How Long?

How long?    Joshua 18:1-6

Great privilege to honor our senior Pastor’s Pastor Matt and Pastor Crystal

As we do life together, I have an opportunity to know and see these guys heart. I know you do to.

They are accessible, they are loving, they care so much about our spiritual growth

I could spend the next hour heaping praise on what they have done because they are great people who love people, who worship, love and honor God

Pastor Matt and Pastor Crystal, you guys pour out so much to all of us and today we want to encourage you so you can continue to do what you do.

We want to let us know what a great impact you have on our lives, our families live and all those around us.

A short break, then on Tuesday the congregation can start calling you again.

I speak from a point of transformations – My life, Eva’s life and our girls’ lives have been changed for good forever

Pastor Matt, you have taught me so many things and one of the greatest is to be vulnerable before God…man did I have walls, and as I watched you weep as you preached, I watched and learnt to soften my heart…This allowed God in and He began a work in me

Pastor Crystal- you taught me to face my past through the eyes of God. I heard you share your struggles and how you have overcome because of Christ.

You were bold and you continue to be by showing us your scars, and those scars signify great healing, great love from God and the power overcome. Though I was a sinner, I could still be used by God. I praise God

I am not an exception – One family that goes to our church said ….

Pastors Matt and Pastor Crystal have impacted our lives beyond the description of words. There was a time in our family’s life where we were at a breaking point. Pastors Matt and Crystal came along side us and they were the vessels God used to not only save our family but help it flourish the way God intended it to. ………After a few months of them pouring into us day and night, our marriage took a complete 180 degree turn. Honestly the reason for this was that we were obedient to our shepherds and did EVERYTHING they told us to do. We didn’t get offended. We didn’t get upset. We listened and obeyed. They continue to pour into us and our family and their faithfulness to their flock is incomprehensible. 

When I first came to Faith and Victory, my life was a disaster. It was through this church and the preaching of the true gospel that I was led to a real relationship with Jesus and it changed my life. He restored everything I had lost, destroyed, or allowed to be taken from me, including my marriage, finances, and relationships. I’ve gained friends closer than brothers, helped start two ministries, and serve in several others by the grace of God. He’s healed me of several addictions, given me freedom from sin that had enslaved me for years, and empowered me to serve Him in ways I never would have imagined.

Joshua story – Joshua 18:1-6 Now that the land was under Israelite control, the entire community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and set up the Tabernacle.[a] 2 But there remained seven tribes who had not yet been allotted their grants of land.

3 Then Joshua asked them, “How long are you going to wait before taking possession of the remaining land the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given to you? 4 Select three men from each tribe, and I will send them out to explore the land and map it out. They will then return to me with a written report of their proposed divisions of their new homeland. 5 Let them divide the land into seven sections, excluding Judah’s territory in the south and Joseph’s territory in the north. 6 And when you record the seven divisions of the land and bring them to me, I will cast sacred lots in the presence of the Lord our God to assign land to each tribe.

At this point –

  • Joshua has conquered Jericho and AI
  • The sun stood still
  • Northern kings defeat

5 Tribes has taken up their places. They have chosen to move on, take personal responsibility of that God has for them

However, 7 other tribes decided, that they were just going to hang around

MSG – How long are you going to sit around on your hands putting off taking possession of the land that God, the God of your ancestors have given you?

Joshua is asking them – why are you still here. I have led you to this point, I have shown you the way, I have equipped you, I have shown you where my strength comes from …Now why are you still here?

When Joshua would consult God, God would fight the battle for then but when they did it without it, they would loose

I wonder if these guys remembered that the  battle belongs to God, and stop looking at their ability

2 Corinthians 20:15 – He said, “Listen, all you people of Judah and Jerusalem! Listen, King Jehoshaphat! This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.

40 year in the dessert, the generation has learnt from their fore fathers how to be led, and there is nothing wrong with that – to an extent but its time for you to raise up and apply yourself

He is telling them that a time has come that they cannot sit on their hands and be spoon feed.

How long? Are you going to sit on you hands and not take possession of the new-found freedom?

This morning as we honor our senior Pastors, I can’t help but draw the parallels

Most of us, have come from a place of brokenness, our past carries us and we walked in to Faith and victory looking for hope

Most of us were like the Israelites, broken, in the dessert for so long. Then by God’s grace a person invited us to church and we started to see God win some battles for us…. Our lives are changing, the environment around is changing, our families are changing for better

But as times goes, we end up in either of these two groups

The 5 tribes, that are eager to take possession of what God had promised them

Joshua 17:17-18 – Then Joshua said to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, the descendants of Joseph, “Since you are so large and strong, you will be given more than one portion. 18 The forests of the hill country will be yours as well. Clear as much of the land as you wish, and take possession of its farthest corners. And you will drive out the Canaanites from the valleys, too, even though they are strong and have iron chariots.”

They have been shown, and taught and now they are willing to do the work. It’s not going to be easy to drive these guys with iron chariots, but their hearts are willing to learn from their leader and seek God before every battle

Or we can be like the 7 tribes left

God has won battles for us and we start getting comfortable having Joshua lead us

I hope that Pastor Matt’s message will be great today, I pray that Pastor Crystal has a prophesy for me next time

How long are you waiting to Moses to go and intercede to God for you instead of getting to know Him who lead Joshua, Him who leads and guides Pastor Matt and Pastor Crystal

How long before you start clearing the land so others can know Christ though you?

How long????

God want us to step in and possess the land, lead our family in bible study, encourage a brother or sister, spend time in the word Daily, pray and fast

But we have chosen to stay just where we can get things done for us

The heart of our Pastors is to send out Pastors from our church. They want to equip you so that you can be the one that pours in to others

We have to leave our nomad ways – Its time to take possession of our land so that we can build the future for our generations

II Corinthians 5:17 – This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

You are a new creation now – Its time to be like Christ – He came to serve and not to be served.

You have what it takes. Pastor Matt and Crystal have and will continue to equip you so that you can take the next step

But, where do I start?

Do it Afraid – Pastor Matt preached about this

This hits me, because I have areas that I’ve failed in—epically (the fear saying that I’m going to keep failing). The take away for me for this sermon is that there are plenty of things that I should respect, but fear of failure is not one. Fear of failure is a tool that the enemy uses to keep me bound in my current stasis, never pushing the envelope. Making a choice to “do it anyways, even if I’m afraid” is a tool the Lord uses to increase my faith. The healthy fear of God is what I need to fear, not man, the world, or what someone else can do to me.

God can and will use you. The question is which P will you be?

When I read the story of the woman who pours the expensive oil on the feet of Jesus, deep down, …. I would love to believe I would be like this woman. ……… I am reminded how many times that instead I have a plodder, persecutor, or a payee heart. It is very humbling because Jesus uses this sermon to remind me how far I still have to grow. Then in other moments when I am pouring out everything I have, and still feeling like it isn’t enough. When I am giving everything to Jesus and hearing the mocking voice of the enemy……. In those moments when I think I am a total mess, God reminds me how He sees me also as this woman, that I am also the pourer. This message is so powerful because it does what a great sermon should do, it corrects us, draws us to the cross, and then reminds us of who Christ has created us to be.

This morning you have been created to serve which P will you be?– Are you willing to be a servant of God

Are you willing to Obey – Pastor Crystal

Big nasty four-letter word – Obey. How hard is it to obey? Obey your boss, your parents, but most of all, the Bible. There is a famine of God’s word in America today, which leads to moral relativism. Our only job as Christians is to obey the word of God. There are many areas in my life that I really have a hard time obeying. Pastor crystals message made it easy for me to understand that my rationalization of when vs when not to obey was simply my own form of moral belief with my walk with Christ. Pastor Crystals message was convicting and correctional, pushing me to do the hard work and dive in to what the word of God says, and use that as my anchor. Be obedient to what it says, and what the lord is asking me to do, regardless of what my irrational fears are saying.

He is Useful to Me”. I love this sermon. It is powerful! Many things in this message were prophetic things God has walked out in me this year. He has freed me of fear on a deeper level in order to be a better vessel to be used by Him. God has brought me to a place where I have seen Him produce more immediate obedience in my life. A heart prepared and ready to answer the call of the Lord. This sermon challenges me, as it challenged me when I first heard it. It challenges me to know that God is still working out the fear in me to make me more like Him and also that I should never count someone else out. We never know who God will turn from a naked fleeing man, into a faithful and powerful servant of God.

Reminder that the good word is still being preached…These members have  already taken up their places  Are you one of the 5 or one of the 7?

Why are you still here? Joshua is asking, God has equipped you with all that you need to go and take up territory

Joshua knows how much it cost to get them to this place. And now that they have a chance to build up from where they are but are “sitting on their hands” just doesn’t settle well with Joshua

Pastor Matt and Pastor Crystal have paid with their time, their resources, their lives to get us this far and its up to us to take up the call and reach out to others

We can’t forget Gabe and Faith, they have paid a price as well.

If you have been to this church longer than one day, you will know we have amazing Pastors

And this process has not been without a cost – so you can’t say it cost nothing

We have two Pastors that have shared their struggles, their upbringing, their relationship all in order to bring you closer to God

See Joshua did not possess any land until everyone had and that is the heart of our Pastors

In a different time, they would rather be running their race or eating donuts coaching the couch

But they will not settle until you have moved from your old nomad life to take possession of where God has called you

Pastor Matt and Pastor Crystal – Thank you for never giving up on us. I know that it hasn’t been all joy but the bible reminds us that Joy comes in the morning.

As I ask the congregation How long, I want to encourage you that “ it won’t be long.

Gabe – For mom it was the sermon where she talked about football and we need to keep the “end zone” in mind (eternity) instead of focusing on other things

And from Dad is when he talked about “the struggle is real” where we have struggles and even Jesus struggled and its human nature to struggle and it’s struggling to do the right thing but through God we can find the strength to do it

Faith – One of my mom’s favorite sermons was Who Am I? That she spoke at the last women’s event. She spoke about how we need to examine ourselves and know if we are defined by what we do, or who we are. It really helped me to realize how what the world offers is not enough, to realize who we truly are; but our sense of worth can only be found in Jesus Christ. It helped me to know that my worth is found in being a child of God. And with the power of God in our lives, once we truly live for him, we have the power to overcome everything the world throws at us. 

One of my dad’s favorite sermons was I sure hope! This sermon was when he spoke about Barabbas, and how he was set free and Jesus took his place. Barabbas did not deserve to live, but he did. While I am a sinner and I am not perfect, Jesus is in every single way. Jesus was not just dying for Barabbas but dying for all of us. Sometimes I forget that Jesus died for me particularly, and this sermon really made it clear how none of us deserve God’s grace, but we all receive it. And because he died for us, we no longer live for ourselves but devote our lives to him. Therefore, my life is not my own and I now live for others and not myself. This is hard, but this sermon showed me how even when we make mistakes, we must die to our flesh daily and take up the cross. This really helped me to be even more grateful for what God has done in my life. 

Be encouraged to know that all you are doing is not in vain

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