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Orders and Allegiance (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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September 8, 2020 6:00 am

Orders and Allegiance (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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September 8, 2020 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Book of Joshua (Joshua 1:10-18)

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He says, When I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I planned, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be yes, yes, and no, no? In other words, he says, I don't plan this according to the flesh. You get a little bit of yes, a little bit of no, because I'm confused about what I have to do.

I don't have that. I'm organized in my head when it comes to ministry. I know where I'm going, and it's not, oh, a half a yes and a half a no here and there.

It is yes or no. Music Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, here's Pastor Rick in Joshua Chapter 1 as he begins a brand new message called Orders and Allegiance. Joshua Chapter 1 verses 10 through 18, verse 10. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people. And before we get to verse 11 with what he is saying, of course, Joshua was told by God to be a man of the Bible and to be strong.

And the part about the Bible, he only needed to be told once, that sort of thing. A righteous man, a righteous child of God does not forget. But what had to be repeated was the emphasis on being strong.

I find that to be a man of the word is the easier part. To implement, to do it, to be strong in the face of resistance and all the things that are thrown at us in life, that requires strength and that requires might, effort, in the Spirit. And God's emphasis to Joshua was something that, of course, we need to pass on to each other whenever we can in the form of genuine encouragement as opposed to false encouragement. Six times the righteous are told in the book of Joshua to be strong. Joshua three times by God.

And then we'll get to that at the end of this chapter. The leaders tell Joshua to be strong. And then later in the book of Joshua, we find Joshua telling twice the people to be strong on two separate occasions. That is the foundation of what is about to come. And again, God was, I don't think this is redundancy, it was an emphatic emphasis.

It's like a super emphasis, you could say. And there stands the first two orders that we come across given to Joshua in this analysis. The first order was, of course, to the man himself that would lead the people.

And that is, it begins in verse two of Joshua one, where God says, Arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people. Well, there's the mandate. The day has come. It is now time, well, at least in three days, to cross over. And we should learn, all of us, especially you younger believers, to take orders.

It's part of your training, it will pay off. If you learn to take orders, the chances are very high that God will use you to give orders. This is the life that we come across in Joshua. We saw him taking orders from Moses, being the assistant of Moses, when he protested that they were all prophesying for the Lord. Moses said, would to God that all his people would prophesy, would to God that all his people would have such zeal. And Joshua, of course, submits to that because he knew how to be led. And he was not a little boy at this phase in his life. As an older man, he is still taking orders, all the days now here. That because, and this is a pronounced teaching about Jesus Christ, the example the Lord gave us when he lived, was he was a man of authority because he was a man under authority. And he was quick to point out that he was under the authority of his father, that he was no reckless prophet that came from the wilderness to do his own thing, that everything he did was ordered and structured by his father. In fact, at one point, I would love to have heard the tone of his voice, the expression on his face when Jesus said, I always do those things that my father wills. You and I could never say that, but we can always shoot for that.

We aspire to that. And so this is a big deal, this leader. And that's, you know, again, the book of Nehemiah is one of the manuals for Christian leadership, so is the book of Joshua. Together, they help us learn how to lead the flock and how to be led.

Because if you learn how to lead, well, you should, in that, understand something about what it takes to follow instructions, to be led. And so it was his faithful past that allowed him to have a faith-filled future. That's not just good preaching, of course it is, but it's true. His future was faith-filled.

I could have used the word faithful, but I think in this case, it gives it a little bit more muscle, a little bit more thrust. It was faith-filled, the life I want. Well, if I've covered any ground in my own life as a Christian, it's because I've tried to reach things that I can't reach.

It's not because I only hang out where it's comfortable, where I can get my hands on that. It's come from reaching for things that are beyond me and sometimes laying hold of them. The effort alone, I think, has made me better off than what I would have been for not trying. So from Judges, well, Judges ends the story that we really get of Joshua, but Joshua's story begins in Exodus, of course. We first meet him there, runs through Deuteronomy, and is finished in Judges. But we get so much from him, and even when we get to Judges, we'll be learning some things from Joshua. Well, the second of the two orders, the first order going to Joshua, the second one through Joshua, given by the leader to those being led, and that comes in verse 11. Now, verses 10 and 11 will consume most of our analysis, and so just looking at verse 11, there we read what Joshua is, well, let's take it connected to verse 10. Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan to go in to possess the land which Yahweh your God is giving you to possess. Catch the imperatives.

Pass through, command, prepare food, cross over, possess, lay hold of. That all in one verse. This is the Christian life right there.

You pass through the camp. These things move through us where the people are, where we are, where our heart is, wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The commands to follow, the preparation, the act of actually following through with what you've been told, what you've been preparing to do. Imagine coming to church, studying up, staying home, studying up, not staying home from church, but when you're home, and then you get a chance to share Jesus Christ, and you don't. Well, that's not what we want. We want to be prepared and cross into whatever territory God has put before us and take hold of it.

We notice here that Joshua does not call a confederation of leaders, or a conference you might say, tribal leaders, to learn from any of them if he could count on their cooperation. He doesn't say, so this is what I want to do. I want to cross into Jordan. Are you guys with me? I mean, just picture it. Catch the vision, men. He does not do that, because in this case, he is sure what God has told him.

There's no need for any of that. There are times when it's not so clear to the leader. God has given them a directive, and he's omitted many details. And then you can just employ the leadership skills that he has given you in conjunction with the resources and the people that he's given to you, but this is not the case here. Here, he does not seek counsel or advice. He doesn't even ask how they felt.

Now, granted, he may have known this, and it also must be understood, because we learned this from Joshua. He's firm, but he's always respectful. Even when Achan is about to be stoned, he's very gentle with him at the beginning part.

He doesn't get harsh, but he's very firm. But he says, tell me, son, did you do this? And so, I don't want to misrepresent the man. He is sure with what he wants to do, because God has told him. And he's not asking for advice. He's not putting it to a vote.

He's not seeking permission. He is acting on what God has commanded him to do. Paul, the apostle, operated the same way. When he was sure of what God's will was, Paul did these things. Paul, in fact, and he could say this one time, Galatians chapter 1 verse 16, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, because he knew up to that point what he was supposed to do and pursue. In 2 Corinthians, he writes to them, because, you know, the Corinthians giving him a hard time, Paul, you know, you didn't, you just hear, you're there.

And these unfounded accusations, he writes to them. He says, therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? What an insight into the man, Paul, that his mind worked this way. He planned it out. He did not just do things recklessly. Now, sometimes we do things impulsively, but not on the serious issues.

And when it came to his ministry, he was very serious all the time. He says, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I planned, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be yes, yes, and no, no? In other words, he says, I don't plan this according to the flesh. You get a little bit of yes, a little bit of no, because I'm confused about what I have to do.

He said, I don't have that. I'm organized in my head when it comes to ministry. I know where I'm going, and it's not, oh, a half a yes and a half a no here and there. It is yes or no.

And then he says, but as God is faithful, our word to you was not yes and no. Well, you've got to love that kind of stuff, because you want it. I want it. You want to scoop it up and take it in and be this way all the time. God says to his spirit, okay, you'll have your chance. You find out this is war. It's not, it's not dress up. It's not just pretending and looking good. It is engaging a real enemy called my flesh, my carnality, my sinful ways, my arrogance. I've never felt arrogance too much.

No, that's not true. Strike that from the record, please. When I got out of Marine boot camp, I was the most arrogant human being online, just ever. I walked through the airport, Dallas International Airport, coming from Camp Lejeune. I'm just a buck private, and I'm walking past a full Air Force colonel. You're supposed to salute them when you're in uniform. I wasn't going to salute him. He's an Air Force. He had to be at least a Marine lieutenant. That's how arrogant, because they brainwashed me, and I willfully submitted to it.

I've kept portions of it, because they're convenient at times to pop out every now and then. But we all have the flesh, and of course the military can really pump that flesh up. When you're 17 years old, you're just lapping it up. Anyway, so Joshua does not call a council to find out what God has already told him. Neither does he delay. He wasn't a procrastinator. Now, some of us, we do get around to procrastinating, but the longer we delay, the more reluctant we become when God has sent us on an assignment, unless we really like the assignment.

Go and eat all the ice cream you can. Yes, Lord. But, and then you find out it's not your brand, then you delay. And delay can be disobedience itself. Delay itself can be disobedience. You know, there's some illustrations in the scripture I won't get into. One with Joab, one of the rival generals, delayed.

Joab went in and took care of business in his ruthless way. But procrastination, it evidences a lack of desire. Clean up your room.

Okay. This man, Joshua, we're going to find him several times getting up early and moving. You're early in the, with the sunrise, Joshua's up and he's moving. That's called zeal. He was a zealous servant. Jesus said, zeal for his father's health, according to the prophecy, had consumed him. Psalm 119, the song about the scripture. Not the scripture about the song, the song about the scripture.

Psalm 119 verse 60, I made haste and did not delay to keep your commandments. We can get in that zone sometimes. It's a good place to be. But we have this fallen nature. Each and every one of us, this fallen nature, we must engage and not ignore or excuse or finding. You ever get caught doing wrong and you want to blame someone else or you don't want to own it and say, I was wrong?

Because it diffuses so much. A kind word turns back wrath. A lying word just excites it. I mean, a child says, I didn't do that.

We just saw them do that. I don't know about you, but as a dad, the belt, the belt was getting loose. I mean, this is lying to my face now. Now, I'm not a cruel anything.

I give the belt to my wife, but it's a good idea, though, isn't it? Here, I got to make a phone call. But anyway, it's ministry. Peter hesitated.

It's not resistance. It's at times because of our flesh we hesitate with God, but it's a valid thing and God tolerated, valid in the sense that God will tolerate it to a degree. So when Peter gets the vision and God says, slay and eat, Peter, Peter says, not so. These things, these foul things have never touched my lips. Maybe Peter was saying, this is a test and I'm not failing it.

I know the law. But then there was Ananias, one of my heroes of the New Testament. In the book of Acts, I can't wait till we get to the book of Acts again. Ananias was told to go and, of course, minister to then Saul of Tarsus, soon to be the apostle Paul.

But Ananias didn't want to go. He says, we've heard all sorts of good things about this bad guy. And God has to lay it out for him a little bit more. And it didn't take much.

Ananias was off and running with his orders. And so God, you know, that kind of hesitation was tolerated by God because it was legitimate, it's honest, and the flesh is not always ready to say, OK, you said it, I'm gone. Here was no hesitation on Elijah's part. True, true leaders in Christ, whether in the home or in ministry, are neither tyrants or puppets or figureheads or anything like that. They do not behave as diatrophes, lording over the flock as though he's king and ruler.

Oppressive leadership like that. Nor are leaders to be like Aaron was that one day subservient to the demands of the people. One commentator who died long before I was born, he says this about pastors who cave in to the whims of the people. Now, there's a difference between caving to the whims of the people and listening to the bleating of the sheep. Sometimes someone will say something and the Lord says, well, we'll say that's a need. And you've got to address that and fix it, whatever you're supposed to do.

And that's different. But then there are, of course, those times where he's caving. He's going against what he believes and knows to be right because he wants to keep the peace. And so this old commentator says, so apologetic, speaking of those pastors that cave, fawning and effeminate. They have forfeited the respect of real men.

That's pretty heavy duty. That was said back in the 19th, early 1950s, late 40s. Joshua did not ask, brief review. He did not hesitate. And when he did speak and act, it was with firmness and respect and obeying the Lord.

So now he's off and running. We look again at verse 11. He says, pass through the camp and command the people saying, prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan to go in to possess the land which Yahweh your God is giving you to possess. Now he's giving this, he's delegating, preparing the people to his commanders, to those under his authority, tribal leaders, his officers. It says, and command the people saying, prepare provisions for yourselves. So the leaders are going to move through the camps. And remember, over two million people. This is not a little campsite in the fall somewhere in the mountains.

This is a nation. Well, this command the people telling them to prepare provisions. Preparation's serious business. Of course, for an operation like this, and this is not going to be hurry up, hurry up, okay, wait. In three days, they're going to move and they're going to cross into that land.

That's God's word to them and it will be honored. There was much to do, of course, before crossing. The three Bs of infantry combat, beans, bullets, and bandages. You've got to have them. You can't win without it. You've got to have food and water, you've got to have ammunition, and you've got to patch up those who need patching. Care for those who are injured. Even the Romans, the Roman legions, they had field medics. There are reliefs, you know, carvings into stone in this case, on a pillar. Oh, I forget the name of it, but anyway, and there it is a Roman campaign.

The troops are moving in the horse cavalry and medics, tending to the wounded on that. Anyway, they understood it and they were very successful because of it, of course. But this word in the Hebrew for provisions is food. Usually, it means meat, but here it does not.

It means food of any type. Manna was still their essential diet. That was going to stop. The miraculous supply was going to be cut off once they crossed into the promised land. And even with the manna, the people had responsibility.

There's no way of getting from it. They had to harvest it every morning, they had to prepare it, and then they had to keep from saving it, which is a little discipline. And those who tried in disobedience found out that it was not a good idea. But the value of preparation is probably best realized when you've suffered for not being prepared, unpreparedness. If you survive, there have been those who have not survived.

And, you know, everything from just having the right spare tire versus the wrong one. I've got stories about that, and you've all come here to hear my stories. So 1 Peter 3, verse 15, Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts. Sanctify the Lord God in your hearts.

And then Peter, the ever-ready Peter. And always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks your reason for the hope that is in you with meekness and respect. And so here, what stands out to me, of course, is to sanctify the Lord in your heart. Well, of course, that comes with loving the Lord, but that be ready is the hard work.

Always be ready. So if we heed that injunction by Peter, we will not only be useful, but we will be fruitful. You reap what you sow. And if you sow righteousness, righteousness you shall reap. If you sow the word, a fruit of some sort, you shall reap. Now, it may not be the fruit you desire, but it will be what God wants. It will be fruitful to God. If it's always fruitful to us, then men like Noah, who preached and nobody came.

He saved his family, but would it have, of all those people alive, would it not have been nice to have saved more? Well, 1 Timothy, chapter 4, verse 6, If you, Paul writing to the pastor Timothy, if you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. Joshua continues, he says, For within three days you will cross over this Jordan. Now three, three days, not three, but three days is the number of the resurrection. After you've read your New Testament, whenever you see three days in the scripture, you think of the resurrection.

Am I the only one? I don't think so. And of course, biblical typology, we follow there was a pattern, there's an emphasis that emerges from the text when we're reading it. During these three days of preparations, the spies were sent out. They would meet Rahab, they would hide in the hills outside of Jericho, they would make their way back, but they went into the Promised Land to reconnoite it. Anyway, we come back to Joshua, telling them three days to cross, and they will then cross. We'll come up to some little tricky parts of scripture that would suggest it was actually six days, but we'll clarify that when we get there. Once they get in the Promised Land, there are going to be delays before they actually fight at Jericho.

Not much of a fight, really. He says, you will cross over this Jordan. Not you shall attempt, but you will cross over.

The language of faith, that is. There's no mention of boats or little bridges. The Jordan is a river, though it's not the prettiest river you've ever seen. It's a river nonetheless.

In other words, it will drown you if you're not careful, and it can flow pretty hard. Thanks for tuning in to Cross-Reference Radio for this study in the book of Joshua. Cross-Reference is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel, Mechanicsville in Virginia. If you're interested in more information about this ministry, please visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com.

You'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick available there. We also encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. By doing so, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. Just search for Cross-Reference Radio in iTunes, Google Play Music, or your favorite podcast app. You can also follow the links at crossreferenceradio.com. We're glad we were able to spend time with you today. Tune in next time to continue learning from the book of Joshua, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-16 22:48:54 / 2024-03-16 22:58:45 / 10

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