SHEPHERDS VOICE – March 2024

Prepare To Receive His Blessing

Pr. Juxy Mathew

 

Joshua 1:1-9 “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. 5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

 

What should one do to receive God’s deliverance?  The Bible teaches us that for every blessing of God, we see the receiver was prepared and made themselves eligible to receive it.  There needs to be a preparation in order to receive any blessing.  Before God appeared on Mt. Sinai, the Israelites had prepared themselves three days ahead to receive Him.  Although God had promised to take them to Canaan – the promised land, the children of Israel had prepared themselves on the shores of R.Jordan.  In the days of Joshua, the people had prepared themselves to receive the promise that was promised to them.  Hence without preparation you cannot receive a blessing. The enormity of your blessing depends on the extent of your preparation for it.  God will not impose His blessings on anyone but the measure or extent of His blessing will depend on how prepared we are for it. It is necessary that you prepare yourselves to attend church where you are often reminded that you need to spend at least an hour in prayer at home before setting off to church.

 

The book of Joshua in the Bible is also known as mobilising God’s people to victory.

  1. Josh 1:1 “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, …”

This verse implies that God remembers us and will never leave His plan incomplete for us.  God Himself would testify that to date there is no man like Moses. Moses had seen God. Moses was chosen as God’s elect to lead the Israelites into the promised land but the promise could not be fulfilled for Moses.  Although Moses died God did not forsake His plan for the Israelites and sought to chose a leader like Moses. God perceived Joshua. What was peculiar about Joshua for God to choose him in Moses’s place?

Joshua walked closely with Moses that he knew the promise God had given to Moses regarding the Israelites and how God would be leading them (Num11:27-28).  Joshua had a clear vision of God’s promise because of his closeness to Moses.  We also see in 1Kings that Elisha never left Elijah and God had chosen him as Elijah’s successor. Elisha was aware of God’s calling upon him.  Elsiha asked for a double portion of Elijah’s spirit and he inherited it.  Elisha’s eyes were fixed on Elijah as he was lifted up to  heaven and not at the chariot of fire and horses of fire. Joshua understood his vision when God chose him as a leader after Moses. God does not look at your capabilities but at your availability to fulfill His vision.

Grasp the vision of your leader. The reason you are in this church is because God has seen that your vision is in relation to the vision of this church (Jn8:31-32) and you wll be blessed once you follow it. As its clear from God’s elect of Joshua that God will fulfill His vision either through you or another soul who follows His vision.

 

  1. Josh1:3 “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.”

God will speak to you. The second part of preparation to receive God’s blessing is when God speaks to you.

You need a promise from God.

Abraham had received God’s promise when he was called out from his country to go to a land God would show him.  Issac remembered the promise that the God of his father Abraham gave them.  But God Himself confirmed the promise to Issac in Gen 26:2&3 “Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father.” Now Issac could say that the same promise was given to him personally by God. I urge you to yearn that God speaks to you and give you a promise for yourself. You are not to bask on a promise that was given to someone else.  Issac’s son Jacob too sought God and in Gen35:11&12 as we read “And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins; and the land which I gave Abraham and Isaac, to thee I will give it, and to thy seed after thee will I give the land.” God Himself gave Jacob the same promise He had promised his father Issasc and grand-father Abraham.

Preparation contains the time when God speaks to you.

God called Moses out to lead the Israelites to the promised land in Exodus 3:16 &17 which says “Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt; 17 and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey.”  Therefore Moses could say that God spoke to him personally. Ensure that God speaks to you and not for you through a prophet because you will remember forever what God spoke to you. God’s word should be the speaking word in your life because it is the living word. His very breath. Hallelujah!

Cling on to what God has promised to you.  Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew personally as commanded by God to each of them separately that every place their feet tread upon belonged to them.  Moses too knew it but Joshua experienced the fulfillment of the promise when he saw it before his own eyes.

Personalise your promise and accept it.

 

  1. Josh1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Receive the promise of His presence

Many receive the promise and go ahead without the presence of God.  They assume that once the promise has been received it would be fulfilled. Beware not to move without the presence of God. Always seek the presence of God. When the Philistines marched for war against King David, he inquired of the LORD (2Sam5) and God told him to go ahead and he would return victorious.  The next year the Philistines deployed themselves again for attack. David inquired of the LORD and he retaliated as God had instructed.  It is common for man to think if God had delivered him from the enemy once, He would do so again and that he could face the enemy without inquiring of the LORD.  But David was always eager to seek God first before his own decisions. Every situation may seem normal and you may apprehend the same outcome but it need not be so.  You need to have the presence of God in your life although you may have the promise.  The enemy lurks to defeat God’s children. In 1Sam4:5-10 we read that the Philistines were afraid when they heard the noise of the shout of all Israel when the ark of the covenant of God was brought into the camp. They asked themselves who would deliver them from the hands of the Almighty God. But they encouraged themselves to be strong and fight. They defeated the Israeltes and captured the ark of God.

Although the ark of God was with the Israelites, the presence of God was not in their midst.

Yearn for the Lord’s presence every moment of your life.  Ask God to lead you with His presence.  You have the promise and our God is faithful to fulfill His promise but without God’s presence you cannot acquire the fulfillment of His promise.  As Moses said in Exodus 33:15 “If Your presence do not go with us, do not bring us up from here.”

Ensure that you are always in God’s presence. There ought to be nothing in our lives that would keep us away from the presence of God because God expects us to be pure.

 

  1. Josh1:7&8 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

You are required to observe all the law which was commanded by Moses.

According to me, if there is a rule to success it is Josh1:8 which says that the Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth and God expects you to mediate in it day and night so your way would be prosperous and you would have good success. Your inner self needs to be spiritually strengthened in order to observe the Book of the Law.  If you have to make God’s Word practical in your life, you would need to meditate in it day and night. You cannot obey the word of God without meditation as His word is a light to your path.

To meditate on God’s Word is to be like a cow chewing its cud. You need to by heart the Word you hear in the morning, regurgitate it and you will realise that your whole self is controlled by that Word. The reason you do not obey the Word of God is because you do not maintain a relationship with His Word. If you read the Bible and make time to meditate in it, you will shine as lights in this world as mentioned in Philipp2:15” that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,..” You shall not turn to them but they will turn to you as said in Jer 15:19.  Therefore meditate in the Bible day and night in order to be successful and prosperous in your life.

Psalms 1

“Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”

Even at times of dryness its leaves will not wither as the roots of the plant is being watered.

Meditate in the Word of God and walk in His statutes.  Meditation helps you to walk in the path God has set for you.

 

  1. Josh1:9. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The Word of God does not teach you to be afraid when you see your enemies.

If you do not have the anointment and presence of God, you will not prosper regardless of your position.

Jer1:17&18 “Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, Lest I dismay you before them.”

God says here not to be dismayed before the face of your enemy lest God dismays you before them. Saul was afraid and faced dismay but David went boldly to face Goliath. If you truly meditate in the Bible, you will not be afraid in the midst of adversities. You will have the confidence that the almighty and sovereign God is with you.  As David said to the Philistine in 1Sam 17:45-46 “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you.”

 

Therefore, know that the God of hosts is enough for you. Just as Joshua took over from Moses, pray to grasp the vision of the church. If you earnestly seek the presence of God, He will speak to you personally as He did to Abraham, Issac, Jacob, Moses and Joshua.  You are not called to walk with someone else’s vision but God will impart His vision into your life. Receive the promise of God which is the presence of God, walk closely with Him and obey His Word so you would face your adversary with boldness in the Spirit of God.

 

May you experience the showers of God’s Blessing.

 

God is your Deliverer – Jehovah Mephalti