Joshua 3-4

Intro

Background of passage

Q: What are some examples of specific steps God might be calling you to do?

  • Step up to a position of leadership
  • Commit your life to following God
  • Share a hidden secret
  • Admit wrong in a situation
  • Forgive someone
  • Take a stand on an issue in someone else’s life

Consecration (3:1-5)

The cost

  • Point of no return
  • Into the shadow of Jericho (3:16)
  • Food would soon be cut off

Other calls to consecration

  • Josh 5:2 (circumcision before Jericho)
  • Josh 7:13 (before Ai)
  • Josh 24:14-15 (before Joshua’s death)
  • NT Examples
    • Luke 22:41-44
    • Luke 14:26-30
    • Rom 12:1

Q: What is involved in this consecration process?

  • Meditate on God’s history: with you, with others, or as recorded in the bible
  • Think about God’s promises.
  • Think through the step of faith you are facing
    • What are your fears?  How does God’s grace answer those fears?
    • What challenges might you face?

Q: Case study – sharing a terrible hidden secret

  • What are some fears that might come up?
  • How would you answer each of those fears?

Q: Why is this consecration process so important?

  • Need to be convinced on a deep level.  Cut through external conformity which would fade in times of trouble.  The decision to follow God cannot be made lightly.  There is too much opposition from our flesh and Satan
    • Ex: Going on a really bad diet.
  • More investment makes you want to invest even more
  • Expresses trust in God’s character vs. approving the things he asks you to do (e.g. Josh 24)

Action (3:13)

Different action steps

  • Joshua (Deut 34:10; Josh 1:5)
  • Priests (3:15)
    • E.g. Stepping in front of a semi
  • People and families (3:17)
  • Reuben, Gad, ½ Manasseh crossed without families (4:12)

Q: Why is the action step so important?

  • Seeing God come through deepens our belief and purifies our faith
    • E.g. like refining metal
  • We live in the real world – actions matter (e.g. meeting the needs of others)
  • Keeps us from fooling ourselves
    • “I love God but hate Christians”
    • “I’m doing fine spiritually,” but never devoting any time to God/ meeting the needs of others (including financial)
    • “I’m sorry,” but never asked for forgiveness
    • “I know I’m forgiven,” but won’t actually share my sin with anyone
  • Enables us to experience God
    • Antidote for an impersonal, theoretical, intellectual relationship with God.
    • Can’t be comfortable and safe and still know him in a deep way.

Remembrance (4:20-24)

Q: What will happen if we fail to remember God’s providence?

  • Remembrance counters our forgetfulness and ingratitude
  • Remembrance proclaims God’s acts to others

Q: What do you do to remember God’s faithfulness?

Conclusion

Recap points

Quotes

“No man is indispensable, but every man is unique.  Men are dispensable; but this does not mean that one man fills another man’s place in the same way as a person would remove one concrete block and put another concrete block in its place.  In the final analysis, nobody takes the place of anybody else.  This is the wonder of personality and the wonder of God using personality in leadership.”

– Schaeffer, Joshua and The Biblical Flow of History, p. 25

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