33; 14:6-10

The Israelites were at Kadesh-Barnea, just 50 miles from the promised land. Moses sent twelve men to spy out the land. The land was magnificent, but the taking of it was impossible from a human viewpoint. Only Joshua and Caleb had the faith to believe that God could enable them to possess the land God had promised them. Had the Israelites believed God here, they could have been spared forty years of wandering in the wilderness!

Joshua’s Remembered God’s Faithfulness

Joshua was human just like you and I. What made Joshua different? Why did Joshua believe God could give them the land while almost everyone else trembled in fear? Joshua was different because Joshua remembered some things.

Joshua remembered God’s mighty deliverance of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Joshua remembered the cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. Joshua remembered how God departed the water so the Israelites could walk across on dry ground. Joshua remembered the Egyptian army drowning in the same water. Joshua remembered the manna that God provided each day.

Joshua remembered. While the rest of the people saw a situation that could not be overcome, Joshua remembered a God who could not be defeated. And Joshua’s mind must have gone back to the Israelites’ initial encounter with these huge warriors that lived in the land.

This initial encounter came not long after they crossed the river in flight from Pharaoh’s army. As slaves of the Egyptians, the Israelites had never been trained in warfare. God caused the Egyptians to give the Israelites food, clothes, cattle, gold, silver, weapons, and all they required before the Israelites fled from Pharaoh’s clutches, but the Israelites had never been taught to use the swords and shields they bore. As they wielded their armor, they were almost like children playing with toys.

Joshua Obeyed God’s Orders

Egypt had fought the Israelites’ battles before, because the Israelites were Egypt’s slaves. Now the Israelites must learn to fight for themselves. Surely God would give the Israelites a small battle at first, and gradually train them until they were capable of fighting a larger army. But this was not God’s plan. Here is the account of that initial encounter with the inhabitants of the land:

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.

–Exodus 17:8-15

Joshua Experienced God’s Victory

The Amalekite warriors were huge. Their army was vast and ruthless. All the heathen nations would reinforce the Amalekites to oppose Israel. What hope did Israel’s faltering, unskilled army have against the Amalekite army and all the heathen world?

Moses appointed Joshua to lead the Israelite army, and Moses himself stood on a hill and held holy hands up to God. Moses held high his rod. God had used Moses rod to perform miracles in the past. Moses’ rod represented God’s deliverance, and that deliverance was the banner of the Israelite army.

As long as Moses held high the banner of God’s deliverance, the Israelites were victorious. When the banner began to slip, the enemy prevailed.

Application

What hope do we as mothers have against the army of Satan as he marches against our children, pulling them into the clutches of a heathen world today?

After the battle was over, Moses built an altar and called it “Jehovah Nissi” in Hebrew, which means “The Lord is my banner.” We have the same banner today that Moses did. We have the same Lord.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8).

He is the same God who delivered Joshua and the Israelites from the Amalekites. We hold our hands high to him, and wave his banner of promise and victory.

Thought to Remember

Sometimes our hands get heavy. We cannot maintain the vigil. But our campaign of prayer has provided intercessory prayer partners who support us on either side. Our banner waves on.

Question for Discussion

  • How can I have the kind of faith that gets results? (part 1)

Next

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted

The Lord will fight for you

These verses were given to me by an online friend near the end of 1999, as I experienced a time of great difficulty. I’ve included his commentary as well.

“Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today….”

God promises…

Exodus 14:13 – 14 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Exodus 23:27 I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run.

2 Chronicles 20:29 The fear of God came upon all the kingdoms of the countries when they heard how the LORD had fought against the enemies of Israel.

2 Kings 6:16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

2 Kings 6:17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.

2 Chronicles 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.

Psalms 34:7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.

Psalms 125:2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.

Deuteronomy 28:7 The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

Deuteronomy 11:25 No man will be able to stand against you. The LORD your God, as he promised you, will put the terror and fear of you on the whole land, wherever you go.

Commentary: For those who are godly….
God goes out in front and protects against THE WHOLE LAND
Example……

Genesis 35:5 Then they set out, and the terror of God fell upon the towns all around them so that no one pursued them.

Commentary: These are entire towns God shuts down to provide victory for those who follow him.

John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Joshua 1:5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Joshua 21:44 The LORD gave them rest on every side, just as he had sworn to their forefathers. Not one of their enemies withstood them; the LORD handed all their enemies over to them.

Joshua 23:9 The LORD has driven out before you great and powerful nations; to this day no one has been able to withstand you.

Deuteronomy 7:24 He will give their kings into your hand, and you will wipe out their names from under heaven. No one will be able to stand up against you; you will destroy them.

Psalms 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

Commentary: Here lies the ENTIRE key to this:

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.

Scripture taken from New International Version unless otherwise noted