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Aug 07, 2022

Fully Submitted to God

Fully Submitted to God

Passage: Joshua 6:16-19

Speaker: Matt Petty

Series: Moving Forward

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: church, worship, faith, jesus, sunday, god, sermon, bible, christ, gospel, submission, hope, preaching, holy spirit, submit, joshua, believe, israel, jesus christ, the bible, jericho, bible study, son of god, trust god, jordan, gods plan, moving forward, live music, bible stories, walls of jericho, bible story, put god first, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, burnt hickory worship, city of jericho, submit to god sermon

As we continue to move forward, we look again to Joshua in scripture and the story of the city of Jericho. We learn that resistance to God’s word is a big deal, way bigger that we think, and that not fully submitting to God has serious consequences. Partial submission gives us a false sense of security and keeps the focus on us and not God. When we fully submit to God, it positions God in his rightful place, and produces greater intimacy with God. What are ways that you are not being fully submitted to God in your life? Are you missing God’s power in your life? Are you willing to do what it takes to fully submit to God today? As always, we’d love to connect with you, pray with you, and answer any questions you’ve got. Reach out today –

Well good morning church. Listen, if this your first week here or if it is your 30th week here, man, we just wanted to tell you how thankful we are to be a place that you can possibly call home and be a place that you can come and seek refuge, have worship, have a group around you. And let me just say this from kind of a pastoral staff to all of you. If there is anything that we can do to come behind you, to come behind your family, to walk with you spiritually, emotionally, physically, man, we would be honored to walk with your family as we go through life. Last week, we kind of had what we would just call a little bit of a welcome home party. It was the first week back from summertime where everybody's been traveling a lot, and we started a new series last week that we just called Moving Forward. Moving Forward, because what we've realized over the last months and even years is that so much of our lives are affected so greatly by what has happened in our past, that it's hard for us and a lot of times to look forward. It's hard for us to realize what God wants to do in our lives because we're so tethered to what has happened in our past.

So, we said last week that we're going to spend some time looking at the fact that we serve a God that wants us to move forward, that wants us to walk forward. It wants us to enjoy full rights and privileges as of sons and daughters of the king. And we said there's kind of two categories of this moving forward. The first one we talked about last week was moving forward personally. We're going to talk about that more in a minute. But we also said last week that God wants us as a church to continue to move forward. And we introduced some things last week that I just want to talk about for just a second, because I know a lot of you were kind of just getting back in the town last week. We laid out kind of a vision for some things that we feel like that we need to do to take care of the house, take care of the church, to do some things on our campus here. Now, I just want to be really clear when I talk about these that we're not looking to change the DNA of Burnt Hickory. We're not looking to be anything new that we've never been. We want to be a group of people who love the Word of God, who love Jesus, who wants to walk with people. But we also realize that there are some things that we need to do here to set us up to be able to do that. The first one we talked about last week is that we feel like we need to build a counseling center here. We need to build a place where people can come and have their emotional needs met, where biblical counsel can be given. We're going to be building on just some of that legacy that Mike has left, Mike Stephens left here, and we're going to call it the Mike Stephens Counseling Center here at Burnt Hickory to where we can grow it to become a pub for our ministry that people can come to and seek counsel.

Second thing we talked about was the fact that we need a larger common space here in this building, our hallways are great, but they're narrow. And now there's a lot more people than when we first started in this building. And we need a place that we can be, and we can be with people that we can have conversations with people. And we've realized over COVID that church is not just about here in a message or experience in worship. It's about doing life with people and having those conversations with people. So, whether its life groups getting together, or community events being hosted, we need a space that we can accommodate more people than we can now. Third, we said that part of what we need to do is just to extend this whole front hallway of our church to be able to have one solid corridor running across, to be able to get people from children's to adults to worship back to children's, as well as give us a way that in the future that if God so chooses to continually bless us, we'll be able to connect a new worship space on. So, we want to look at extending the lobby. Then one of the most exciting things that I love is we want to look at building a senior adult drop off covered space on this side of our building to help them in and out of the building. I walked in this morning our actually after our deacon prayer time this morning, it was awesome. I came back downstairs, was walking back to my office to get my microphone and already to go. And I walked back down, and I loved watching our wheelchair ministry guys out there. They had seven wheelchairs in a row. They were smiling like ear to ear. And they're like, it's going to be a good day in this ministry today. And I was like, That's awesome that they're excited about being able to do that. We want to give them a way to be able to get them in and out and get better access. And then lastly, we need to continue to refresh this building and keep it current. So, we're going to refresh the whole front facade of the building to give us some indoor and outdoor space.

We're going to refresh it to be able to give us more doors into the front side of our building. And it'll give us a way that we can be relevant to our community. Now, look, I know I did that really fast last week was the whole deal. And but I want you to know this. I know a lot of you weren't here today. And next week we're going to be having two big informational meetings in the Connections room at 5:00. And we want you to come. It you are a member here; we're asking you to do a couple of things. Number one, we're asking you to pray and just seek the Lord on this vision that we're presenting to you guys. We're going to be voting on it on the 21st as part of what we do as a church is to move forward together. But secondly, we're going to ask you, as a church to pray on how you can give towards this project. This is not a budgeted project. This is an over and beyond God, we know that the House here needs some things to be done. We're going to ask you to be praying between now and the 21st on what your family can do to give over and beyond. And quite frankly, it's about a 4 to 4 and a half million-dollar project. And I am praying that God provides at least half of that in our giving and that if we need to come behind the rest of that with budgeted, that it's there and it's ready for us to have. So anyway, be praying over that. If you want to come today to the meeting, we will stay as long as we can answer every question because we want to be unified in moving forward to reach this community.

All right. Let's move on. I'm going to jump into the word if you got a copy of scripture, I wanted you to go with me to John chapter two. John, chapter two. Put a bookmark there. Put your finger there. Whatever you need to do. We're going to end on that really quickly. But then I also want you to jump over to Joshua chapter six. Joshua chapter six. That's where we're going to spend the bulk of our time today. We're going to be in Joshua Chapter six. Joshua Chapter seven and Joshua Chapter eight. And we're going to get you out on semi on time today. That's how we're going to do this. If you're if you're visiting, you're like, Oh, that was good. If you're here and you're here every week, you're like, Well, it could go a lot of ways, so this is how we're going to do it. Last week we jumped in, and we talked about the children of Israel. They were at the Jordan River behind them was the wilderness where God had led them for 40 years. In front of them was the promised land. This is what God had promised his people that He was going to get them to. Last week we saw the 2.5 million Israelites at the Jordan River and we saw God deliver them through the river. He stopped the river. They crossed over last week into the Promised Land. And we talked about last week this idea that God wants us to move, and he wants us to move forward. But there's some things that we have to do in our life to move forward. The first of which was that we stand behind God. We don't get in front of God and expect God to move in our lives. We stand behind God. He is Lord and King, and He moves in front of us. We secondly, we said We need to seek holiness in our lives, that our lives aren't just about living how we want to and expecting God to move. That we seek a set apart living that God has called us to live. We're going to talk about that more today.

Third, we start right where we are. God knows where you came from. God knows what you've done. But he also loves you enough to love you there, but to love you forward. That's what God wants in your life, and he wants you to start moving in that direction. And then last we talked about just staying in the presence of God. That being in the presence of God, is not a one-time moment where you meet God. You check that box off and you go on and live the rest of your life. Staying in the presence of God is the life of the believer that we walk with God. Today, I want to continue with the Israelites. I'm going to talk through one of what I think the toughest verses in the book of Joshua is to wrap our minds around. We're going to see if we can make sense of it. And we're going to jump over and close in the New Testament. And we're going to look today of what it takes to live fully submitted to God. What does it take for me and for you to live fully submitted to God? Now let me give you the context. Okay, Joshua. Chapter three is the Jordan moment. We saw that last week. Joshua Chapter four is this praise moment, this worship service, a monument being built to what God did. I mean, the Israelites are ecstatic that God has moved in their lives. Joshua chapter five. The noise of what is going on takes all over the region. The region begins to hear the God of the Israelite is delivering them, that he is strong, that he is mighty, that he is the one they should be serving. The word starts moving out and telling what's going on. Also in Chapter five, there's these Old Testament principles that they kind of lost while they were in the wilderness that God begins to reinstate. He reinstates circumcision. I'll let you talk about that one at lunch. He reinstates the Passover the Passover meal of how God delivered them out of Israel, pointing to who Jesus is. In fact, manna from heaven, if you know the Old Testament kind of wilderness story, you'll know that the manna stopped falling in Joshua chapter five because they were now living off the land that God had given them. Then we get to in Chapter five, also one of the most famous accounts in all of the book of Joshua. And it's where the walls of Jericho fell.

If you've spent any time in s Kid's Sunday school, I'm sure you saw this just like I did on the flannel graph, right? Parents you need to tell your kids about the wonder of the flannel graph of how magically things would just stick to this wall. And we saw how God delivered these people and how they won the battle. And then Joshua six is this great reminder to all of us of what God has done and how He wants to move. You remember the story, right? All week long they walk around the walls one time on the seventh day on the Lord's Day, they walked around. They scream, the walls fell. And as crazy as all that seemed, they did exactly what God told them to do. And He delivered them. But in that they destroyed all the enemy. They brought all of the stuff from the city into the Temple of God. And you can just imagine with me just for a minute, the parties in the streets, can you imagine what would have happened if it would have been us the first kind of moment into the Promised Land? And God just shows up, miraculously tears down the city in front of our very eyes. I mean, come on, I get excited when I find $5 in my pants after they come out of the dryer, much less God moving like this. And then we get to the hard verse in chapter six. Now, look, let's talk about the hard verses for a minute.

Here's what I know about myself. I'm not going to lump you into this is probably just my spiritual maturity. When I come to a hard verse in Scripture, three things happen a lot of times in my life. Number one, I skip it. Number one, I skip it, amen? No, sorry. Not you. Me, right. Number one, I skip it. We do, don't we? When we get to a verse and we're reading and we don't really know what it says or we kind of like, I don't know about that, what do we do with that hard verse? We either skip it or number two. Sometimes we just try to write off that hard verse. We just try to kind of excuse that hard verse and we'll say something like, Well, that was the context. It was different back then. It was different times back then, man, that was just God. He was he was different. God is evolved over time, right? His thinking has matured, right? And now I can just kind of do this in a different way because we live in a different time now. And surely God doesn't think like that anymore, right? No, we excuse it. Or third thing that we do with hard versus a lot of times and none of these are good, by the way, is that do we just straight up disagree with it. Now, look, we won't tell our small group that because I mean, nobody wants to do that right. I'm not going to come to life group next week can go hey I read this verse and I'm not there. No God that you should never said that. We would never say it out loud, but we do in our minds a little bit. But I want you to see something with the verse. We're going to look at this morning. God has it there for a reason. God has every verse in the Bible for a reason. Every phrase is in the Bible for a reason. And listen to me close. We do not have permission to pick and choose what just feels right because of the times. We don't have that right as followers of Christ. So, this is one of those verses that's hard to grasp, but it's one of those verses that God is about to show us something He's about to show us. And His people how serious he is about living in full submission to him. So, we're going to look at this from before we get to the hard verse. Let me give you the context and the command of how they were supposed to take Jericho. And then I'm going to show you what happened and why they got in trouble. Joshua 6:16, says this. It's the end of the Jericho marching. The seventh time around when the priests sound of the trumpets blast. Joshua and the army shout for the Lord has given you the city, the city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab, the prostitute, and all who are with her house shall be spared, because she has hid the spies that we sent. But keep away, God says from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. All the silver by taking of it. I'm sorry. Otherwise, you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and you will bring trouble upon it. All the silver and all the gold, the articles of bronze and the iron are sacred to the Lord, and they must go into His treasury.

To which all of us are saying, Yeah, there was no problem. They did this, the walls came down, there was a party in the street. They won. How is this hard to understand? You said it was hard to understand. Well, keep reading. Verse 27 says, so the Lord was with Joshua and his fame spread throughout the land. But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things Achan, son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah took some of them. Now watch this. So, the Lord's anger burned against Israel. Now, let me catch us up, because here's what's happening. The walls of Jericho fall 2.5 million people of the Israelites celebrate the fact that God just did something. So, what just happened? Matt, you just said they just won. How are we going from winning on day one today to they're in the middle of God's wrath? And why did God say that Israel acted unfaithful? I mean, come on, God, why don't you just say that one guy acted unfaithful, and the rest of the people are okay? Why not just say that God? Write down this principle, because then we'll be able to understand it. Here's the first principle. Resistance to God's word is a bigger deal than we think it is. It's a bigger deal. That's what he's showing us in his text, even when we partially resist God's word. That's what we're seeing in Achan, right? He was probably a great fighter. He was probably a great family man. He probably, in his mind, had great intentions on what he could do with the stuff that he stole from this plunder. But resistance to God's word is always a bigger deal than we think it is. Can I just tell you? Let me say it like this. It's never just a small little sin. It's never just a white little lie. It's never something that we just kind of do and God just brushes it under the rug. That is not how God operates.

So, God looking at him, said, Hey, look, I told you to leave alone the devoted things. I delivered you. I delivered you on the Sabbath. Therefore, this is my stuff. Bring this to my temple. But your man Achan, God said. Your man Achan didn't do it. He stole some plunder. We're going to see next. He's the one that's going to cause Israel to lose the next battle that we're going to look at in just a minute. And as a result of this one man's sin, everyone suffered. Why? Because it's always a bigger deal than we think it is. Our sin is always a bigger deal. Achan gets caught in his sin later on. I love it. I love that Achan gets caught and he admits it in Chapter seven, verse 20 Achan says this. He goes, Hey, it's true. I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel, and this is what I've done. When I saw the plunder, the beautiful robe from Babylonia, the 200 shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing 50 shekels, I coveted them, and I took them, and they are hidden in the ground inside my tent with the silver underneath. Now look, this is a big deal. Achan thought that he could just get away with it. He could just be flippant about it. He could go, Oh yeah, I did it. I threw it under my tent. It's there. Just go get it and let's move on to the next deal. But let me give you the second principle that's going to build this argument.

Here it is. Principle two, a resistance to fully submitting to God's word always carries a consequence with it. It always carries a real consequence. And let me add this to this. I believe that's one of Satan's number one tools for the modern church in modern Christians right now. It is partial submission to God. I believe it's one of the best tools that Satan's using right now. Why? Because Satan wants you to think that as long as you are just tipping God with your life a little bit, and as long as you're just a little bit better, than those people that we're seeing everywhere else, that God is all about what you are doing. But it's not. And what we're seeing here is there's always consequence to sins. Now sometimes those consequences are immediate. Achan, right? If you know what happens to him, it doesn't end well. Old Testament style, right? He doesn't make it. But sometimes the consequences take some time to come. So just because something has happened in your life, and you think you've gotten away with it. No, no, no, no. Sometimes it's an immediate consequence. Sometimes it is a consequence that's going to come later in life. And also, watch this. Sometimes the consequence is personal, sometimes it's public, sometimes it's just where nobody else knows. Nobody else sees it. But sometimes it is a corporate consequence where we bring other people with us when something happened. The point is, is that God is asking you and He's asking me and he's asking all of his followers for not just enough following to make us feel like we're better than those around us.

He's asking us for full submission to him as king, as the one who has given us salvation and the one that is going to give us eternal life. He's asking us for fully submitting, following of him. So, let's see how this fleshes out in this event. Because God says, Hey, look, when you partially submit to me, that's what we're seeing out of Achan. When you partially obey my word, some real things happen, some real consequences happen. And he shows us in the text after the walls of Jericho fall, he shows us the Israelites, that they have their eyes set on the city. What happens to them next? And he teaches us some truths about partial submission to God. I want to give him I want to give these truths to you because I think they can help you see the big picture of how we are to fully just say, God, I'm yours.

In Chapter seven, God gives us some partial submission to God consequences. Number one, here's what happens to us when we partially submit to God. It gives us a false sense of security in our lives. It gives us a false sense of security. Why? Because we think that we are walking with God. We think that we're giving God enough and we think that God is going to all of a sudden pop up and go, Hey, just because you tried a little bit, I am going to give you my power in my life. And look, sometimes God does bless us when we're partially submitted to him, but sometimes he leaves us hanging out there because we are prideful. Joshua chapter seven, verse two This is exactly what happened to them. watch this. It says, now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai which is near Beth Aven on the east of Bethel. And he told them, Go out and spy out the region. So, men went up and spied out Ai. When they returned to Joshua, they said not many of the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it over and don't weary the whole army for only a few people live there. Now this seems reasonable I mean right? I mean on the one front because God just stopped a river for them. God just knocked some walls down for them. It seems like the Joshua could just go, Hey, you know what? We really don't have to do anything. Just go send a couple of guys over there and take the city. But remember when God moved in their life, there was a big difference of where they are now. When God moved in their life and did those things, they were in one accord with God. They were totally in worship of God. They were totally in submission of God and sin had not entered the camp. What we're seeing here is that they're moving away from who God is. Yeah. Does God still love them? Absolutely. He still loves them. Does God still love us when we're partially submitted to him? Yes, he still loves us. But catch this. God will never take a back-seat to anyone. He won't do it. And eventually, here's what God does in our lives, and we're just partially submitted to him. He will give you the desires of your heart, and he will let you run in the direction that you want to run. Why? Because you are the Lord of your life. He'll do that in your life and God will give you over to your desires, which is exactly where Satan wants you to be. Why? Because a false sense of earthly security is exactly where Satan wants you to be in your life. What happens? This false sense of security that Hey, yeah, God's got me, but God's hey man, you got to follow me.

But second, here's what happens as a result of that, God's power is removed from our life. When we're partially submitted to God, God's powers removed from our life. Listen to me. God is never going to leave you. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you. But God will remove His power from your life. He'll do it. Look at what happened to the Israelites at Ai in verse four and chapter seven says. So about 3000 went up, but they were routed by the man of air who killed about 36 of them, chased them, the Israelites, to the city gate as far as the stone quarries, and he struck them down on the slopes. After Jericho prior to Ai. If you'll go back and you'll read the text. You're going to notice there's one distinguishing mark that is happening in the Israelites life and it's this not one of them consulted God as to what God wanted to do. Not even Joshua prayed to God. There was an arrogance about them like, Oh man, we've got this, we got this. But remember, even in the small little earthly things, if God removes His power from our life, then we will fail. You see, when God's power is removed from us, here's what happens to us. Let me just the men describe it to you. When God removes His power from our life, do you know what happens in our life? We begin to drift away from God. You do realize that our natural position in life is not to drift towards God? It is always to drift away from God. You'll begin to drift away from God. And here's what that means. That means that you will not start this huge drift all on day one. You're not going to wake up tomorrow morning and be a murderer, right? Most of you. Right? You're not you're just not going to do it. But here's what will happen in your life. It all starts small. It starts by you tomorrow. Not asking God to be part of your day. It starts with you not asking God to be part of your decisions. It starts with you not asking God to take the lead in your family's life.

It starts with you not spending time in his word tomorrow. It starts with days going by where you are not praying, and you are not lifting up the name of Jesus in your life. It starts with you missing not one week of worship, but when it becomes two and becomes three. And then what does it become? It becomes optional when we feel like it. Or maybe nobody has a scratchy throat that week. Or maybe no other event is going on. It starts with these small habits. They begin to creep into our lives slowly but surely. Not big things, but small things are saying words that we never thought we would say, just watching things that we never thought we would watch. Us having an attitude that we had never had like that before. And then it starts with us spending more time with coworkers and less time with spouse, more time with her, and less time with spouse. And then before you know it, we look up and we swear we would never be in this place. But we're there. That's how the drift works. And that's what happens when God's power is removed from our lives, is that we don't even know who we are anymore. Partial submission gives us a false sense of security. It removes God's power from our life and catch this one. Number three, it keeps the focus on me and not God. It keeps the focus on me and not God. From the moment God moved at the Jordan River, I want you to see this. These people were all about God in their life. They were praising him. They were worshiping him. They were submitted to him. They were moving in the favor of God. They were enjoying the future that God was making for them. His grace was covering him. His bounty was on them. There were winning battles. All honor was given to God. Go back and read Chapter four. It's all about this massive worship service, but then partial obedience entered the camp. And what's the difference? Joshua Chapter seven, verse five This is right after they got beat at Ai. Listen to the language difference.

At this time, the hearts of the people melted in fear, and they became like water. This is not the mighty people crossing the river anymore. Then Joshua tore his clothes. He fell face down to the ground before the Ark of the Lord. Remaining there until evening, the elders of Israel did the same thing. They sprinkled dust on their heads and Joshua said, alas sovereign lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan. Do you notice the word changes here? The word changes in the first four chapters are what? Or the first six chapters is what? It is victory. It is rising up. It is God's provision, it is unity. It is God's promise. His praise. This togetherness. To now, what are the words in this looking like? Look at them. They're in the text. Melted, fear, tore, face down, dust, why, destroyed, content, should have stayed. You see how incredibly fast it happens as believers when our focus goes from all of God to all about me. All about me. You see, that's what resistance to God does. It moves us away from God's promise, and it moves me into my head and my space because I am the Lord of my life. Now, look, all these are internal, right? These are all internal when these things happen. But here's what happens. Partial submission, then moves to external. Number four, when we're partially submitted to God, it provides reasons for others to doubt God. It gives reason for other people to doubt God. Let's just be honest, because we're all friends here. Many times, it is the people who profess to be followers of Jesus that drive people away from Jesus. Many times. How many times have we heard the same story right? Man, I would follow Jesus. Man, I read his teachings, I see his miracles. I can latch on to Jesus. But then I met some Jesus followers, quote unquote. And I just don't see the difference. I just don't see where it is. This is exactly what Joshua said to the Lord in verse eight. Chapter seven, he said, Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? The Canaanites and the other people of the hill country will hear about this, and they will surround us, and they will wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your great name?

Let me give this to you in language of 2022. God, what are we going to do now that another Christian has fallen, another church has blown up, another group has split, another person has defamed the name of Jesus that said they are a follower of Jesus? See, here's the deal. Our partial submission to God always leaks out publicly. It will never stay in the house, and it will never stay in your heart. It will always leak. Let me look at all this together and say this. Partial submission always starts by affecting us, and it always continues by affecting others. And you can never get away from that. All right, let's pray that's the end. No, we can't end on that. That's horrible. We can't walk out with that. That's so depressing. That's not where the story ends, though. It would be so depressing if God just left the Israelites right there. But He didn't. Because here's what God wants us to know. He wants you to know, just like you wanted the Israelites to know that just because you may not have walked in full submission to him in the past, that does not disqualify you from doing it in the future.

In fact, listen, if you were still alive today, which is most of you, there's still time for you. There's still time for all of us. So let me give you really quickly the opposite end of the spectrum. The first four were partial submission to God. Let me show you what happened. Let me show you what happens when we fully to submit to who God is. Number one, it positions God in His rightful place. You want to know if you're fully submitted to God? Look at who is the king of your life and who is the Lord of your life. You want to know if God is in His rightful throne and his rightful spot? Just look at who is on the altar of your life. Are you bowing down to other things? Are you bowing down to who God is? When we position God in His rightful place, I'm yielding my will and I'm looking at God as above all else. It's me constantly realizing that God, that Jesus is the Lord of my life and I'm taking myself off the throne. I'm put got on it. It's exactly what happened to the Israelites in Joshua Chapter eight after they lost the first battle of Ai. Watch what happened in the second one. Then the Lord said to Joshua, Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you and go up and attack Ai. Remember they just got beat by Ai. Watch what God says. For I have delivered into your hands the King of Ai, his people, his city and his land. Now, do you see the difference here? There's such a change. The first time they attacked Ai, it was under the arrogance of who they thought they could do. The second time. Who's speaking in this text? God is. Why? Because they place God back in the place. God is speaking. He's in control. He's in His rightful place. And now this takes attention off of them. And what happens is, is that God sees are willing spirit and he moves us in a direction to honor him, why we put him in his rightful place. Let me ask you this today. What position have you put God in in your life? Number two, fully submit. It produces a greater intimacy with God, a greater intimacy with God. Why? I'm going to let you in a little secret. Because closeness with God is an incremental process. You may have never heard this before. Let me let me just explain what that means. Closeness to God is an incremental process. Here's the deal. You will not wake up tomorrow morning a super Christian. You will not wake up tomorrow morning a fully devoted follower of Christ. You won't do it. It is a moment by moment, decision by decision area of our lives, just like you probably won't wake up a murderer tomorrow. You won't wake up a super Christian. Why? Because it is an incremental process.

Let me explain it like this. Fifteen years ago, a great friend of mine and I decided that we were going to jump into the triathlon world. Yeah, you can laugh. It's cool. We decided this was a great idea. So, what do we do? We got on our bikes, we decided, Hey, let's go ride for the afternoon. About three miles in, we both realized this bike seat ain't made for this right here. Nope, it is not made for this. Said, okay, well, maybe running is better for us. We strapped on our running shoes. About a mile in, we're like, what are we doing? What are we doing? We are not athletes, and we are not young anymore. What are we doing? So. Okay, well, maybe swimming is our deal. Jumped in the pool. Been swimming my whole life, right? Swimming my whole life. Swam one lap, swam another lap. Swam about halfway on the lap. And I thought the old ladies at the Y, we're going to have to rescue me from aerobics. In the middle of the pool. Going what are we doing? But here's the deal. We didn't give up. We didn't give up a little more. After a little more, five miles on the bike became ten. Ten became forty. Forty became 80. 80 became 100. Running one mile became two, became three became eight, became 15, became 26. In the water, two laps became 200 laps became two and a half miles in Lake Altoona. And before you know it, we're looking at each other going, What in the world do we enjoy this? And we did. Now, look, look at this. This isn’t a superhuman body. I promise you. There was never a prime to this, right? But I'll tell you this one step at a time is what it took. One step at a time. The same is true with our walk with Jesus. What's great about God is that every victory that we have in God produces greater intimacy with God. Every time we decide to move in a direction with God, it gives greater intimacy with God.

Here's what that means. Every day that you spend with him is a step closer. Every time you pray in his name is a step closer. Every decision to give your first fruits that God has given you is a step closer. Every time we serve is a step closer, every time we have a gospel presentation or conversation with someone is another step closer. Not so that we can get salvation, but so that our intimacy with Christ is moving. And it's moving and it's moving. And it is one degree over time, over the years, because every submission decision produces a greater intimacy with God. Listen, some of you need to stop praying for greater intimacy. You need to take a step. That's what we're seeing. I'm not saying it's not good to not pray God make our relationship better, but God is going. You want your relationship to be better. You've got to step. Small steps every day over time. Have you ever watched some of our more seasoned saints? Is that a good way to put it, right? During worship, you just know they're connecting with the Lord. When they pray, you are like, man, I want to pray like that. Small steps over years produce intimacy. This is what Jesus said it like this in John 14:21. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. We know, we like that. We've read that right? The one who loves me will be loved by my father. We know that. And I too will love them. We track with that. But watch these last words. It blew me away this week. I too will love them, and I will show myself to them. I want you to realize that God shows himself more and more and more to you every submission movement you have towards him. Time produces intimacy.

So, what is it? What are we talking about? Full submission? It puts God in His place, and it produces this greater intimacy in the number three. It's real quick. No explanation needed. It just builds an unshakable foundation. When we fully submit to God, what God begins to do is He begins to put brick after brick after brick on the foundation of our lives. And that way, no matter what happens in our lives, we can stand, and we can make it. This was Israel's secret success to winning battles, it's that they knew God and they walked with God. It's what he says for us too. And then lastly, this is where it moves outwardly, just like it did in our first list. It creates opportunities for others to know God. When we fully submit to God, I guarantee you will begin to see yourself show other people who God is. It quickly moves from an internal benefit to an external benefit. Because why? Because there's no better tool on this planet than for others to see the power of God moving in the people of God. There's no greater tool. It's the whole book of Joshua. You can read it this week. You will watch God move. But here's the question Will I fully submit? Will I live a life of full submission that gives God a true representation of who he is to other people who are serving? When we live in submission to God, what do we do? Begin to separate ourselves. We begin to look different and speak different, work different, have different goals, and people begin to latch onto that, and they begin to see the power of God moving in our life. And listen, other people notice, and it gives the chance for the message of Jesus to move among the people. Man, I hope you're feeling the difference between partially submitted and fully submitted lives, because here's the deal God does not move in a partially submitted life. He just won't do it.

Some of you have been praying year after year of year. God, just move in my life, God, just move in my life. God, just move in my life. Where God is saying this, you've got to submit. And when you submit, just like we're seeing right here, God moves. He moves. Just got to give him control. So how do we do it? What does it take to fully submit to God? Now look, we can spend a whole sermon series on this, but I want to give you one verse in just a minute that will solve this whole question of how we submit. Jesus was at a wedding in Canaan with his mom, John, chapter two. He's there. They run out of wine. His mom looks at the servants like, don't worry about it, Jesus is here. He's like me? She's like yeah, you son. The lady that knew Jesus’ best of anybody on this whole planet, looked at the servants and taught us a lesson of how we submit. Here it is, John. Chapter two, verse five. His mother looked at the servants and this is what she said. Here it is. Five words, John 2:5. Mother said to the servants, Do whatever he tells you to do. That's it. That's it. There's no points, there's no poems, there's no jokes. You say hey, you want to submit to him? Watch what happens. Hey, you want to know how to walk with Jesus? Here's how you do it. You want to know if you're partially or fully submitted? Do what he tells you to do.

That's its church. Listen, we've said in this whole series our goal is two-fold, and that is asking us as a church, how can we move forward? I can tell you how we can move forward. We submit to him every single one of us. We said as a person, how do I move forward? Do I keep praying and keep praying? Keep praying? Yeah, we're going to talk about prayer next week, but before prayer is submission. So let me ask you this as we close in the time of invitation. What is it that you're holding back from saying here it is Lord? What is it? I don't know what yours is. I know what mine is. And it ain't none of your business. But what's yours? Maybe for you, you need to give your life to Christ, and you need to finally invite Christ into your life to be your Savior and Lord. Listen, when I say Amen in just a minute, I'm going to be standing over here to the front. There’re some other counselors we'd love to tell you how you can trust Jesus today. If you're online, you can just text the next step. Somebody will get back with you this afternoon or tomorrow. Maybe today yours is not your salvation, but it's something tangible that you just need to say Here, this Lord, I've held it for too long, Lord.

Jesus, bless this moment. Move in this place. It's in your name, Jesus. Amen. Amen.

Let's stand and sing together. I'm standing right over here. I love to walk with you in what this looks like.


Follow Along with the Message

Fully Submitted to God

August 7, 2022

Joshua 6:16–19
16 The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17 The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18 But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19 All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”
Joshua 6:27–7:1
27 So the Lord was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land. 7:1 But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the devoted things; Achan son of Karmi, the son of Zimri, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took some of them. So the Lord’s anger burned against Israel.

PRINCIPLE: Resistance to God’s Word is a than we think it is.

Joshua 6:16–19
20 Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: 21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.”

PRINCIPLE: Resistance to fully to God’s Word always carries a real consequence.

Partial Submission to God

1. Gives us a false sense of .

Joshua 7:2–3
2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth Aven to the east of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and spy out the region.” So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3 When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.”

2. Removes God’s from our life.

Joshua 7:4–5a
4 So about three thousand went up; but they were routed by the men of Ai, 5 who killed about thirty-six of them. They chased the Israelites from the city gate as far as the stone quarries and struck them down on the slopes.

3. Keeps the focus on and not God.

Joshua 7:5b–7
At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water. 6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell facedown to the ground before the ark of the Lord, remaining there till evening. The elders of Israel did the same, and sprinkled dust on their heads. 7 And Joshua said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!

4. Provides reason for others to God.

Joshua 7:8–9
8 Pardon your servant, Lord. What can I say, now that Israel has been routed by its enemies? 9 The Canaanites and the other people of the country will hear about this and they will surround us and wipe out our name from the earth. What then will you do for your own great name?”

Full Submission to God

1. Positions God in His place.

Joshua 8:1
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land.”
Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well..

2. Produces greater with God.

John 14:21
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.

3. Builds an unshakable .

Matthew 7:24–25
24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

4. Creates opportunities for to know God.

QUESTION: What does it take to fully ?

John 2:5
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Additional Notes


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