Camp Before Crossing
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 19 · 2 years ago

Camp Before Crossing

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We are so ready to get on to the next thing. The next job. The next relationship. The next step God has for us. But we have to learn how to do “now” well in order to get to “next.” Sometimes the best way to set yourself up for success is to spend a little more time purposefully waiting in a less than ideal situation.

What are you waiting for? Camp before crossing. The promise land awaits.

All right. Well, that is some super exciting news. I am super excited. I know when I got that news on the phone, I like fell out of my chair. I don't even know what to say or what to do. I'm just so, so excited that we finally have a space to launch connect US church. I'm so looking forward to it. I'm so looking forward to being in that beautiful movie theater and it's just going to be great. The the community interest meetings that are going to be happening soon and and the preview services and looking forward to that launch Sunday where we'll start weekly services. It's going to be a great, great place to meet with God and meet with other people and connect with them. It's going to be awesome and we're so, so excited, so looking forward to being there. And so today we get to look at this idea of camp before crossing this idea. We're crossing over, we're crossing into this launch sequence where we're launch to connect US church and a great, great location. We're crossing over that. But we had to camp a little bit before we got there. We had to wait a little bit. It's been a long time and into our service today and our message today we're going to be looking at the story of Joshua, of how he led the nation of Israel from one side of the river, through the river, cross the river into the Promised Land, and we're going to look at that, because they had to do a lot of waiting too. And so, yes, this is going to be an exciting message about the church, connect us, church moving into this new season, this exciting, awesome season of launch and and just seeing God work and incredible ways, and we're going to talk all about that. But I believe that we all have seasons of waiting in our life. You've had seasons of waiting in your life. Maybe you're in that season right here and right now. What do you do? Do you just hope and wait for that thing to come in the future and then everything will be okay? Or is there something that you can do while you wait that will prepare you to succeed as you move into the Promised Land? Well, of course I believe that we can wait really, really well, and I believe that the story of Joshua shows us some incredible things that we can apply to our lives about waiting well, waiting to set us up for success. Camping well so that we can cross successfully and move into all that God has for us. We're going to do that. I believe we've done that as a church in this season right now and I hope that you can find that perspective to grow in that understanding right now today. You know, as a church we've done our fair share of camping, of waiting. Man. We started back in who over a year ago,...

...with some leadership team meetings. I think the first one was June two thousand and nineteen, and from then we built and look forward to our first vision night in January of this year, which feels like a million years ago, but January of this year, and we started to build this team, this launch team, this to develop what connect those church was going to be about and share that vision. And God brought you to be a part of what he is doing through US and in us. And then we got hit with the coronavirus and had to adjust and figure things out and we've been meeting in our house every Sunday looking for, waiting for this opportunity to find a space, to move into that space and have a great, great public launch. And so here we are on the edge of the Jordan, ready to cross over. We've done our fair share of waiting. And what have we learned? Have we waited? Well? I hope we have, and I hope that you have waited well as well in whatever season that you are going through. You know what, sometimes it makes it a little easier to wait when you know that what's coming next is something God has promised you. Like you're not hoping that this good thing will happen. We know what if God was to tell you, hey, in a year from now that think that you're waiting for, it's going to show up and it's going to be great and it's going to be perfect. But it's going to show up. I guarantee it. I promise that. Don't you think that waiting would be a little bit easier? Maybe it still might be hard as you anticipate that day. Hey, Christmas is coming, right, we know exactly when it is on the calendar, but you still gotta wait for it. I see, I think we see this as we look at the story of Joshua's they cross over into this promised land. It doesn't start with Joshua. This, this waiting, in this this crossing doesn't start with Joshua and it doesn't really even start with Moses, but it's to Moses that God gives this promise. God said to Moses, I am Yahway, the Lord. That's God's name. I appeared to Abraham, see, that's where it kind of really started. He appeared to his son, then Isaac, and Isaac's son Jacob, and he appeared to them as l should I god Almighty, but I did not reveal my name, Yah way, to them, and that's what he refer revealed himself to Moses and I reaffirmed, God says, my covenant with them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan, where they were living as foreigners. God promised them this land. God promised them. They were sitting on the edge of the river, ready to cross into exactly what God had promised them. They knew it. They had been...

...given, they've been given this guarantee by God. This is what he goes on to say. You can be sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are now slaves to the Egyptians, and I am well aware of my covenant with them. See, the time that God reaffirmed this promise with Moses, he reminds them and tells them, like I see right where you are right now and the people where they were right now. We're slaves in a foreign land, in Egypt, and it was bad, it was not good at all. They were being taken advantage of and not treated well. And God says he heard them, he heard their groans. God, here's your longings of your heart. God, here's The groanings of your heart. God knows exactly what you're thinking, what you're feeling, what you're desiring. He knows that and he sees that, and maybe for some of you that's reassuring, and others of you they're like, oh, I don't, I don't want God knowing all that's inside my heart, and that's an another message for another day. But God is there, he hears you and he's well aware of God's promise, of his promise to his people. Check out the way that God phrases this promise. God continues to say, therefore say to the people of Israel, I am the Lord, I will free you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egypt, that situation that you're in. God says, I will free you, I will free. You see, it's all about what God does. It's not resting and on your own efforts of what you can do, of how you can plan, how you can scheme, how you can cheat, how you can move out of here. It's resting in what God has promised. God says, I will say that with me. I will, I will. God says, I will. I will redeem you with a powerful arm and the great acts of Judgment. I will claim you as my own people and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the Lord, your God, who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt. See, it's all about God and God's promise, God's power, God's ability to work in this situation and his ability to work in your situation. God promises, I will, I will. So this promise was first given to Moses. Will See right here, and Moses had that promise. The Nation had waited for over four hundred years to finally get to this point to say, okay, God's gonna do it. And God did it and God took them out of Egypt. Moses led them out and they got all the way to this Jordan River and you may be familiar with the story but they sent...

...some spies and twelve spies they went and scouted out the land and out of the twelve that came back, only to thought that they could walk into this promise. The other ten were afraid. And so, after all that waiting, they finally got to that point and God cause them to wait again, forty more years, forty more years of waiting to cross into the promised land. See, what happens when you wait is that you begin to hope in what you're waiting for. You Begin to hope in what you're waiting for. And you know what, a lot of times, what you're waiting for, pretty much every time, what you're waiting for will never be good enough to put your hope in. You know, if you're waiting for that special boy or special girl to come into your life, or maybe that person to propose finally, you know you've been waiting for so long, we begin to put our hope in that person. And whenever you put a hope in a person, that person's going to let you down. That person's not going to live up to the standard that you are placing on them when you put your hope on that person. Sometimes we do it with our jobs. We say I hope for a new job, I I'm waiting for this new job, and our hope gets placed into that job. And so when we get that job we realize, oh this, this isn't as good as I thought it was going to be. See where are, where we're waiting for. Often our hope goes, but our hope always needs to be placed firmly on God. Our hope should always be on God and not on anything else. Even if we're waiting for other things, we really, really, and here's the secret, really waiting for God. See God is the one I will and in his promise there he says I am the Lord. That's there's a lot about knowing who god is. So this promise that God gave to Moses was really first started with Abraham, then to Isaac and then to Jacob, and then here it was reconfirmed the Moses. And then they wandered for forty years in the Wilderness. And now God talks to Joshua because Moses couldn't go into the promised land. He was too old and he disobeyed God and God said no, you're not going in. You could see it, but you can't go in. That's left up to Joshua, one of the twelve spies that return back forty years earlier and said we could take it. He's the leader now and God says this to him. He says, well, this is what...

...he says. I promise you what I promise Moses. Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you, from the negive wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the West, including all the land of the hit tights. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live, for I will be with you, as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandoned you. What an amazing promise from Almighty, all powerful, all loving God. I promise you what I promise Moses. Wherever you set foot, wherever you go, you will be on land that I have given to you. God has already given you the victory there. Imagine if you lived your life with that kind of attitude, that wherever you went, you believe that God has already gone before you and he's given you what you need. In that season, right in that time, God has gone before us and I believe as as church God is with us and he has gone before us into this season. We might not have had a service in that movie theater yet, but God has already been there and he has said he has given us this land as we walk into it. I believe that he's given it to us, that this promise is for us, that we can walk right into it and it's going to be beautiful. But it's not going to always be easy. See us the the land of the hit tights. There's people already there. No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live, and doesn't mean they won't try. You know, when you take steps to cross over into the promises that God has for Your Life, you are going to be faced with opposition, people that will say things and do things that will directly attack God's work in your life. There's going to be the haters and then they sayers, the people that say you can't do it, or you shouldn't do it or I can't believe you would ever do that. Why? Why would you do that? Why would you make that decision? Why? You know there's these thoughts, these people that are always say something and you know what they're going to show up as we really go public with our launch and want to invite everybody to come. There's going to be people that say we don't need another church, another church, what? We have enough of those. They're going to say, oh, man, you're not teaching the Bible enough, or others will say, well, you're not teach you're teaching the Bible too...

...much. You know, there'll be people that, the people that stand against us a say, you know, your church isn't diverse enough. And then there's others that say, Yo, you're you're too diverse, you're too liberal, you're too conservative, the music's too loud, the music's too quiet, it's not good enough. There's always going to be people, there's always going to be opposition, but I love God's promise here to Joshua it no one will be able to stand against you, as lone as you live. See in our own strength, in our own plans, in our own purposes. Yeah, we can't make everyone happy and we won't write. We won't be able to reach everybody. That's why there's lots of churches, that's why there is what. It is right. But if we are truly following God, and God has gone before us. God has promised this to us and we're walking in his promise that nothing is going to stand against what God is going to do in US and through us as a church. I believe that and I hope and I pray that you believe that too. But that belief, that promise that God's given us, it's not exact science on our end. We don't know all the details, and so we got a plan, we got a prep and we got to see, we got to understand, we got to seek advice and we got to do these things because we want to do our best to understand God's promise to us as we walk in it. And that's what the nation of Israel did. They had this clear promise from God and they still sent spies from the Israel camp at the Acacia Grove and he instructed them Scott out the land on the other side of the Jordan River, the especially around Jericho. So the two men went out and came to the house of a prostitute named Rahab and stayed there that night. Now, you know, I got a lot of questions about this. Like these two men from Israel that were supposed to be following God. They stayed at a prostitute house. Did they know where it was? Have they been there before? You know, there's some the questions that run through my mind. But ultimately we see in this story that God, whether or not the guys knew why they were going to where they were going, God directed them exactly where he wanted them to be. And this lady, Rahab, is a special, special lady, you know he she protected them, she housed them and kept them safe, and God had brought them there for that particular purpose. But Look how God uses Rahab in these spies life. Before the spies went to sleep that night, ray have went up on the roof to talk with them. I know the Lord has given you this land. She told them. Wow, someone living the enemy in a sense, is speaking the promises of God to these spies. We are all afraid of you. Everyone in...

...the land is living in terror, for we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt, and we know what you did to shy Han and Aug and the to Amorite kings east of the Jordan River, who's people you completely destroyed. No wonder our hearts have melted in fear. No one has encouraged to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord, your God, is the Supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below. Sometimes you just need a little faith spoken into you and sometimes it'll come from the most random of places, the most unexpected of places, but they're speaking faith, they're speaking God's promises to you, and I be hope that's what I'm doing right now. I'm speaking a little bit of faith into you. Hey, remember when we had that first leadership team meeting and we had this kind of big plan, but we didn't know the location of where the church was going to be. We know now. Remember when we had our first vision night meeting and we started with this great ice breaker activity and the alarm went off right in the middle of what we are getting started to do. What a memorable time. But you know what, we kept build thing on that momentum and through our vision nights we transition into meeting in our house and man, we've had a great time of worship and of prayer and of connecting with people that all different kinds of people, from different backgrounds, different ages, all different kinds of people. God has been at work and sometimes we just need a little faith spoken into us that we can do this. With God's help, we will do this. Remember what has already been done what remember what God has already done in your life. You know, when you're facing that new situation that you're waiting for right you sometimes need a little face spoken into you. You can do it. You can walk into that, you can face that obstacle, you can face that trial. God has been with you before. Remember back then when he showed up in that great way? Yeah, he can, he can do that now, can't he? Yes, he can. So that's what rayham was doing to them. So when the time came, the two spies came down from the hill country, cross the Jordan River and report it to Josh will all that had happened to them. The Lord had given us the whole land, they said, for all the people in the land are terrified of us. Where they get that from? From Rahab, who God used, and God eventually used Rahad. Side Note, in the Linnea of Jesus. God had a plan for Rehab and it was a special plan. The...

...two spies came down from the hill country across the Jordan River, reported the Joshua all that had happened to them. The Lord has given us this whole land. What a different spy report than happened forty years earlier. See, this time they had waited and they had waited successfully, because they were about to cross into the promised land. So look what happens. They're ready, they're ready to go, and maybe you're ready to go into that thing that you're waiting for, says. Early the next morning, Joshua and all the Israelites left the ACACIA Grove and ride at the banks of the Jordan River where they had camped before crossing, camp before crossing. Three days later. So you're telling me it was over four hundred years of slavery in Egypt. Moses leads the miraculously out of Egypt then on their way to the promised land, where they get to this exact spot before and they send the spies in and they come back and they say we can't go in, and they turn around in forty years later they're in the exact same camping position. Oh Man, I don't know if I was Joshua, if I was leading in the Israelite army, that I would APP in the exact same place where we failed miserably forty years before. But Joshua did the Israelites did. They camped before crossing. And not only did they camp, they camp there for three days. Three days, when you're sitting on the edge of the Promised Land, must have felt like three years, thirty years. Imagine sitting at a green light for a three days before you cross the intersection. That's crazy. Three days they camped before crossing. What do you do when you're waiting? Can you wait successfully to set you up to cross into all that God has for us? Yes, I believe. I believe that you can. So here's what the nation of Israel did as they waited. Joshua tells them purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you. God is going to do something incredible, something so great, something so amazing. Looked for it, wait for it, see it and purify yourself like get ready like God, the Holy God, the amazing Creator God, the huge God. He's going to show up in our life, he's gonna show up in our situation. So let's respected, let's fear him, let's revere him, let's worship...

...him, let's get ourselves ready, purify ourselves though, we want to live right as we expect to see God at work in our life. Purify yourself, purify yourself. See God is at work already in our church, in your life. You recognize that. We want to make ourselves worshippers, make ourselves ready to have God's presence so clear in our life doing great, great things. The second thing that Joshua says as they wait is see, tells them that, since you have never traveled this way before, that they will guide you. Stay about half a mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark, and make sure you don't come any closer. See in a second we'll see how god God wanted the Ark of the Covenant, God's presence in that time, to go in front of before the people. But Joshua right here says you have never traveled this way before, so I'm leading you. You know what, sometimes, as you wait, you need to recognize and humble yourself that you know what. You may have never gone this way before, you've never taken the step that you're about to take before. Our Church has never taken this step before, but you know what God has promised. God has gone before us, God is going to do great things, we believe, but in your life and and in our situation, there are people that have already crossed. There are people that have gone before us in different ways, and and we want to learn from them, we want to take advice for them. As a church, you know, connected with many great networks and many great pastors and churches. is where we're talking about. What is the best way to do this, and how do you deal with this situation, and how do you plan for this? And and so we're learning as much as we can from them. And in our life we can do the same thing, to find those people around us that care about US enough to share what's the next things looks like. What what it looks like to to move into an area that you have never been before, because that's where the Israelites were going. They were going somewhere that they hadn't been before. But that's why it's important to follow God. In the morning, Josh will said to the priests, lift up the Ark of the Covenant and lead the people across the river, and so they started out and went ahead of the people. See, it's important that symbolism, and I think that's really what's going on here, is this symbolism that God goes for like we are camped. We're sitting at the edge of this great, great thing that God has promised. But it's not about us going in and taking...

...over got not about us going in and doing the best job, not about us going in and and connecting with that particular person. God needs to be with us, God needs to go before us, God needs to empower us and lead US each step of the way as a church and in the situation that you are waiting for. That I am waiting for. We need to God to go before us. And so when we've waited, well, when we've waited, we're ready to move into the promised land. Look what happens giving these instructures to the people. When you see this levitical priest carrying the Ark of the Covenant and the Lord Your God, when you see guy go before you, move out from your positions and follow them. Move Out, I believe God is saying to us right now, move out, move out of what we're comfortable with, move out of what we're familiar with, move out from where we're camping, move out from this position, because it might be a great position, we might like it, we might feel good here, but God has promised something more, something greater, and we need to move, move out and follow God into this place of what all that God has for us. Sometimes the hardest thing to do in life is to move. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is take a first step in a new direction. We just need to sometimes move. Move. So when they moved, when they moved, they succeeded in many, many ways. One particular story of their conquest of this land of Jericho is they get to Jericho and God says, okay, here's how you're going to take down this city that rahabs in. You're going to walk around the walls seven times, blow the trumpets in the walls are going to come down. Those people that were terrified to fight Israel because they knew that God was with them. Their city was just taken over by God. What in a amazing story of way that God provided for his people. So they camped before crossing. They waited. Well, they waited for a long time. They waited well, finally they were able to cross into the promised land. And I just believe that God has us positioned right now for great success of connecting many, many people to God's next step for their life. We've we launched, we've gone, we started and then we kind of got delayed. We camped a little bit and I...

...just kept praying. I kept praying God. We need to camp well. We need to make the most of this season that we're in and of course, I think you know, there's always things you could do better or wish, you know, could have happened, but I believe that we've got to see God do a great things and prepare us for what's coming next. I believe that he has prepared us to cross and we're ready to cross and I'm ready to move and I want to know if you're ready to move with me. I need you to come with me, because God is going to do great things and you don't want to miss it. I don't want you to miss it. I want you to see all that God is going to do in our world, in our community and in your own life, in my life, in your life, guy is going to work in ways that you've never ever seen before. But I want to close with this is I was looking at this passage and just living into this camp before crossing idea on. Oftentimes, what we're waiting for is what we hope in right for waiting to move into this building. Where hope shifts to the building, then we're never going to experience all that God has for our church. So we're going to have the perfect building, the perfect situation, the perfect space for the kids and the perfect lighting over here and the purpose. If our hope shifts from God to that stuff, it's not going to work out too well. But it's so easy and it's natural to hope in what you're waiting for. But our hope, always, always, always, needs to stay connected with, stay placed on God and Jesus Christ, what he's done for us, all that Jesus has done for us, his death on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sins, his burrow and resurrection. He came back from the dead and offers to you and to me and to everyone eternal life, forgiveness of sins, being born into the family of God and new identity as sons and daughters of the king. This is all stuff that God promises to us, and so our hope needs to be placed firmly on that and not in these other things that God brings along the way. And so in this passage, I love it. I can't wait to share with you in this passage, as they cross over into this promised land, on their way there and says, Joshua was near the town of Jericho, the one I just mentioned to you, and he looked up. He said he saw a man standing in front of him with a sword in his hand. Joshua went up to...

...him and demanded, are you friend or foe? We've they were walking into this land where they know they're going to face opposition, and Joshua wants to know. Okay, there's someone standing in front of me right now that I can't take. I can't win this battle. It's obvious. So please, I'm asking you are you? Are You my friend or are you my foe? The answer was neither one. He replied, I am the commander of the Lord's Army, and at this Joshua fell with his face to the ground and reverence. I am at your command, Joshua said, what do you want your servant to do, and the commander of the Lord's Army replied take off your sandals, for this place where you stand is holy. Joshua did as he was told. I think what makes this little section so powerful in my life. I hope it is in yours, is that when we cross over into the promises that God has for us as a church and as a people, right, it's not we're walking into a better life that takes better care of us in our needs. It's not moving into this place that will provide us with everything that we need. It's crossing over into a deeper relationship with God and we want to just submit to him, to worship him, to love him, because that is life, eternal life, is to know God, to have this beautiful relationship with God, and I believe, and this is this is what I'm inviting you to join me into that as a church, as we launch, as we move into these promises that God has for us, and we keep our eyes open, in our perspective fixed on God, we are you are going to see God show up in your life in a way you've never ever seen him before, and that is going to impact your life in ways that I can't even explain. And that is one of the things that I am so, so, so looking forward to, is experiencing God in that type of way, in this incredible way of just God. I'm still upstanding in front of you right now and you, you're...

...my Lord, you're on my side, you're on my team and, you know what, I might be leading this thing, but really, really, I'm submitted to what you're doing and I'm walking in your promises and this isn't going to happen without you, God, and I believe that for this church, I believe that for your life, that wherever you walk, God has given that land, that thing, that victory to you and you can and you will if you're looking for experience God in that new season, that new thing, that thing you're waiting for in a way that you have never experienced God before and that will literally change your life. So I hope we camped well before crossing, because crossing's coming. But there will be another time when we camp again and we wait again, we wait again. May Our hope always be in the Lord, and I can't wait to experience God like I never experienced them before, and I hope you will join us. Thanks so much for joining us. I'll see you next time.

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