Camp Before Crossing
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 19 · 1 year ago

Camp Before Crossing


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 superexcited. I know when I got that news on the phoneI like fell out of my chair. I didn'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 USchurch IAM, so looking forward to it, I'm so looking forward to being in thatbeautiful movie theater, and it's just going to be great, the the communityinterest meetings that are going to be happening soon and and the previewsservices and looking forward to that launch Sunday where we'll start weeklyservices, it's going to be a great great place to meet with God and meetwith other people and connect with them. It's going to be awesome and were so soexcited so looking forward to being there, and so today we get to look atthis idea of camp before crossing this idea. We're crossing over we'recrossing into this launch sequence. Whe were long to connect this church and agreat great location we're crossing over that, but we had to camp a littlebit before we got there. We had to wait a little bit. It's been a long time aninto our service today, an our message today we're going to be looking at thestory of Joshua of how he led the nation of Israel from one side of theriver through the river cross, the river into the Promised Land and we'regoing 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 churchmoving into this new season. This exciting awesome season of launch andand just seeing God, work in incredible ways and we're going to talk all aboutthat, but I believe that we all have seasons of waiting in our life. You'vehad seasons of waiting in your life, maybe you're in that season. Right hereand right now, dwhat do you do? Do you just hope andwait for that thing to come in the future, and then everything will be Okyor is there something that you can do while you wait, that will prepare youto succeed as you move into the Promised Land? Well, of course, Ibelieve that we can wait really really well, and I believe that the story ofJoshua shows us some incredible things that we can apply to our lives, aboutwaiting well waiting to set us up for success, camping well, so that we cancross successfully and move into all that God has for us we're going to dothat. I believe we've done that as a church in this season right now, and Ihope that you can find that perspective to grow in that understanding right nowtoday, you know as a church, we've done our fair share of camping of waitand, Hman. We started back in over a year ago with some leadershipteam meetings. I think the first one...

...was June thirtit, two thousand andnineteen and from then we built and looked forward to our first com visionnight in January of this year, which feels like a million years ago butJanuary of this year, and we started to build this team. This launch team, thisDi, develop what connectors church was going to be about and share that vision,and God brought you to be a part of what he is doingthrough us and in us, and then we got hit with the corona virus and had toadjust and figure things out, and we've been meeting in our house every Sundaylooking for waiting for this opportunity to find a space to moveinto that space and have a great great public launch, and so here we are on the edge of the Jordan ready tocross over we've done our fair share of waiting, and what have we learned? Havewe waited well? I hope we have, and I hope that you have waited well as wellin whatever season that youare going through. You know what sometimes it makes it alittle easier to wait when you know that what's coming next is somethingGod has promised you you're not hoping that this good thing will happen. What,if God, was to tell you hey in a year from now that thing that you're waitingfor it's going to show up? And it's going to be great and it's going to beperfect, but it's GOINGTO show up. I guarantee it. I promise that don't youthink that waiting would be a little bit easier. Maybe it still might be hard as youanticipate that day, Christmas is coming right. We know exactly when itis on the Calentar, but you've still got ta wait for it. I think I think we see this as we lookat the story of Joshua they cross over into this promised land. It doesn'tstart with Joshua this this waiting and this this crossing doesn't start withJoshua and it doesn't really even start with Moses, but it's tomoses that Godgives this promise God set to Moses. I am Yaway the Lord that's God's name. Iappeared to Abraham see that's where I kind of really started. He appeared tohis son, then Isaac and Isaac Son Jacob, and he appeared to them as El, should Igod Almighty, but I did not reveal my name Yawa to them and that's wher. He refer revealedhimself to Moses and I reaffirmed God says my covenantwith them. Under its terms, I promised to give them the land of Canaan wherethey were living as foreigners. God promised them this land, God promisedthem. They were sitting on the edge of the river ready to cross into exactlywhat God had promised them. They knew... They had been Giv they'v been giventhis guarantee by God. This is what he goes on to say. You canbe sure that I have heard the groans of the people of Israel, who are nowslaves to the Egyptians and IAM well aware of my covenant with them, see thetime that God reaffirme this promise with Moses. He reminds them and tellsthem like. I see right where you are right now, and the people where theywere right now were slaves in a foreign land in Egypt, and it was bad. It wasnot good at all. They were being taken advantage of and not treated well, and God says he heard them, he heardtheir groans. God, here's your longings of your heart, God, here's Thegroanings of your heart! God knows exactly what you're thinking what' yourfeeling, what you're desiring he knows that and he sees that and maybe for some of you that'sreassuring and others of you they're, like Oh, I D T, I don't Wan God,knowing all that's inside my heart and that's a another message for anotherday, but God is there. He hers you and he's well aware of God's promise of hispromise to his people, check out the way that God phrases this promise. Godcontinues to say therefore say to the people of Israel. I am the Lord. I willfree you from your oppression and will rescue you from your slavery in Egyptthat situation that you're in God says I will free you. I will free you seeit's all about what God does it's not resting and on your own efforts of whatyou can do of how you can plan how you can scheme how you can cheat, how youcan move out of here, it's resting in what God has promised. God says I willsay that with me. I will I will God sayse. I will. I will redeemyou with a powerful arm and a Great Act of Judgment. I will claim you as my ownpeople and I will be your gone. Then you will know that I am the Lord, yourGod who has freed you from your oppression in Egypcy. It's all aboutGod and God's promise, God's power, God's ability to work in this situationand his ability to work in your situation. God promises. I will. I will so. This promise was first given toMoses, well see right here and Moses. Had that promise the nationhad waited for over four hundred years. To finally get to this point to say:Okay God's going to do it and God did it, and God took them out of Egypt andMoses led them out, and they got all away to this Jordan River...

...and you may be familiar with the story,but they sent some spies in twelve spies. They went and scouted out theLand Andoutof, the twelve that came back only two thought that they couldwalk into this promise, the other ten were Afrai, and so, after all that waiting, theyfinally got to that point, and God caused them to wait again. Forty moreyears, forty more years of waiting to cross into the Promised Land See what happens when you wait. Is thatyou begin to hope in what you're waiting for you begin to hope in whatyou're waiting for, and you know what a lot of times, what you're waiting forpretty much every time. What you're waiting for will never be good enoughto put your hope in. You know, if you're waiting for thatspecial boy, your a special girl to come into your life or maybe thatperson to propose. Finally, you know you've been waiting for so long. We begin to put our hope in that personand whenever you put a hope in a person tha person's going to let you down aperson's not going to live up to the standard that you are placing on them.When you put your hope on that Person D, sometimes we do it with our jobs. Wesay I hope for a new job. I I'm waiting for this new job and our hope getsplaced into that job, and so, when we' get that job we realize. Oh, this t isis as good as I thought it was going to be see. Where are where we're waiting? Foroften 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'rewaiting for other things, we really really and here's the secret we'rereally waiting. For God, See, God is the one I will and in his promise therehe says I am the Lord. That's there's a lot about knowing who god is so. This promise that God gave to Moseswas really first started with Abraham, then to Isaac or then to Jacob, andthen here it was reconfirmed a Moses and then they wandered for forty yearsin the wilderness. Now God talks to Joshua because Mosescouldn't go into the promised land. He was too old and he disobeyed, Godand God said no you're not going, and you could see it, but you can't go in.That's left up to Joshua one of the twelve spies that return back fortyyears earlier and said we could take it he's the leader now, and God says thisto him. He says...

...this is what he says. I promise youwhat I promise Moses. Wherever you set foot you will be on land. I have givenyou from the negaive wilderness in the south to the Lebena mountains in thenorth, from the Euphrates River in the East, to the Mediterranean Sea in theWest, including all the land of the Hittites. No one will be able to standagainst you as long as you live, for I will be with you as I was with Moses. Iwill not fail you or abandon you. What an amazing promise from Almighty, allpowerful, 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 givento you. God has already given you the victory there. Imagine if you live your life with thatkind of attitude that, wherever you went, you believe that God has alreadygone before you and he's. Given you what you need in that season right inthat time, God has gone before us and I believe, as a church. God is with usand he has gone before us into this season. We might not have had a servicein that movie theater yet, but God has already been there and he has said hehas given us this land as we walk into it. I believe that he's given it to ustha. 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 sees the the land of the hittipesthere's people already there. No one will be able to stand against you aslong as you live, it doesn't mean they won't try. You know when you take steps to crossover into the promises that God has for your life. You are going to be facedwith opposition people that will say things and do things that will directlyattack God's work in your life. There's going to be the haters and the NAsayers the people that say you can't do it or you shouldn't do it or I can'tbelieve you would ever do that. Why? Why would you do that? Why would youmake that decision? WH, there's these thoughts, these people, that are alwayssay something, and you know what they're going to show up as we really go public with our lawnchand want to invite everybody to come. There's going to be people that say wedon't need another church, another church, what we have enough of those they're going to say: Oh man, you'reyou're, not teaching the Bible enough or or others will say well you're, nott you're teaching the Bible too much.

You know, there'd be people tha,there's people that stand against us. That say you know your church isn'tdiverse enough and then there's others that say Y O. ' e you're too diverse,you're too liberal you're too conservative, the music's too loud, themusic's too quiet. It's, not good enough. There's always going to bepeople, there's always going to be opposition, but I love God's promisehere to Joshwa it. No one will be able to stand against you as long as youlive see in our own strength in our own plans inour own purposes, yeah. We can't make everyone happy and we won't right. Wewon'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 gone andGod has gone before Us- God has promised this to us and we're walkingin his promise that nothing is going to stand against what God is going to doin us and through us as a church. I believe that Andi hope and I pray that you believethat too, but that belief that promise that God's. Given us, it'snot exact science. On our end, we don'tknow all the details, and so we got a plan. We got a prep and we got a seaand we got to understand and we got ta seek advice and we gotto do thesethings, because we want to do our best to understand God's promise to us as wewalk in it and that's what the nation of Israel did. They had this clearpromise from God and they still sent spies from the Israeli camp at theacasia Grove and he instructed Thet scut out the land on the other side ofthe Jordan River specially around Jericho. So the two men went up andcame to the house of a prostitute named rayhav and stayed there that night nowyou know I got a lot of questions about this like these two men from Israelthat were supposed to be following God, they stayed at a procesutes house. Didthey know where it was hade they been there before. You know, there's some the questionsthat run through my mind, but ultimately we see in this story thatGod, whether or not the guys knew why they were going to where they weregoing, God directed them exactly where he wanted them to be, and this ladyrayham is a special special lady. You know he she protected them. She housed them andkept them safe and God had brought them there for that particular purpose. ButLook how God uses Raham in these smy's life before the spies went to sleep,that night Raheb 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 thesespies. We are all afraid of you.

Everyone in the land is living interror, for we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the RedSea. When you left Egypt- and we know what you did to Shyhan and og- and thetwo amarite kings east of the Jordan River, whose people you completelydestroyed. No wonder our hearts have melted, indfear, no one HA occouraged to fight afterhearing such things. For the Lord, your God is the Supreme God of the heavensabove and the earth below. Sometimes you just need a little faithspoken into you and sometimes it'll, come from the most random places, themost unexpected of places, but they're speaking, faith they're speaking God'spromises to you, and I will hope that's what I'm doing right now, I'm speakinga little bit of faith into you, hey remember when we had that firstleadership team meeting- and we had this kind, O big plan, but we didn'tknow the location of where the church was going to be. We know now rememberwhen we had our first vision night meeting and we started with this greaticebreaker activity and the alarm went off right in the middle of what we weregetting started to do, what a memorable time, but you know what we keptbuilding on that momentum and through our vision, nights w we transitionedinto meeting in our house and man, we've had a great time of worship andof prayer and and of connecting with people that all different kinds of people fromdifferent backgrounds, different ages, all different kinds of people- God hasbeen at work, and sometimes we just need a little faith smokeng into usthat we can do this with God's help. We will do this. Remember what has alreadybeen done. What remember what God has already done in your life? You knowwhen you're facing that new situation that you're waiting for right. Yousometimes need a little face spoken into you. You can do it. You can walkinto that! You can face that obstacle. You can face that trial. God has beenwith 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 Raham was doing to them. So when the time came, the two spiescame down from the hill country Crosse, the Jordan River reported the Gy forall that had happened to them. The Lord had given us the whole land. They saidfor all the people in the land are terrified of us. Where d they get thatfrom from Rahab who, God used, and God eventually used Rayhad Sid note in thelineage of Jesus God had a plan for Rahab and it was a special plan.

The two spies came down from the hillcountry and crossed the Jordan River reported the judge Wel. All that hadhappened to them. The Lord has given us this whole land. What a different spyreport that happened. Forty years earlier see this time they had waitedand they had waited successfully because they were about to cross intothe promised land. So look what happens: they're ready theread to go, and maybe you're ready to go into that thing. That you're waitingfor so early the next morning, Joshuan and all the Israelids left thecasiagrope and arrived at the banks of the Jordon River, where they had campedbefore crossing camp before crossing three days later so you're telling me it was over four hundred years of slaverain, Egypt, Moses leavs them miraculously out of Egypt and on theirway to the promise land where they get to this exact spot before and they sendthe spies in and they come back and they say we can't go in and they turnaround in forty years later, they're in the exact same camping position. Oh Man, I don't know if I was Joshua if I wasleading a the Israel late army that I would camp in the exact same placewhere we failed miserably forty years before, but Joshua the Israelites didthey camped before crossing and not only did they camp. They camped therefor three days. Three days when you're sitting on the edge of the promisedland must ave felt like three years thirty years, imagine sitting at agreen light for three days before you cross theintersection. That's crazy! Three days they campedbefore crossing. What do you do when you're waiting? Can you waitsuccessfully to set you up to cross into all that God has for us? Yes, Ibelieve. I believe that you can so here's what the nation of Israel didas they waited Joshua tells them purify yourselves for tomorrow. The Lord willdo great wonders among you. God is going to do something incredible,something so great, something so amazing. Look for it, wait for it, see it andpurify yourself like get ready, like God, the Holy God. The amazing creator,Goy, the huge God he's going to show up in our life, he's going to show up inour situation. So, let's respective, let's fear him. Let's revere him, let'sworship him! Let's get ourselves ready,...

...purify ourselves. We want to live right,as we expect to see God at work in our life. Purify yourself, purify yourself, sgod is at work already in our church.In Your Life, you recognize that we wantna makeourselves worshipers, make ourselves ready tohave God's presence so clear in our life, doing great great things. The second thing that Joshua says asthey wait as he tells them that, since you have never traveledthis way before that they will guide, you stay about half a mile behind them,keeping a clear distance between you and the art and make sure you don'tcome any closer see in a second we'll see how go God wanted the arc of theCovenat God's presence in that time to go in front of before the people, butJoshua right here says you have never traveled this way before. So I'mleading you, you know what sometimes, as you wait, you need to recognize andhumble 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 hasnever taken this step before. But you know what God has promised. God hasgone before us. God is going to do great things we believe, but in your life nd and in oursituation there are people that have already crossed. There are people thathave gone before us n in different ways and, and we want to learn from them- wewanto take advice for them as a church. You know connected with many greatnetworks and many great pastors and Churches s were we're talking aboutwhat is the best way to do this, and how do you deal with this situation andhow do you plan for this and so we'rewe're learning as much as we canfrom them and in our life? We can do the same thing to find those peoplearound us that care about US enough to share. What's the next thing looks likewhat what it looks like to to move into an area that you have neverbeen before 'cause, that's where the Israelites were going, they were going somewhere that theyhadn't been before, but that's why it's important to follow God in the morning,Joshual said that the priest lift up the arc of the covenent and lead thepeople across the river, and so they started out and went ahead of thepeople. I is important that symbolism. I thinkthat's really what's going on here this symbolism that God goes first like we are camped, we're sitting atthe edge of this great great thing that God has promised, but it's not about usgoing in and taking over, go not about... going in and doing the best job, notabout os going in D and connecting with that particular person, God needs to bewith us, God needs to go before us got needs to empower us and lead US eachstep of the way as a church and in the situation that you are waiting for,that I am waiting for. We need got to go before us, so when weve waited well, when we'vewaited we're ready to move into the PromisedLand, look what happens, giving these instructions to the peoplewhen you see th levitical priest carrying the arc on the Covenant andLard Your Guy. When you see Gogo before you move out from your positions and followthem move ont, I believe God is saying to us right now, move out move out ofwhat we're comfortable with move out of what we're familiar with move out fromwhere we're camping move out from this position, because it might be a greatposition we might like it. We might feel good here, but God has promisedsomething more something greater and we need to move out and follow God intothis place of what all that God has for us. Sometimes the hardest thing to doin life is to move. Sometimes the hardest thing to do istake 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 Jericos they get to Jerico, and God says: Okay, here's howyou're going to take down this city hat rahabsin you're, going to walk aroundthe walls. Seven Times blow the trumpets and the walls are going tocome down those people that were terrified to fight Israel because theyknew that God was with them. Their city was just taken over by God what an amazingstory of way a God provided for his people, so they camped before crossing. They waited well. They waited for a long time they wated well. Finally, they wereable to cross into the Promised Land, and I just believe that God has uspositioned right now for great success, of connecting many many people to God'snext tap for their life we've. We we launched weve, we've gone, we startedand then we kind o got delayed...

...camped a little bit and I just keptpraying. I kept praying God we need to camp well, we need to make the mostovis season that we'rein and, of course, I think you know,there's always things you could do better or wish. You know couldhavehappened, but I believe that we've got to see. God do great things and prepareus for what's coming next. I believe thathe 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 Godis going to do great things and you don't want to miss it. I don't want youto miss it. I want you to see all that God is going to do inour world in our community and in your own life. In my life inyour life, God is going to work in ways that you've never ever seen before, but I want to close with this. Asi was looking at this passage and just living into this camp beforecrossing idea in oftentimes. What we're waiting foris 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 allthat God has for our church. Wee Gon ta have the perfect building in theperfect situation, the perfect space for the kids and the perfect lightingover here and the per or 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, butour hope always always always needs to stay connected with stay placed on God andJesus Christ. What he's done for us all that Jesus has done for us hasdeath on the Cross to pay the penalty for our sin, his bur 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, a newidentity as sons and daughters of the king. This is all stuff that Godpromises to us, so our hope needs to be placed firmlyon that and not in these other things that God brings along the way, and soin this passage I love it. I can't wait the show with you in this passage as they cross over into this promisedland on their way there. It says Joshua was near the town ofJericho, the one I just mentioned to you. He looked up. Hehe saw a man standing in front of him with a swordin his hand,...

Joshua went up to him and demanded. Are you friend or foe, they're walking into this land wherethey 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 I can't take. I I can't win this battle. It's obvious soplease, I'm asking youare you you, my friend or 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 faceto the ground and reverence. I am at your command. Joshua said: What do you want your servant to do andthe commander of the Lord's Army replied take off your sandals for thisplace where you stand is holy. Joshua did, as he was told ithink. What makes this little sectionso powerful in my life. I hope it is in yours that, when we cross over into thepromise is that God has for us as a church and as a people right, it's not we're walking into a a betterlife that takes better care of us, an our needs. It's not moving into thisplace that will provide us with everything that we need it's crossing over into a deeperrelationship with God, and we want to just submit to him to worship him to love him, because that is life. Eternal life is to knowGod to have this beautiful relationship with God, and I believe, and- and this is this is when I'minviting you to join me into that as a church as we launch as wemove into these promises that God has for us and we keep our eyes open and ourperspective fixed on God. We are, you are going to see, God showup in your life in a way you've never ever seen him before, and that is goingto impact your life in ways that can't even explain- and that is one of the things that I am so so solooking forward to is experiencing God in that type of way, in this incredibleway of just...

God, I'm upstanding in front of youright 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, Butr really I'm submitted to whatyou're doing and I'm walking in your promises, and this isn't going tohappen without you, God Andi believe that for this church, I believe thatfor your life, that, wherever you walk, God has given that land that thing thatvictory to you and you can and you will, if you'relooking for it experience God in that new season, that new thing that thingyou're waiting for in a way that you have never experienced God before andthat will literally change your life. So I hope we camped well before crossingbecause crossing's coming, but there will be another time when we camp againd. We wait again, we wait again. May Our hope always be ing the Lore, and Ican't wait to experience God like I've, never experienced them before, and Ihope you will join us thanks. So much rejoiing, thus 'llsee Ya. Next Time.

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