【Bible Study】Joshua 03: God Will Honour His Established Leaders On The Way of Possessing the Land
Bible Study: Joshua
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 00: Introduction
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 01: You Will Lead The People To Inherit The Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 02: Anyone Who Seek God Will Also Inherit The Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 03: God Will Honour His Established Leaders On The Way of Possessing the Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 04: Commemorating the Works of Our God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 05: God is Our Victorious Marshal
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 06: God Has Already Put the Enemy in Our Hands
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 07: The Devoted Things are the Cause of Failure in Spiritual Warfare
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 08: Blessings and Curses Determine Victory and Defeat
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 09: All Who Do Not Resist God Will Survive
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 10: All Those Who Are Enemies of God Will Perish
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 11: Left Nothing Undone
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 12: Live Victoriously on Earth
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 13: There Are Still Very Large Areas of Land to be Taken Over
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 14: Follow God Wholeheartedly, and You Will Acquire the Promises
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 15: Be Bold Enough to Ask God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 16: Enter the Promise Land Need a Resolute Attitude
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 17: Properties are Obtained Through Striving and Seizing it
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 18-19: Inheriting the Promised Land
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 20: Designate the Cities of Refuge
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 21: Not One of All God's Good Promises Will Fail
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 22: Do you truly trust in God?
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 23: Warning the Israelites the Consequences of Turning Away from God
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 24: You Shall Serve God Wholeheartedly
- 【Bible Study】Joshua 25 Conclusion: Serve God Wholeheartedly
After reading chapter 3 of the Book of Joshua, I would like to give this chapter the title: God will honour His established leaders on the way of possessing the land. In the past, in the process of building the church, we were constantly dealing with a very evil thing called individual practice, which requires a lot of effort to deal with.
In chapter 3 of the Book of Joshua, you'll find a very miraculous thing. It's not that today a man is going to cross the Jordan River, so the water cuts off, and the man walks across. Tomorrow another person comes, and the water cuts off again, and this person walks across. There is no such thing because it is not a matter of individual practice.
The reason churches lose power is that much of what the church is encouraging is the idea of personal practice. In such an environment, we are constantly dealing with the problem of personal practice, because this way of believing in God is ineffective.
Why does the book of Joshua say so? Because on the way to possessing the land, God will honour His established leaders.
The story in this chapter is very interesting. I will read it to you, and you will know:
Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the Levitical priests carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about two thousand cubits between you and the ark; do not go near it."
Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you."
Joshua said to the priests, "Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people." So they took it up and went ahead of them. (Joshua 3:1-6 NIV)
This is an interesting thing. Why? Because the officers of the Israelites went throughout the camp and gave orders to the people. Why not just let the people of Israel talk among themselves? Wouldn't it have been better? No, because God's army is a hierarchical army.
Joshua commanded the people, saying, "Cleanse yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you. And Joshua said to the priests, "Take up the ark of the covenant and pass on ahead of the people." So, they took it up and went ahead of them. So, they took up the ark of the covenant and set it in front of the people. On the seventh day, the LORD said to Joshua:
And the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’"
Joshua said to the Israelites, "Come here and listen to the words of the LORD your God. This is how you will know that the living God is among you and that he will certainly drive out before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. See, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth will go into the Jordan ahead of you. Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD —the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap." (Joshua 3:7-13 NIV)
There is a very interesting story many years ago, about a group of Christians who had great faith, just in time for a flood in this area, which was very fierce. Those Christians said, "Let's walk across by faith." Later, their bodies were found about ten kilometres downstream from the water. What kind of road did they take? Didn't these Christians also follow the words of the Bible, and didn't they also have faith? What kind of problem did they have with their faith?
Brothers and sisters, you need to know that God's intention in the New Testament is to build His church. The church is the army of God that fights spiritual battles. All these things, including crossing the Jordan River, are done through leaders and teams to fulfil God's plan for the Israelites. Then, what were the Christians trying to do when they wanted to cross the flood? Just to get convenience. We need to come out of such a myth of faith.
There are a lot of cases of applying faith in the wrong places. Why are there not as many signs and wonders in the church today as there used to be? You may have heard Joshua say, "The LORD will do wonders among you." ** Joshua's faith, a leader's faith, was in carrying out God's will, God's plan.
What were those Christians trying to accomplish by crossing the flood? Then you say that Peter was also walking on the water. Wasn't that also practicing faith? Yes, that was the practice of faith, but Peter was a man with destiny. He laid down everything and followed Jesus, and what he accomplishes Jesus's will.
It is very important to restore the church conception. Without it, nothing can be done. There are many signs and wonders among us, and you are released quickly when the shepherd prays with you, but it won’t work when you pray alone. In our church, I have never put off praying for others, because it is our duty to serve and mister them.
When the leaders or your shepherds pray for you, the results are immediately different. And there is rarely an exhortation among us that says, "You need to pray." We never base things on one's own healing, on our own deliverance. When have you ever seen people set free by themselves? There may be a moment or two, but normally it's the leaders praying with you, and visibly seeing the presence of God and the results of healing and deliverance.
Well, it's also faith, but why is the result different? Because God dwells in our relationships and dwells in the church. This is the heart of God, for God wants to build His church, and this is the team. The church is a pastoral relationship built up by the brothers and sisters, and such a relationship is not a relationship of eating and drinking and having fun.
Brothers and sisters, you need to know that these leaders pray for you, which is fruitful. In the same way, Joshua declared that the waters of the Jordan River would be cut off completely and set up as a heap. When Joshua declared this, God honoured him in front of the Israelites so that the Israelites would know that just as God was with Moses, He would also be with Joshua.God values leaders at every level, and He is with you as you are ministering. So, as a leader, one thing you must be able to do is deliver faith.
How did Joshua know that the waters will cut off and set up as a heap? It was because of faith! You say it wasn't like that; it was what God said to him. He believed everything God said to him, but if God had told him he didn't believe, he wouldn't have dared to declare it. It's hard to be a leader if you don't have faith in what you proclaim is the future.
For example, God said to Joshua, "Tell the people of Israel that the water will be cut off." If Joshua did not have faith, he would have thought, "If I told the people of Israel and the water was not cut off, what about my reputation?" This is called not believing. So, we need to know that the most important thing a leader needs is faith.
This passage illustrates the faith of Joshua and his team, it's the faith of the leader and the faith of the whole Israelites. One thing you will be surprised to find is that there was not a single doubt in the hearts of the Israelites.
The path we are walking today is the path of faith. If you do things that we are familiar with, then you don't need faith, but today the Israelites were crossing the Jordan River, and when they came to the Jordan River and couldn't see where the boat was, the Israelites questioned because they knew that this God we believe in will do miracles before us.
Why should we deliver faith? As a leader, you have to have faith, Joshua had to have faith, the people of Israel had to have faith, and those who believe will have signs and wonders with them. We believe that God has an amazing plan for us, and that is to go in and get the land for our property.
We can clearly see the presence of God dwells among us because we have been pursuing God's will from the very beginning of building our church. Brothers and sisters must know that God's will is to honour the leaders He has established. This is what God Himself said:
And the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I will begin to exalt you in the eyes of all Israel, so they may know that I am with you as I was with Moses. Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’" (Joshua 3:7-8 NIV)
Did God say that the water should be separated? No. What Joshua said later was about his faith. He said that everything would be one in Jesus Christ, and Joshua knew that it was God's will. In both the New Testament and the Old Testament, everything will be one in Jesus Christ. That is, through the body of Jesus Christ, through His church. Jesus Christ is the head of the church, and the church is the body of Jesus Christ, and that is a complete, unified relationship. That is, in God's great plan of salvation, we need to know the truth revealed by God, and this is a team's faith, a problem of church conception.
There are many church shepherds lacking church conception. How can a team and a pastor without a church conception see the presence of God? Why are we so strict with our brothers and sisters? Because this is the army of the eternal God, and we must be a team if we want to fight spiritual battles. Joshua had such faith in him, so he dared to say so.
And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD —the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap." (Joshua 3:13 NIV)
In verses 7 through 8, the LORD God did not say this. He said, "When you reach the edge of Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river." What about the rest? The rest is that we must know the will of God in the fullness of our comprehension.
You know what? I dislike the kind of employee who only do what you asked, and nothing else if you did not instruct. That is a kind of blind dogma. If you are a slave and everything must be clearly described to you before you can carry out the task, it's called a junior worker, or a very low-grade worker. But once you become a friend of God, you will understand God's heart, and when you are promoted from a friend to a son of God, you will fully understand God's heart, and whatever you declare, He will accomplish.
Once, a sister came into my office and said, "I have been looking for a job recently." I said, "What's your salary now?" She said, "About 2000 dollars." I said, "Find a job with a salary of $3,500." It turned out that we had found it.
When I declare this, God accomplishes what I say, because God wants to honour the leaders He has established. God did not give me revelations, but I said them by faith. Why did God want me to be honoured so that I could be exalted before my brothers and sisters? Because that is God's intention. God knows that I am determined to build God's glorious church.
Another time, when a sister was praying with me, I knew she was very poor, and I was anxious in my heart. I said, "I prophesy that you are going to experience a great turnaround in your finances." I encourage the leaders among us, don't be petty, but boldly say. If you are a leader who builds God's glorious church, God will surely let you be honoured before the brothers and sisters you are shepherding. But you must be a person of faith. As a result, within a few days, a company hired her, and her salary kept rising. Her financial problems were immediately solved, and her life improved greatly.
So, I think as a leader of the people of Israel, you must learn to open your mouth and declare. You have faith, and then pass that faith on, just like Joshua said:
Now then, choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. (Joshua 3:12 NIV)
No one had ever seen anything like this, but Joshua was able to stand there and declare to the people of Israel that it was so. When I was ministering, I often made the same proclamation, telling the person that he would be healed in a moment, constantly delivering faith.
If you are a leader, you must learn to deliver on faith, visions, and dreams, which are visions and dreams from God. We dare not contradict the vision of God, which is to build the body of Jesus Christ and establish the glorious church of God.
Therefore, you are blessed among us, for God is among us, clearly manifesting the honour and glory He has given to us. We need to begin to deal with the false theology that emphasises the sovereignty of God. God's emphasis here is on whether there are leaders who understand the heart of God. If you understand God's heart and do what God wants, then as God was with Moses, as God was with Joshua, as God was with Jesus Christ, as God was with Paul, so God will be with you and me.
As Joshua has clearly written, just declare by faith, and God will surely accomplish what you declare. The result is:
And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD —the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap."
So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. It piled up in a heap a great distance away, at a town called Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan, while the water flowing down to the Sea of the Arabah (that is, the Dead Sea) was completely cut off. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. (Joshua 3:13-16 NIV)
We must be people of faith if we are to enter the land and take it as a possession. What we receive is not what we received in the past, but the original gospel of God. If God is with us, then what are we afraid of? We must learn to be strong and courageous today, like Joshua, and not be frightened or afraid! For we are fulfilling God's destiny in us and are accomplishing God's good purpose in us, which is to build up a victorious church.
Brothers and sisters, if you do not understand the heart of God but only individual practice, you will not be able to see the presence of God and how God will honour you in the sight of the Israelites. We, as leaders, need to begin to understand the heart of God and begin to learn to see how God honours our leadership.
We need to know that Joshua and Moses were people with God, and we live on this earth to fulfil God's plan, not our own. Do you have the destiny of God in you? Are you only live for trivial things? God will give you honour and greatness before those whom you shepherd if you are living for God.
We need to dispel many myths of faith. Why was God with Joshua? Why did Joshua declare that the Jordan River was set up as a heap, and the water was cut off? It was because Joshua understood the will of God. Is our faith based on our personal path, or is it based on the path of the pursuit of a heavenly destiny? If we have a great and glorious destiny to build God's glorious church, signs and wonders will surely follow us.
The Bible says that signs and wonders will come to those who believe, which is to believe in God's word and understand the will of God. Many churches are powerless because they lack faithful leaders and unity of the church. Our church has come this far because we have seen God's heart and are constantly exploring and pursuing God's heart, so God is with us.
All those who crossed the Jordan River have a faith in God that has never been seen before or since. When we see what God has accomplished in our midst, can you conclude that God will honour His established leaders on the way to possessing the land? If you can conclude it, you will know that obedience is blessed!
The Israelites' faith came from obedience, and after thirty years of training in the desert, they became men of faith. There were no complaints and nothing negative because they trusted in God, and they walked across the Jordan River, just across from the city of Jericho, and the people in the city of Jericho saw the Israelites crossing the river, and they thought, "How many boats would it take for 3 million people to cross the Jordan River?" They didn't have any boats, so they came through the river as if they were walking on dry land. And the men of Jericho said, "Who can stand before such people?" And all their hearts were digested.
Rahab, as told in the previous chapter, looked down from the city of Jericho and saw the Israelites crossing the Jordan River as if they were walking on dry land. Rahab made the best choice in her life, and that is to turn to the God of Israel. Today you see what God has done among us. So, what choice should you make?
At this point, Joshua overcame his fear and timidity and then began to be strong and become a leader of faith. He passed on his faith to those leaders under him, and the officers of Israel went throughout the camp and passed on their faith to the people of Israel, resulting in the miracle of that generation!
Let us be one in building God's glorious church on this earth, and God will manifest His glory among us! May God bless you all!