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How to Maintain the Life of Victory

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
December 29, 2023 4:00 am

How to Maintain the Life of Victory

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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December 29, 2023 4:00 am

God’s plan for us is not just to have eternal life after death, but to have abundant life, here and now. He has given us daily victory; but it is our responsibility to walk in it. In this message, Adrian Rogers reveals to us how to maintain the life of victory.

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Adriene Rogers was a motivator, an encourager, and a leader of the faith. He was also passionate about presenting scriptural application to everyday life circumstances, and you'll hear that in today's message.

Now, let's join Adriene Rogers. Joshua chapter 24. And what we're going to have as we look at this passage of Scripture is an address by Joshua to the children of Israel. It's his farewell address.

He's an old man now. He is telling them goodbye. But this wily old warrior wants those who have come into the land of Canaan to stay there. He doesn't want them to be evicted.

He doesn't want them to forfeit their possessions. And so he's going to give them some final words, words of advice to tell them how to hold on to that which God has given to them. I hope that you know that these stories are more than Bible history.

They're devotional literature. The Bible tells us all these things happened to them for examples to us. And the land of Canaan, the promised land, stands for the victorious Christian life. And God's plan for you is not only that you have eternal life, though thank God for that. God's plan for you is that you have victorious life, abundant life. Jesus said in John chapter 10, verse 10, I've come that you might have life and have it abundantly.

So when you as a Christian are living the abundant life, you have the counterpart of what these people had when they lived in Canaan, the land that flowed with milk and honey. But Satan is a sore loser. And the devil that tried to uproot God's people from the land of Canaan is the one who would try to dissuade you and evict you from the life of victory that you ought to have in the Lord Jesus Christ. And I want to talk to you about how to maintain the life of victory, how to keep your spiritual life, to lose your wealth that's sad, to lose your health is worse, but to lose your walk with God after you've once known it is pitifully tragic. What Joshua had to say to these people so long ago in this farewell address fits so clearly with our lives today. Let's begin to read. And he tells them a little bit, first of all, of what God had done for them. And I'm going to break in in verse 11. And Joshua says to them as he rehearses the victories that God has given. And he said, and ye went over Jordan and came unto Jericho, and the men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Gergeshites and the Hivites and the Jebusites. And I delivered them into your hand.

That is, it wasn't your victory, it was mine. And I sent the hornet before you, which graved them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites, but not with thy sword, nor with thy bow. And I have given you a land for which ye did not labor in cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them of vineyards and olive yards, which ye planted not.

Do you eat? Now, he's just rehearsing. He's saying, you're here by my grace and by my strength. It's not what you did for me, God says, that brought you here.

It's what I did for you. Now, after Joshua has rehearsed that, he puts a therefore in verse 14, look at it. Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in truth and put away the gods which your father served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt and serve you the Lord. And if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods which your father served that were on the other side of the flood or the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods.

There are four things that I want to lay on your heart if you would maintain the life of victory. And the very first is this, that you must be careful to practice reverence. Look in verse 14. Now, therefore, fear the Lord. That's the first thing he says, fear the Lord. Do you know how you can lose your walk with God?

Get casual, get careless, lose the awe, lose the respect, lose the fear of the Lord. Over and over and over again in the Bible, we are admonished to fear God. Psalm 25 verse 14, the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him and he will show them his covenant.

Do you want God to reveal wonderful things to you? Then fear the Lord. Listen to this verse, Psalm 31 and verse 19. Oh, how great is thy goodness, which thou has laid up for them that fear thee, which thou has wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men.

God has laid up good things, but those good things are laid up for those who fear God. Listen to Psalm 33 and verse 18. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy. Would you like for God's beneficent, caring eye to be upon you? Would you like for God with his eye to watch over you and guide you, guard you, gladden you, and keep you?

Then fear him. Listen to Psalm 115 verse 13. He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great. Do you want a blessing?

I mean, who is there that does not want a blessing? He will bless them that fear the Lord. Listen to Psalm 147 and verse 11. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him. Do you want to please God?

By the way, if you please God, it doesn't matter whom you displease, and if you displease God, it doesn't matter whom you please, and you cannot please God without fearing God. Well, pastor, I thought that our religion was based on love and not fear. Friend, there's no contradiction between love and fear. Those who fear God the most love him the best. The fear of God is love on his knees. What kind of fear are we talking about? Not superstitious fear. Somebody gave me a book the other day that shows the great churches and cathedrals of the world.

Beautiful book, photographs. And on some of those cathedrals are hideous creatures posted around the outside of those cathedrals. They're called gargoyles. And they depict demons, demons on the faces of these buildings. You say, why would people building a cathedral put demon figures on the face of the building? Well, they thought if they would put bad demons on the front, they would scare worse demons away. That's superstitious fear. I look at those things and I think they're there to keep the demons on the inside.

That's superstition. We're not talking about that kind of fear and we're not talking about slavish fear. That doesn't mean when you think of God, you cower or you tremble as if God is a tyrant. Don't ever let the devil get you to thinking negatively about God.

God is good. Most people spend their lives running from God because of slavish fear. Not superstitious fear, not slavish fear, but sanctified fear. What is the fear of the Lord? It is reverence. It is awe. I'm amazed at how many times sometimes preachers, ministers talk carelessly, flippantly about the Almighty and they're taking God's name in vain as surely as if they were to curse and swear because they do not speak God's name with reverence and with awe.

He is holy God. And we are to fear Him when people are about to lose their blessing and be evicted from the land of Canaan. One of the things that causes that is they get careless about their relationship with God. They lose the right kind of fear.

A pilot is not afraid to fly, but he has a great respect for something called the law of gravity. He has a fear that is a legitimate fear. What we need, friend, is to fear the Lord. Now, I'm not talking about a negative fear. Do you know the difference between a slave and a son? A slave fears his master's lash, but a son fears his father's displeasure. I don't want to break God's heart.

I think the best illustration I can give you of the kind of fear I'm talking about comes from Mark chapter 4. It's when Jesus stilled the waves. Mark chapter 4 verse 37, listen to this, And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was full. That is, the water's up to the gunwales. It's about to sink. It's about to swamp.

It's about to go under. And he, Jesus, was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillar. You talk about confidence. Either he was mighty confident or mighty tired, asleep on a pillow. And they awake him, and saying to him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

How can you sleep? We are sinking. Now, listen to him as he rebukes them. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful?

How is it that you have no faith? And Jesus rebuked that kind of fear. But now listen to the very next verse. And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? He rebuked them for fearing. And in the very next verse, they fear him in a very wonderful and a wonderful way.

One kind of fear was condemned because it was faithfulness, and the other was exonerated and commended because it was reverential awe. Listen, never, never get careless about your Christian life. Never lose the reverence.

Have a careful reverence for God. Dr. Vance Havner said something about Gypsy Smith. Gypsy Smith was an evangelist. He was a gypsy who was saved. He died at the age of 87. He began to preach as a lad of 17. He was original. He was colorful. He said, I was born in a field.

Don't put me in a flower pot. A great man of God. Dr. Havner said he would have, he was no theologian. He was like another evangelist, Sam Jones. Sam Jones said he liked flowers, but not botany, and he liked religion, but not theology.

And then Dr. Havner said he was also in a class with Billy Sunday. Billy Sunday said, I don't know any more about theology than a jackrabbit knows about ping pong. But he knew Jesus. Gypsy Smith, who would also preach and sing, he said, Gypsy, you need to sing from your diaphragm. He said, I don't want to sing from my diaphragm.

I want to sing from my heart. And he did sing from his heart and was mightily used of God. And when he died, just before he died, he was so full of vim and vigor and life and the reality of Jesus. And they said to him, Gypsy Smith, what is the secret?

How do you keep that life? He said, from the day that Jesus saved me, I have never lost the wonder. The wonder.

Don't ever lose it. The fear of the Lord is a part of that wonder. God is so great. And Joshua says, don't get put out of this land. Fear the Lord. That's the first thing. Careful reverence.

Here's the second thing. Courageous resolve. Look, if you will, in verse 15. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods which your father served that were on the other side of the flood of the Amorites and whose land ye dwell.

But now listen to this resolve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. I mean, that's courageous. No matter what others do, we will serve the Lord. Look at how you're to serve him. And by the way, the word serve literally means to pay homage to worship. It doesn't just mean going around doing things for God. It means to worship him, to love him, to bow before him with all of your heart. And what is that worship to be? He says you to do it with sincerity. Look in verse 14. Serve him in sincerity. The word sincere means without blemish. It was used of animals for sacrifice that were to be whole and complete, lacking nothing.

Well, what does that tell me? I am to present my body a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable unto God. It's to be a sincere service. I need to continually be giving myself to God. I gave myself to God as a teenage boy.

But he is putting it in the present tense. He's saying now, serve the Lord. Serve the Lord. When I got saved, I gave all I knew of me to all I knew of Jesus. Since I've been saved, I've learned a whole lot more about me and I've learned a whole lot more about Jesus.

And I have to keep on doing that. It's to be a sincere worship. It's to be a scriptural worship.

Look at it again. In sincerity and in truth. Now sincerity is no substitute for truth and truth is no substitute for sincerity. If you worship the Lord in sincerity without truth, you'll be a fanatic. If you worship the Lord in truth and not in sincerity, you'll be a legalist. But if you worship the Lord and serve the Lord in sincerity and truth, you'll be a beautiful Christian. A sincere worship, a scriptural worship.

I mean in truth and steadfast worship. Joshua said, we will serve the Lord. You know what he said? He said, I don't know what choice you're going to make.

I can't force you to make that choice. You can serve other gods if you want to. But then Joshua said something that I would, every dad in this congregation would say and mean it. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Sincere scriptural and steadfast service for our Lord.

You know, today we're supposed to get along with everybody and sort of homogenize our beliefs with everybody else. But what is needed today, if you would not be dispossessed from the land of victory, is a conviction, a courageous resolve. And you know what Joshua was saying? Joshua was saying, if I have to, I just stand alone. The closer we get to the end of the age, the more you're going to have to stand alone. Noah stood alone.

It was called a bigot and a fool, no doubt. Elijah stood alone before 450 prophets of Baal. You may have to stand alone.

Amos stood alone before the king's court. Now, we should never divide over incidentals, but we ought to divide over idolatry. Joshua said, if you want to serve those gods, you can go ahead, but I'm going to serve the Lord. Sometimes denominations have to stand alone. The Southern Baptist Convention has been in a battle over the Word of God, and people have told us we need to enter into the mainstream of theological thought.

It all depends on where that stream is going. Denominations sometimes have to stand alone. Sometimes churches have to stand alone when their denomination won't. Sometimes families have to stand alone and leave churches because the church won't do right. People are good people in bad churches.

That's part of the scandal of Christianity. People say, well, I can't move. Grandma's buried in the backyard.

Grandma would get up and leave if she could, I'll guarantee you. Sometimes even if the family won't stand, an individual has to stand and stand alone. There has to be courageous resolve. If you have a lackadaisical, careless, take it or leave it type of attitude, the devil is going to boot you right out of your Canaan. Joshua says, I can't control what you do, but I can control what I will do. Listen to verse 15, and if it seemed evil to you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served which were on the other side of the flood are the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Here's the third thing that you need to do if you walk on conquered ground without being evicted. First of all, there needs to be careful reverence.

Then there needs to be courageous resolve. And thirdly, there needs to be continual repentance. Look, if you will, in verse 14 again, now therefore serve the Lord in sincerity and in truth and put away the gods which your father served on the other side of the flood and in Egypt and serve ye the Lord. Put away those gods.

Now this is strange. He's saying put away the gods of Egypt and they had been out of Egypt for 40 years. But you see, there are always the weeds of the old life and they want to sprout again.

There are those hangover sins, those residual proclivities that are down deep in our heart and we need to be careful of those things. And those old gods will come back into your life if you're not careful. After you've been in the land of Canaan, those old gods that you worshiped in Egypt or were familiar with in the wilderness, those old gods will come back and demand your service and you're going to serve someone or something and if you don't serve the true God, you're going to be serving one of those gods.

And idol is anything we love more, fear more, serve more, or trust more than almighty God. What are some ancient gods that Americans serve today? There was an ancient god named Mammon. You know who he was? He was a god of wealth. You begin to serve that god, friend, and you'll get evicted from the land of Canaan. Another ancient god, his name was Bacchus.

Do you know who he was? He was the god of pleasure. A lot of American Christians want to serve that god today. He was the god of drunkenness and drugs and debauchery and pleasure. There was another ancient god and goddess Aphrodite or Venus, the goddess of sexual lust and promiscuity.

You serve that goddess, you be evicted. Another ancient god was the god Mars. These were not all gods of Egypt, but they're ancient gods that Americans today have to deal with. The god of war, the god of hatred, the god of bloodlust, the god of revenge.

Another ancient god was Sophia, the goddess of wisdom, substituting thus saith the mind of man, for thus saith the word of God. I was reading a book here last week by Steve Farrar, and he talked about the god Baal that the Jews worship. He said that Baal had four characteristics Baal worship. Number one, the worshipers of Baal were pro-choice. They believed in killing babies, only they waited until after the baby was born. But they were pro-choice. They commonly killed their newborn children. He said, secondly, they were environmentalists.

They were more concerned about fertility and crops than human beings. Thirdly, the Baal worshipers were a part of a promiscuous lifestyle. They worshiped Baal, their god that way, and homosexuality was at the very core and the very root of it.

And fourthly, they sought to legitimatize Baal worship and make it coexist with the worship of Israel's god. Remind you of anything? We today have old gods. They've come back with different names. And the names have been changed to protect the guilty.

They're old gods with new names. And there has to be, listen, if you would walk on conquered ground and maintain your victory, there must be careful reverence, there must be courageous resolve, and there must be continual repentance. You say, well, Adrian, I repented when I got saved.

So did I. But I've done far more repenting after I've gotten saved than I ever did when I got saved. And so will you.

Because these old gods will rear the head and these things sometimes that you think you've done with 40 years ago are still there. And be careful that you keep a clean account with God and hire you to do it. Do it fully and do it forcefully. He says, put away these gods. Don't allow one half of one sin in your life. Well, wait a minute, everybody's got a little sin. Don't make peace with any sin. I'm not talking about sinless perfection. I'm talking about a holy ambition to be holy.

Deal with sin as sin would deal with you. He says, put it away. You go out there to get on an airplane and because of hijacking and because of safety reasons, they screen you when you go through that little thing. You know what I'm talking about? You walk through there and if you're packing a gat, that thing goes off. And so if you've got a knife or some weapon, why, that thing buzzes. But even if you don't have a knife or some weapon, you have something like a tie clasp or ladies, you have a necklace or a belt with a big buckle. Sometimes I've had to go through that thing four times.

I don't wear big buckles or necklaces, I want you to know, but... I walk through that thing and it goes off and I say, oh, my keys. I'll throw my keys up there. Step back and walk in, it goes off again. I say, oh, yeah, my calculator.

And I put that up there. I walk in and it goes off again. I say, well, maybe my credit cards and so forth. Go back and we'll go through again. I say, oh, it's my change. I go through again and finally I get through.

Have you ever done that? You know, I wish I could put one like that at every door here and if you have any sin in your heart, you can't get out. You just got to come back in. I mean, you walk through and you're saying, well, and it goes ah.

Come on back in. Well, many times, you know, we just think, well, God's going to grade on the curve. He's not going to grade on the curve.

He's not going to do it. Put them away fully. Put them away forcefully. You treat sin as sin will treat you. You get evicted from your land of victory. Who is it knocked so loud? A lonely little sin slipped through I answered and soon all hell was in.

Here's the fourth thing if you would maintain your victory. Not only must there be that continual repentance, but there must be complete reliance. Now look in verse 16. Joshua tells them what to do and the people very glibly say, okay, we'll do it.

We've got it in our notebook, preacher. Listen to verse 16. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods.

For the Lord our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt from the house of bondage which did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way wherein we went and among all the people through whom we passed and the Lord graved out from before us all the people, even the Amorites which dwell in the land. Therefore will we also serve the Lord for he is our God. Now you think old Joshua would say, hey, that is wonderful.

Boy, I'm so glad that you have decided to do that. But they didn't fool old Joshua and Joshua said unto the people, ye cannot serve the Lord. Ye cannot serve the Lord for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins if ye forsake the Lord.

Joshua read them like a book. He said all of that is pious blather and you're not ready. You're too confident. You're too cocky.

You're too careless. You say it, but you don't mean it. And he says, if ye forsake the Lord and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt and consume you. After that he hath done you good. Now the people that they've been clubbed between the eyes come back again and say, and the people said unto Joshua, nay, but we will serve the Lord. Joshua said unto the people, ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye have chosen you the Lord to serve him. And they said, we are witnesses. Now therefore put away, said he, the strange gods which are among you. Now watch, and incline your heart unto the Lord God of Israel.

What is that? Complete reliance. All of these other things that we're supposed to do and ought to do, don't just glibly say we will do, but incline your heart to God, for it is God that works in you and is willing to do of his good pleasure. People make promises easy to be uttered and soon to be forgotten, and they make them in the strength of their flesh. Simon Peter, when Jesus spoke of some forsaking him, a big old Simon said, Lord, I'll go with you to prison and to death.

And then he cursed and swore and denied that he even knew the Lord Jesus. Why? Because it was a boast of the flesh. You want to maintain your victory? You'd better realize that as you have that reverence and you have that resolve, oh, friend, with it, there comes a reliance that says, God, I can't do it, but God, you can do it in me, and I'm going to let you. In the truest sense of the word, victory is not your responsibility.

It is your response to his ability. Careful reverence, courageous resolve, continuous repentance, and complete reliance, and you'll not get evicted from Canaan, but you'll walk in victory. Can you remember those four things? Reverence, resolve, repentance, and reliance.

Read it again tonight before you go to sleep. Let's bow in prayer. Heads are bowed.

Eyes are closed. Would you pray, Lord, help me to maintain a victorious walk? Lord, you brought me to a wonderful place. Lord, you drove out all of the enemies. Lord, you gave victory. I'm drinking water from wells I didn't dig.

I'm eating fruit from trees I haven't planted. I'm living in houses that were built by your grace. Lord, I have overcome enemies that I didn't have the strength to overcome.

They've been so good. Now, Lord, don't let me forfeit my blessings. Don't let me, Lord, lose what you've given me. Lord, help me to hold you in awe, to fear you, to reverence you. Lord, may I say with my whole heart, I will serve you.

I will. Lord, should there be any old God that came back into my life, any of that old way that I have been careless about, Lord, now I want to repent and put away anything that would be a rival to you, dear Lord Jesus. Every sin, Lord, I want purged. And now, Lord, I can't do it without you. I just incline my heart to you. Give me the strength to do it. If you would like to learn more about how you can know Jesus or deepen your relationship with Him, simply click the Discover Jesus link on our website, lwf.org. For a copy of this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-01 15:04:53 / 2024-05-01 15:17:19 / 12

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