GO WITH GOD
One of the basic truths of Christianity is that
God has a purpose for your life. You are not a mistake or an
accident, regardless of the circumstances of your birth. God has a
purpose for you.
In a few cases God reveals His purpose right up
front. The first time God’s word came to Jeremiah God stated His
purpose: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before
you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to
the nations." Jeremiah 1:5.
Before John the Baptist was ever conceived the
angel of the Lord appeared to his father, Zacharias, and told him
that John would be the forerunner of Christ. (Luke 1:5-17)
There came a time when the apostle Paul could say
with confidence, "...(God) who separated me from my
mother's womb and called me through His grace …" Galatians 1:15,
but as old timers used to say, "Paul first had to make a few trips
around Robin’s barn". Although God’s purpose for Paul was for him to
be His apostle to the Gentiles Paul spent a lengthy portion of his
life furiously persecuting Christians.
Does God Have a Purpose For Me?
Many Christians, however have the attitude, "I
can understand that God had a purpose for Jeremiah, John, the
Baptist, Paul and other great servants of God, but I have so little
to offer I can’t see how God has a purpose for me." That’s the
reason God has given verses that make it clear that He has a
definite purpose for every believer…and for every person who will
become a believer. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ
Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should
walk in them." Ephesians 2:10. When we receive Jesus Christ as
our Savior we become "a new creature" (2nd Corinthians
5:17). Along with becoming a new creature we receive a lifetime
purpose of good works. As we perform those good works we are
fulfilling God’s purpose for us. Those who have experienced God
using them in fulfilling His purpose will joyfully testify that
there is no greater thrill in life than to be used of God. That’s
because the key to significance, satisfaction, and meaning in life
is to let God use you to fulfill His purpose for you.
The Biggest Hindrance of All
The problem with the vast majority of Christians
is that they believe God has a purpose for their life, but they lack
the confidence that God can or will really use them. For that reason
many Christians won’t even try to find out God’s purpose. Others may
have a pretty good idea, but they hold back because they lack
confidence that they will be successful in fulfilling what God wants
them to do.
Joshua: Our Example for Gaining Confidence
Perhaps Joshua is the best example in all the
Bible of someone who desperately needed to gain confidence as he
approached the deadline of launching out to fulfill God’s purpose
for him. There were two reasons for this:
(1). Joshua has just replaced Moses as the leader
of Israel. He surely felt honored, but he also felt inadequate.
"…no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses…" Deuteronomy 35:10.
Moses was also a great leader. He led Israel out of slavery in Egypt
to freedom in the wilderness. Leaving Egypt, they were not much more
than a poorly educated, discouraged mob. When they arrived on the
west side of the Jordan River, they were a nation highly developed
in civil, religious, and military ways. Through Moses they held in
possession God’s first five books of written revelation to man, what
we now call our Bible. Israel, and God would have great expectations
of the man who replaced Moses.
(2). God made it clear to Joshua that he had been
called to accomplish a humanly impossible task. God had already
revealed through Moses, "…the LORD your God shall bring you into
a land… to possess it, and cast out many nations before you…seven
nations greater and mightier than you." Deuteronomy 7:1 And now,
God says to Joshua, "You’re the guy I’ve chosen to lead Israel to do
this." (Joshua 1:2) We get the idea that at this moment Joshua was
having a confidence problem because God exhorted him three times "Be
strong and of good courage." (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9). Then, the leaders of Israel
repeated those very same words. (1:18).
In effect, God was saying, I have already put
everything in place. The only thing remaining is for you to have the
confidence to step out and lead Israel to do what I’ve called you to
lead them to do."
It’s a great deal like starting our car in the
morning. The gas is in the tank and fuel lines. The battery has the
power to make the electrical system work. The starter is ready to
turn the engine. It doesn’t make any difference whether we need to
go five miles or several hundred miles, everything is in place. All
we need to do to get all that horsepower to work is to have the
confidence to turn the key. Confidence is what enables us to turn on
God also gave Joshua three keys to develop
confidence. They worked for Joshua. He immediately told the leaders
of the twelve families of Israel, "Tell the people to get ready. In
three days we’re crossing the Jordan and possess the land God
promised us." (Verse1:11). These three keys will also work for us
when we know what God wants us to do, but we lack the confidence.
Banish Fear and Doubt
"…Be strong and
of good courage: do not be afraid,
nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever
you go." 1:9. When we get it settled as to what God wants us
to do, we need to pass some internal laws. One is, "It’s a
violation of my internal law for fear and doubt to be present in
my mind or emotions or to affect my will."
When obstacles get big enough or opposition
gets fierce enough fear and doubt can barge into our mind and
emotions with a bluster that causes us to think there’s nothing I
can do about this." But God says that we have the authority to
decide whether we will be strong and courageous or be filled with
fear and doubt. When fear and doubt interlude and try to scare us
from doing what God wants us to do we tell them, "It’s against my
internal laws for you to be here. Now, get out and don’t come
It helps to know that there are two major
sources of fear and doubt:
Claim A Promise From God
- Comparing ourselves with others. We know people who are
doing the same thing God has called us to do and we feel we can’t
do it as well as they do. We should never compare ourselves with
others because we are unique. God doesn’t want us to try to copy
someone else. He has shaped us to be an original and doesn’t want
us to become a poor "carbon" copy. Besides, if we compare
ourselves to others we are going to find somebody doing a better
job and we’ll become discouraged. Or, we find we are doing a
better job and become proud…either of these attitudes
short-circuits God’s power.
- We fear that we’ll experience the shame of failure.
Most of us have experienced the shame of failure. Maybe it was in
athletics, and we didn’t make the team. Perhaps our team lost a
game because we goofed up. Maybe it was a moral failure and we
felt ashamed that we hurt not only ourselves, but others. Whatever
our failures, we need to learn that they don’t count when it comes
to doing what God wants us to do. God promises, "I’ll be with
you wherever you go." That means that no matter how great the
obstacle or formidable the opposition, God says, "I’ll be there to
make things work. Banish fear and doubt!
Notice that right after God told Joshua what he
was to do He reminded him of a promise He had made to Moses; "Every
place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, I have given it to you,
as I said to Moses." 1:3. In addition, God made three
promises to Joshua:
- Strength – "No man will be able to stand before you all the
days of your life…(1:5a)
- Success – by meditating on and living by the words of
revelation given through Moses. (1:7, 8)
- Support – "I will not leave you nor forsake you…" "…the Lord
your God is with you wherever you go" (1:5b, 9b).
Sometimes we hear Christians say, "God said it; I
Believe it, and that settles it!". The fact is, that when God said
it, that settles it. It’s going to happen whether we believe it or
not. To be more correct, we need to say, "…that settles it for me."
We will then be affirming that God is going to do what He said and
when we believe we have come on board to do our part in doing what
God wants us to do.
After claiming God’s promise Joshua led Israel to
possess the promised land. As he was nearing his time to die he
reminded Israel, "Behold, this day I am going the way of all
the earth. (I am going to die) And you know in all your hearts
and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good
the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you, not one
word of them has failed." Joshua 23:14
As we consider God’s promise, let us remember
that the Bible tells us "God is no respecter of persons". (Acts
10:34; Romans 2:11, etc). What God has done for others, He will also
do for us.
Launch Out In Faith
Our goal should be, Go With God!
The two mistakes to avoid are:
- Getting ahead of God
- Lagging behind God
There had been countless planning sessions and
preparations, but Joshua never twitched a muscle until God said,
"It’s time." When God said, "It’s time", Joshua immediately
commanded his leaders, "Get your people ready. In three days we’re
Three days later the people of Israel gathered on
the western bank of the Jordan River. What they saw was very
discouraging "…for the Jordan overflows all it’s banks all the
days of harvest." Joshua 3:15. How were 2 ½ to 3 million men,
women, and children going to cross the Jordan river at flood stage?
Neither Joshua nor Israel’s leaders had to figure out the answer.
Joshua had led Israel to launch out by faith to do what God wanted
them to do. When they met their first formidable obstacle God was
there to tell them how to get past it. "…command the priests who
are carrying the ark of the covenant, saying ‘When you come to the
edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the
Jordan…And…the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, and the waters
which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap.’"
They did what God said and the waters were cut off some 17 miles
upstream. Israel crossed the Jordan and before the day was over
camped in the land of their promised possession. They would meet
many more obstacles and enemies, and God would be there to direct
them to victory…except one. That would be at a city called
Ai. Two factors resulted in Israel experiencing defeat: One of
Israel’s warriors willfully disobeyed the clear command of God and
Joshua and his leaders would neglect to look to God for guidance and
enablement (power) because they felt they could handle this battle
in their own strength. (Joshua 7). It was a bitter experience and
they did not make the same mistake again. As each new challenge
would come they would remember to launch out in faith.
Hopefully, every believer here sincerely desires
to do what God wants you to do and fulfill God’s purpose for your
life. As you fight the battle of confidence let me encourage you
once again to:
- Banish fear and doubts
- Claim a promise from God
- Launch out in faith
For those of you who are investigating
Christianity, the fact that you are here indicates that you have
some desire to fulfill God's purpose for your life. That desire may
be strong or it may be weak. If your desire is strong I urge you to
take the first step in fulfilling God's purpose by reaching out to
Jesus Christ in faith and receiving Him and His sacrifice on the
cross for your salvation
.. He will honor your faith and save you. You can
begin your life journey of fulfilling God's purpose for you today.
If you have questions just talk to one of the pastors or church
leaders. They are ready to help.
As you take this step, you can look forward to a
day when you can say with Joshua, "Not one of the good promises of
God has failed. They have all come to pass."
Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scripture quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted
Copyright © 2008 Truth Helpers Inc.