Pastor, author, and Bible teacher, Alan Wright.
That's Pastor Alan Wright. Welcome to another message of good news that will help you see your life in a whole new light. I'm Daniel Britt, excited for you to hear the teaching today in the series, Forward, as presented at Reynolda Church in North Carolina. If you're not able to stay with us throughout our entire program today, I want to make sure you know how to get our special resource right now. It can be yours for your donation this month to Alan Wright Ministries. So as you listen to today's message, go deeper as we send you today's special offer. Contact us at PastorAlan.org. That's PastorAlan.org.
Or call 877-544-4860, 877-544-4860. More on this later in the program. But right now, let's get started with today's teaching.
Here is Alan Wright. Are you ready for some good news? Your promised land is also your battleground.
You wonder, well, what could possibly be good news about that? Well, the good news, therefore, is that if you are facing a battle, if you are up against a struggle, if you have challenges in front of you, if you're in the midst of something that might feel like it's arduous, it doesn't mean that you're outside of the will of God. It very well might mean you're smack dab in the middle of the very promised land where He wants you to be. The promised land we've been seeing in this little series I simply called Ford is not a picture of heaven where one day there are no more battles.
It really is a picture of kingdom living. Because when the people of God went into the promised land, they faced one battle after the other. And today, we pick up reading in Joshua chapter 3 at verse 7. Joshua chapter 3 at verse 7. This is in preparation for them, the people of the land, the people of God led by Joshua to cross over the Jordan River which will be parted just as the Red Sea was.
And then the conquest of Canaan will begin. Verse 7, the Lord said to Joshua, today I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I'll be with you. And as for you, command the priests who bear the Ark of the Covenant, when you come to the brink of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan. And Joshua said to the people of Israel, come here and listen to the words of the Lord your God. And Joshua said, here is how you shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over you before you into the Jordan.
Now therefore, take 12 men from the tribes of Israel, from each tribe of man, and when the souls of the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap. I've thought a lot about why this long pandemic is so exhausting, and why we've seen a lot of not just emotional and physical pain, but also people doing a lot of odd things. And pretty early on, I felt like the Lord showed me that uncertainty creates dissonance, and dissonance creates anxiety, and anxiety leads to all kinds of destructive things. People are anxious, and I was reading this week an article from Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert that he wrote some years ago that confirmed this from a scientific point of view, because he wrote some years ago an article was entitled, what we don't know is what makes us nervous, and he referenced in there a Dutch study from a decade or two ago, and in this odd study they had two groups of people, the participants, the subjects, that had agreed to go through this experiment in which they would receive intermittent electrical shocks. Now always wonder about the reliability of these studies, because who signs up for a study where you're going to get an interview, who's up for a study where you're going to get an electrical shock, but there was one group that were told that you're going to receive 20 intense electrical shocks. I don't know how intense, I mean they're not getting tasered, I mean, but you know nobody's dying from this, but intense like that's really unpleasant, right?
If you've ever been shocked, you know, it's just like oh that is so unpleasant. The second group of people said they were going to were told they're going to receive 20 electrical shocks, but 17 of them would be quite mild, only three would be intense. So group B is only receiving three electrical shocks that were at the same intensity of group A that was going to receive 20 intense electrical shocks. They knew in group A every time they got shocked it was going to be an intense shock. Group B just knew that most of the time they had a mild little shock that you, you know, hardly feel, but three times out of nowhere they were going to get an intense one. And here's what was interesting, they were measuring their heart rate, their perspiration rate, and so forth. People in group B who only had three of the intense shocks but didn't know when they were coming were far more anxious. Their heart rate was faster, they sweat more profusely, all the things that happen when you're really upset and nervous. The people that knew they're going to get 20 bad shocks had more peace. Don't we just think about this y'all, right? I mean group A is over there like okay I've signed up for this and I'm gonna get 20 shocks and here it comes.
That was bad. Okay, the next one will be just as bad, you know, and it was bad, you know, and then group B is over here like they're like they get their first shock, yeah, oh that was just like a little buzz, that was nothing. But they are just thinking about when's that next big one going to come.
The first time it comes they're like oh that was horrible, you know, and they were nervous waiting up for it and then they're waiting when's the next surprise one going to come. The point of all this is, let me say it again, uncertainty creates dissonance which creates anxiety which leads to destructive things. Because we're told 365 times in the Bible fear not. But when times are uncertain, that's our cliche, right? These uncertain times. When times are uncertain, we're more nervous. So in an odd way, this is going to be the oddest good news you ever heard from the scripture, but in an odd way when the Lord says to Joshua and to the people of God, here's what's going to happen in the promised land. You're going to have one intense shock after the other, after the other, but I'm going to be with you. That it was somehow more comforting to know the promised land is a place where you are going to face one battle after the other, but I'm going to tell you in advance I'm going to drive them all out and I'm never going to leave you and you're going to take this land.
That's Alan Wright and we'll have more teaching in a moment from today's important series. Would you love a better marriage? You don't need more good advice.
You need more good news. Marriages like people aren't changed by human effort or even by applying principles. Marriages are changed by the gospel of grace. In six video sessions, Pastor Alan and his wife Anne lead you and your spouse into a fresh encounter with the God of grace. You'll learn a simple, grace-filled process that makes great communication easy. You'll discover the freedom of forgiveness and the power of celebration. You'll also learn how to pray for your spouse and how to bless one another with a faith-filled vision for the future.
To help you grow, when you order the video series, we'll also send you two copies of the accompanying study guide. Whether your marriage is going through some special challenges or your marriage is in a season of health, you'll find powerful, transformational truth in good news for your marriage. Make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today and fill your marriage with the grace of God. The gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries. This broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support.
When you give today, we will send you today's special offer. We are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries. Call us at 877-544-4860.
That's 877-544-4860. Or come to our website, PastorAlan.org. Today's teaching now continues. Here once again is Alan Wright. We have this human desire for a promised land that is a place of ease and yet we know in reality in this world that it's filled with uncertainty and you don't know how all the pandemic is going to work out and you don't really know if there might be another one and you don't know about how it will affect you and you don't know. We just have so much uncertainty. The answer for peace in our hearts and in the world is not that we can create circumstances where we are just finally certain that there are no battles to fight.
The answer is much deeper and in the end much better than that. This longing, you know what I'm talking about for just a battle-free life. We just all of us yearn for those kind of moments.
I'm not saying they're bad, they're wonderful moments. I got to see a buddy of mine last week that I had not seen in over 35 years. One of the best friends I ever had and he had moved to Colorado and raised his family and had a career and we hadn't seen or talked to each other in all that time. He was my tennis buddy, Andy Grohlniks his name and he's six foot five and Jewish and we were quite the spectacle as a doubles team and we played tennis probably from the time we were eight or ten years old and we traveled all around North Carolina as kids playing in tennis tournaments on the junior circuit. In high school we were doubles partners and we played with high school all over the state and I love, I loved Andy and I love Andy so much and how fun that was to sit down for a whole afternoon and reminisce and remember specific tennis matches and hear his whole life story. He's a neat guy. Anybody remember the zip drive you know between the time that we had you know floppy drives and writable CDs? Well he was a young man.
Andy was the general manager of the rollout of the zip drive for iomega. I heard his whole story he's been successful but and while we were talking I said Andy I said some of my happiest memories are with you and I had this memory come to mind. The brain's funny isn't it? The little memories that you have specific moments it's just weird a brain and but I have this specific memory of one day playing tennis with Andy as we did so often and I think I was a senior in high school already been accepted to my college. Life was just good. I loved my life and just honestly you know it's just a time like what cares do I have in the world. We took a break from our tennis. I remember sitting on the bleachers for a moment just hanging out with Andy and had a big cold Gatorade and just drinking it. I remember pulling off my shirt just to just catch a few rays in the sun lean back there no body fat whatsoever and just hanging out with my buddy and like literally like what is there I've got no responsibilities I got I mean life's just you know you have moments like moments like that it's like I feel like that there's a part of me that's sentimental part of me you know when life gets hard that just could I just have some more of that Lord and the fact of the matter is you grow up you got you got family and people and jobs and responsibilities and and and the responsibilities never go away and when do you when do you ever get you know a moment like that and they're so fleeting aren't they I mean like it's like it's like I remember you know feeling like I'm on my honeymoon honeymoon to warm nobody expects anything of you on your honeymoon it's just there's so many times like I just want a honeymoon you know nobody nobody's gonna bother you don't have to answer the phone when you're home you don't have to you know and I just some of y'all heard me tell the story but so I mean we're inside this blissful thing we have had a big church wedding the my friends had taken Oreos and decorated the side of the car with the words come on down because Ann had won this trip as part of the showcase and everything she won on the price is right and and and Johnny Johnny Olson had said come on down and she kissed Bob and so we were going to New Orleans never really stayed in a nice nice place like that I'm on my own and it's just we had the most wonderful dinner in this French Quarter hotel and going back to our room and we came to the room you know and just it's just bliss it's my honeymoon and we heard sounds inside the room and and said sounds like somebody's in the room I said I can't be it was the right room there's a right room and so bravely I went on in the tv was on and it looked like the bed had been tampered with and my wife said somebody's been in this room she said you need to call the front desk and so I picked up the front desk you know I'm 23 years old and I'm like never been in a nice place like this before and on my own and I said excuse me it looks like somebody has been in our room and as I was talking to the front desk I looked down and noticed some mints on the bedside table and I thought that strange thieves don't usually leave mints behind I think they snickered at the front desk as I said sir that's just our evening turned down service so we'd be glad to discontinue that if you like oh no no no just about okay all right all right bye bye it's like my little moment of bliss and all of a sudden now here I am ashamed of how naive I am every moment like this I when our little baby Bennett was born at the moment that I held him and I didn't have a care in the world I was like this is what it's like to be blessed and then the nurses came in and said the doctors want to observe him in the neonatal unit because there was something irregular they heard in his breathing and they took him away and it lasted just for a few moments before we had to get on our knees again and start praying I just want those moments that are so carefree with Andy lying on the bleachers and soaking in the Sun and drinking Gatorade without a care in the world but the fact of the matter is that's not really the way life is is it that's not really what the promised land is in fact the promised land is one battle after the other and when you celebrate the victory of that one battle it seems like the next one comes I was glad that very early in my Christian life in college I read a book by John White called the fight it is a basic discipleship book and it's excellent and in there early in the book and thus the name for the title he writes of all the things that change when you become a Christian that now you're justified and considered the righteousness of God that now you're not under condemnation that you're an heir Christ that now you have a whole new family in God then he adds this you also have established a new relationship with the powers of darkness whatever you were before you became a Christian straight horoscope reader witch warlock Satanist you are now the sworn foe of the legions of hell have no delusions about their reality or their hostility but do not fear them the God inside you terrifies them they cannot touch you let alone hurt you but they can still seduce and they will try they will pose you as you obey Christ and if you play it cool and decide not to be a fanatic about Christianity you'll have no trouble from them but if you're serious about Christ being your Lord and God you can expect opposition resist the devil writes James and he'll flee from you life with Jesus can be an exhilarating and reassuring experience of constant triumph over evil forces but the battle never ends and the sooner you accept that the more peace you're gonna have the Canaanites the Hittites the Hivites the Perizzites the Girgashites the Amorites the Jebusites the battle doesn't end and that's okay because what you can know what you can know as a Christian what God destined for you to know in your spirit eclipses what you can't know in other words the certainties of the gospel by the assurances of the Holy Spirit and the promises of God's Word those certainties are much higher and better than the uncertainties of the world and the key to peace and joy in this world is not to try to take all the uncertainties of life and get all those circumstances worked out so you don't have to worry about anything no the key is to be so saturated in the certainties of God and the Holy Spirit that that trumps all of the uncertainties that's God's plan Alan Wright our good news message today forward in the fight from the series forward please stay with us pastor Alan is back here in the studio sharing his parting good news thought for the day for all of us in just a moment would you love a better marriage you don't need more good advice you need more good news marriages like people aren't changed by human effort or even by applying principles marriages are changed by the gospel of grace in six video sessions pastor Alan and his wife and lead you and your spouse into a fresh encounter with the God of grace you'll learn a simple grace-filled process that makes great communication easy you'll discover the freedom of forgiveness and the power of celebration you'll also learn how to pray for your spouse and how to bless one another with a faith-filled vision for the future to help you grow when you order the video series we'll also send you two copies of the accompanying study guide whether your marriage is going through some special challenges or your marriage is in a season of health you'll find powerful transformational truth in good news for your marriage make your gift to Alan Wright Ministries today and fill your marriage with the grace of God the gospel is shared when you give to Alan Wright Ministries this broadcast is only possible because of listener financial support when you give today we will send you today's special offer we are happy to send this to you as our thanks from Alan Wright Ministries call us at eight seven seven five four four forty eight sixty that's eight seven seven five four four forty eight sixty or come to our website pastor alan.org unlock the power of blessing your life discover God's grace-filled vision for your life by signing up for Alan Wright's free daily blessing if you want to fill your heart with grace and encouragement get Alan Wright's daily blessing it's free and just a click away at pastor alan.org back now with Pastor Alan and there is something to be said about certainty I think we we all are yearning and longing for things that are certain in this world yeah we are and I think what you do is you take in the Christian life what you take is the things that you're certain of you take the assurances of God's Word you take the the certainty of his promises you take the guarantee of your inheritance and the Saints that comes by the presence the Holy Spirit bearing witness that you're a child of God you take all of this and you apply what you know for sure to the things that you don't know for sure and in the spiritual battle we if we keep the promises of God the yes and amen of all the promises of God then we will not be removed from the spiritual fight but we won't be disillusioned in the midst of it so we're we are like Joshua's army but we're in Yeshua's spiritual army and we're in him and he's leading the way your promised land is a battleground and so if you're facing some spiritual battles today don't let the devil tell you that it means you're out of the will of God you're probably right in the middle of the will of God and you're fighting the fight the promised lands a place of battles but it's a place where Yeshua is the general is the leader and you're in him if you only caught part of today's teaching not only can you listen again online but also get a daily email devotional that matches today's teaching delivered right to your email inbox free find out more about these and other resources at pastor alan.org that's pastor alan dot o-r-g today's good news message is a listener supported production of Alan Wright Ministries you
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