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May 01, 2022

Navigating Seasons

Navigating Seasons

Passage: Joshua 1:1

Speaker: Eli Laughlin

Series: Stand Alone Message

Category: Sunday Sermons

Keywords: worship, faith, jesus, sunday, god, sermon, gospel, hope, life, change, believe, powerful, motivation, i am, transitions, bible study, seasons, personal growth, live music, seasons of life, livestream, burnt hickory baptist church, seasons in life, life transitions, 2022, burnt hickory worship, motivational video, motivational speech, turbulence of life, transitions in life stages

Transitions in life are hard. They’re full of turbulence and it may seem that we are going through them alone. But we see through studying the bible today, that God does not always lead us to places that are convenient or comfortable, and that he also delivers us as we rely on him. It’s Senior Sunday, and we get to celebrate our high school seniors as they take the next big step in their lives. Pastor Eli charges them, and us, that our past does not define us, and as we look back, we should see God’s goodness, his promises, and his protection. We can see that our future is bright, when the light of the world is leading the way. Are you relying on God in the middle of the turbulence of transition? Are you allowing your past to define your future? Take time to pray and ask God to show you his promises and protection in your past and trust him for your deliverance. If you’ve got questions or need prayer through a season of life, then reach out – We’d love to answer any questions and take time to pray with you.

I have found my worth in Christ by seeking God's approval rather than worldly approvals. In Galatians 1:10, it says. I am now trying to win the approval of human beings or of God, or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Before I was saved, I was a very quiet, shy, overall insecure girl. But Jesus has shown me that I'm loved unconditionally and given me confidence in knowing my place and purpose is child of God. My worth rests in him alone. The way I find my worth in Jesus is the parable of the lost sheep. Matthew, 18:10-14. I found that no matter what happens in my life, it will always lead me back to the herd as he is my shepherd. He has a plan for my life, and fully trusting in that has allowed me to become more comfortable with who I am in Jesus and to help me kind of find my identity in life and to find out who I am and who I need to become. Over this past year, I found my worth in Jesus by being faithful in Him and him being faithful in me and having that mutual faithfulness in each other. I find my worth in him that he is my guide. Without him, I'd be at the compass spinning around that can't point north. And I'd compare myself to other people and their walk with the Lord and how they could just really hear him clear through prayer or through Scripture. But it wasn't until recently I discovered that I can really feel his presence in worship. And I discovered that by being able to use the gifts that he's blessed me with, and I've been a part of the worship and here at Burnt Hickory for six years now. It doesn't matter how the world views me or what the world thinks of me because God loves me unconditionally and He values me so much. What the world thinks doesn't matter at all. Over these past years, I have gotten to find my worth in Jesus through prayer and to the call to ministry. I have found my worth in myself through him and to build his kingdom. He gave me life. He saved a wretch like me. Through the cross when he died for us. We just celebrated Easter like a couple of weeks ago. And ever since I gave my life to him, it has been life changing for sure. Psalms 139:14 has stuck with me. It says, I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works. My soul knows it very well.

No matter what I'm valued not because I excelled in sports or school, but because I am his. Today I am confident and proud to say that I am a child of God. Burnt Hickory and the Radiate student ministries have helped me find my worth in God through their sermons. And they have helped me grow more in my faith. I found my worth in Christ through the biblical truths that the leaders have always presented to us. And this is so important because they have never given us the fluffy truth that we want to hear or the things that seem nice. They've always told us the real truth, and that's very important in shaping who we are, because we live in a real world and we're about to step into that. So, knowing those truths is very important to understanding our worth in Christ stepping forward. Burnt Hickory has really helped me find my worth as well in Jesus just through Radiate through the Bible studies, just fellowshipping together and diving into God's Word. But ultimately, Freedom Week in 2020, where I gave my life to Jesus. Our family has gone through some of the most difficult circumstances imaginable, and I was overwhelmed by the love and support given to me and my family last summer by the staff, Lifegroup leaders and members of this church. They showed me what it truly means to love a neighbor, just as Jesus loves each one of us, and I will never forget how much you meant to me. And Radiate has really helped me to find people who want to be those kinds of encourages, who want to support me and want to love on me. And through Radiate, I really created a family that I'm so thankful to God for who really speak life into me. I feel like I'm always at home, whether it's like my Lifegroup or it's Chip, Matt, Big Steve, Eli. Like, I can count those guys no matter what. I can talk about anything going on in my life,

I know that they'll always be there for me. But not only has Radiate given me the opportunity to learn more about God, they've given me the opportunity to serve others, whether that be cleaning up a local high school or going out to do something as grand as a mission trip in Kenya or Alaska coming up this summer. And I just wanted to thank Burnt Hickory and for Radiate, just for giving me all these opportunities to serve. And this is why I feel called to be. And I just want to thank you guys so much for the encouragement and for teaching me and training me on how to be a leader of Christ. Y'all have had a huge impact on me and who I am today. It's y'all who's held me accountable and loved me when I needed it the most, and I'm Incredibly grateful for you guys. I am blessed with having teachers who consistently are also grounded in their faith, but they know the word and we are taught so well on it. And yeah, I love it. I don't know what I would do about it. I'm going to miss it. Radiate has helped me find my worth in Jesus by his inspiring me with the great group of friends that love me and support me in a very similar way and have really just shown me what my worth is outside of the world's lens. Burnt Hickory has strengthened my walk with Jesus and shown me that I am valued by God, not because of anything that I've done, but because of His perfect grace and mercy. Radiate has really supplied me with the tools and ability to know how to be in and stay in a relationship with Christ, and really has given me people and leaders around me that I can really love and rely on whenever I need them.

Well, good morning, Church. My name is Eli Laughlin. I'm the high school pastor here. And I have the lovely honor and privilege of walking life with these students for the last four years. Yup. I've watched that video a couple of times this morning. That video is five and a half minutes long. Of just testimony of what God's done. And it started out at nine and a half minutes and church, I wish I wish you could hear some testimonies. I really wish you could have heard last Wednesday, ten different students standing up in front of our younger students preaching the name of Jesus. Three students back-to-back, one of which who lost her mother, one of which who lost her father and one who lost a brother. All standing here saying it's because of the strength of Jesus that we're even here. And so, can we give a round of applause one more time for these young guys? No more emotion. All right. Here we go. Welcome and so glad you guys are here.

Obviously, this is Senior Sunday, and we love our seniors well we want to celebrate them. They're at a pivotal, pivotal moment in life, right, where they're young students, young adults now kind of stepping into the real world of college and some of them even into the workforce or some of them even into the military. And we come to these moments in our life and like seasons, new seasons of life, and they're about to step into the freshness and the newness. Right. Of stuff that they've never done before. Freedoms that they never had. Right. Some of you parents are like, finally, I don't have to go kick them at like 7 a.m. to get up to go to school anymore. It's actually on them. Right. Or I can envision them, like most of them, four weeks without doing any laundry, sniffing some underwear just to make sure it's clean that morning. Right. They're about to step into all of this brand newness. Stepping into college and stepping into this world. But at the same time, for us as adults, we've kind of come through this. We step into new seasons as well.

As I was preparing, I was doing some research for this. I came across an author called Bruce Feiler, and he kind of wrote a book. He's a conservative Christian that has written some moments in some books about new seasons of life. And he says this quote, And it got me really thinking. He says, We go through three dozen life transitions in our life, one every 12 to 18 months. That is more often than most people see a dentist, and I couldn't agree because who likes to go to the dentist? Right. Like, I don't. I hate it. But we go through these seasons of life and these transitions, whether it's from middle school to high school, high school to college, right. Or even college to young adults. And now you're really in the freedoms of the real world, right? Or how about like being single that now married, like hello? Like isn't that a season, right? Like, I'll never forget waking up in Cancun next to a lady. I was like, whoa, this is a good season, right? But you step into the newness of brand-new life or, you know, married to now having a kid. Right. You have this. I'll never forget the day that my daughter pooped on my arm, and it was like a new. Here we go. New seasons of life, right? The newness of everything that's going on or they're not always all positive.

Sometimes we go through seasons of good and seasons of bad, right? And sometimes we go through seasons of sober seasons of addiction. Addiction to sober back and forth, from job to laid off, from married to divorce. And we walk through these brand-new seasons, and I want to look through scripture this morning of Joshua chapter one. If you turn there with me this morning, we're going to be camped out in the first chapter of Joshua. And you're going to see a couple of different transitions here this morning. You're going to see the Israelites about to get the promise that God has given them over the last 40 years into the promised land he's about to walk them through. But you also see this transition of Joshua from kind of an aide to Moses as a main leader to now he's leading a nation and he's a brand-new leader from almost intern, if you will, to pastor. Have been there done that before but you see these new transitions of life and kind of made me think and I want to give us four takeaways this morning on how to navigate transition or how to navigate new seasons with this. And so, if you have a Bible turn to Joshua, chapter one, we're going to be in verse one and two. I'm going give us a couple of points this morning. It says this After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses' aide. Moses, my servant is dead. Now, I don't know about you, but when I read Scripture, sometimes it's just interesting how the Bible puts things, right? There is no like rhyme or reason. There is no explanation. God comes to Joshua is like, by the way, that respected leader that is led everybody, the nation of Israel for 40 years. Yeah, he died right? I’m kind of like, what?

Like if I was Joshua, I'd be like, oh, okay. Right. Like, there's this new season of life where now the old generation, the new generation, the awesome, respected leadership to now brand-new leadership, right? I want to describe it like this, because point number one for this morning is the past is the past, right? Now, I don't know about you, but I like some movies. There's a famous movie and there's always this one character, right? If you care. I'm kind of nervous to say this because I don't know if this will translate, but I'll explain it. There's a character called Uncle Rico. Anybody know who Uncle Rico is or what movie it's from? Yes. My man right here does. Okay. Uncle Rico is a character from a movie that is stuck in his past, and he often says quotes like, back in '82 I could throw a pigskin a mile long, right? Or, Hey, man, if Coach just would have put me in the state championship, I swear we would have been state champions. I promise. Right. Uncle Rico is like that guy that peaked really, really, really early in high school or college, but, like, never got over it, right? Like, still wears his letterman jacket. Like, all throughout the movie. He has, like a tripod with, like, an old school camera, and he's like, out in the field, like, throwing a football, right? Because he's still stuck in his past, you know? And like, for you, students, we're about to walk in the newness, like, you're no longer a child, you're no longer a high school student. You're walking into this newness of life. Right. And it's this awesome, beautiful picture that God has given Joshua, that there is no longer the past, but now it's completely the future of what God has promised. And He's trying to give this picture that your past doesn't define you. Like you've got to think about it. Joshua was Moses' aid. He would have walked and talked. He would have kept his calendar. He would have been with them step by step along the way.

And could you imagine if God had called Joshua into this and he was still stuck in his past, he would have looked at himself as just Moses' aid. And God's looking at Joshua and trying to build him up in this moment and said, Your past doesn't define you. And we know this biblically. 1 John 1:9 we all know this. If you've been in Bible drills. It says, we confess their mouth or if we confess our sin, he's faithful and just and will forgive us of our sin and he'll purify of all this unrighteousness. And I find this a lot of times, adults and students. And when we talk, we know the biblical truth as believers in Jesus. We know that God and we love to talk about God's forgiveness, God's love and all that is really great. We know that good stuff. But every once in a while, like a catch a kid or I catch an adult that knows God has forgiven them, but they've kind of held their self-captive and like won't forgive their self. And here's what I'll say. You know, we messed up as parents a lot of times, like Amen, I'm new parent myself. Man, the first time I really realized this, how do I say this politically? First time you raised your voice at your child, right? We won't say we lost our temper, or we won't say we yelled or screamed. We'll say we raised our voice. And I'll never forget the first time with my daughter that I raised my voice and she looked at me and almost started crying and poked her lip out. I was like, Oh, you loser. Like it was in that moment where it was like, man, like, I am conflicted. Like, what have I done? You know? And for three days, like inside of me, it just ate me up.

Or it's like, I know that I have forgiveness and Jesus, I know after getting some wrongdoings, but I haven't forgiven myself, you know? And there's the seasons, whether you have had a rough past, or your sins have had some negative consequences in your life, or some of us have just held ourselves captive over this, that like we can't forgive us. God's forgiveness, He's forgiven everything. Paul says it like this Philippians chapter three verses 12 through 14. Not that I've already obtained all this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold, of which Christ Jesus took hold of me, he says this, brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it, but underline this, underline, highlight this. But one thing I do is forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead. I press on towards a goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Could you imagine with me for a moment, Paul, the guy that persecuted Christians, that killed Christians, that was a murderer. Could you imagine if he allowed his past to define him? Could you realize when he met Jesus in Damascus Road and his eyes were open and he realized how much God absolutely loved him that brought him out of that. Could you imagine if he was just like, Yeah, but I've done this in my past. Yeah, but this has defined me. Everybody knows me. If I walk into this city like, everybody will look at me and go, Oh, isn't that Paul who wants to kill us? But it's this moment and this time in our lives that our past doesn't define us. But we also see this beautiful picture, too, that while our past doesn't define us, there's a moment in our life where we can look back at our past and learn and then come on. Right.

Like we can look back at our past, see what Scripture doesn't tell you about these two verses, as there would have been a 30-day mourning period over Moses's death. Could you imagine the celebration over a leader that was respected, that was renowned, and here he passed away. And Joshua would have had had all of this time to look back on his life to remember who Moses was. And I want to give you a couple little quick things, because Moses' life is this beautiful picture. A couple quick snapshots like what would have Joshua look back at in his life, at Moses' life? Because he was his aide. He would have seen everything. Like if I could give you three little things. What would he look like? What would his life look like? He looks back and see that Moses met and spoke with God on the regular. There are so many times for Moses who retreat outside of the camp, and he would go into this tent where he would literally meet face to face with God. And here, Joshua, being his aide, would have stood right outside of that tent. He would have seen over and over again how Moses would take and go up to the mountain and retreat to go meet with God personally. He had been right along there. He would have seen it take place. He would look back and remembered Moses' life and go, man. That guy met and spoke with Jesus. That guy met and spoke with God for me and for your life. He met and spoke with God so much. That leads to point two, he would look back and he would have realized that Moses desired to be in the presence of God.

Read with me in Exodus 33. If you don't have these three verses underlined, highlighted, I would encourage you. This is so good, the Lord replied. Talking with Moses, he says, My presence, God's presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Somebody needs to hear that this morning. God will go with you, and He'll give you rest, just like He's about to give the Israelites. Then Moses said to him, If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. I mean, this is such a beautiful picture. While the Israelites were in bondage of slavery to Egypt. Moses is having a conversation with God going, God, if your presence isn't in it, then I don't want to go anywhere. Despite any circumstances that are around me, anything that I'm going through, it can be really hard. We could be in the bondage of slavery, but if your presence isn't there, I don't want nothing to do with it. Don't make me move. It keeps going. How will anybody know that you're pleased with me and with your people, unless you go with us? And highlight underline this. What else will distinguish me and your people from all other people on the face of the earth, other than the presence of God? Moses is looking at God going, God, you are the changing force. You are the factor that's completely different in my life and your people's life. What other factor will distinguish us from other human beings if your presence doesn't go with us?

And then the Lord says to Moses. I will do the very thing that you've asked because I'm pleased with you, and I know you by name. Man Isn't it such a comfort that Joshua to look back on Moses' life and realize that he was in the presence of God, that he yearned for the presence of God? Do we yearn for that same presence every day in our walk in this world? When we meet with government, get in our prayer closet alone and we're just with God going, God, I want to be in your presence. I want to commune with you. I want to talk with you. I want you to guide me. I want you to lead me despite any of my circumstances. I don't care what's going on around me. I don't care how bad it is. I don't care how turbulent it is. I just want to be in your presence. And then the last thing and I love this one, Joshua will look back on Moses' life, and he would have seen the provision that Moses had for the next generation. Now we don't have time to kind of go back and look. But if you look back in Numbers, chapter 27, Moses’ kind of realizes he's having a conversation with God. He realizes that he's not going to be the guy to lead his people into the land that God had already promised. And so, he's talking with God like, all right, God, give me somebody. Who is it that's going to lead? And he's like, hey, it's Joshua. And so, in Numbers 27, God speaks to Moses about Joshua. And so, he takes Moses. He brings him in front of the right councils and the right people, and he puts him there and goes, This is going to be your leader. Then in Deuteronomy chapter 31, he does the same thing when he's addressing the people. He looks at him goes, I'm not the one that's going to be leading you in the Promised Land. But here's the guy that's going to. And what a comfort it would have been for Joshua to look back at that and realize, like, Moses has been a man of God. He spoke with God. He yearned for the presence of God. And that same guy is building me, molding me and shaping me and growing me. Students. My heart for you over these last four years. Look back and see how this church, this community has built you, has grown you, and it's pointed you to Jesus. When it looks rough, when you're in a season of life in college, because we've all been there when you're just down. Your grades might be good and you're not making the right decisions. Look back on your past and be reminded of how God has already worked through you and in those people's life to point you to Jesus. All right.

We've got to keep going. Keep going. If we read in Joshua chapter two, so shows up on scene. God's like, Hey, Moses is dead. Joshua, you're up. And so he goes, then and verse two, Now, then you and all these people get ready to cross the Jordan into the land. I'm about to give them, the Israelites. Now, I've titled this The transition is turbulent. I don't know how many of you have been on planes before. Right. But there's many, many times, right, where the captain comes over and says, we're going through some turbulence. Put on your seatbelt, please. Nobody get up. Right. And I've almost kind of gotten to a point where I've ignored it. Anybody else? Like maybe it's just me and I don't put my seatbelt on, I kind of feel like a little bit of a rebel, right? And I'm like, I'll show you. But here's why. It's because, like, 99.9% of the time, like the turbulence is like this very small pocket of like weather in the sky where it gets a little bit rocky. But, you know, you're eventually going to come through on the other side, right. And we've been conditioned that like, you know, something bad is going to happen or whatever it may be. And the whole transition for some of us, like when we're going through new seasons of life. Like sometimes we hit these patches, we hit these rocky parts. And I can only imagine Joshua standing in front of the Jordan River. And it's not the same Jordan River that Pastor Matt and some of these guys got baptized in a month ago. This is like a whole different river at this point. It's flood season. It would have been a mile long. It would've been anywhere from 3 to 12 foot deep, and it would have rushing water. Now, I had to call out someone in 8:15 service. But he's not in this one. I don't know if you like know what rushing water does to human beings, but it's scary, man. Like, I had the honor and privilege of taking his kids to the Ocoee River for about 15 years now. And I've literally seen like, white rushing water make a grown man cry, right? Like he thought he was going to die. Like, I'm not even joking. Because when you show up on the scene, you show up at the Ocoee river. Like water is rampant, rushing. It's like waterfall. There's, like, mist, the water. And it's like. There's a lot of noise. And you're looking at it and you're going, Wow, if I fall into that thing, I'm done, right. And I can only imagine, Joshua, looking at the Jordan River as it's absolute rush and as it's overflowing. He's got a nation behind him, right? That God's like, Hey, you're about to lead these people over it. I would have looked at the river and been like, over where? You see, I don't even see the other side.

Matter of fact, we don't have any boats. There's no fleet. It'll take another 50 to 100 years to make enough ships in order to cross it. We don't have the technology to build bridges. What are you talking about? Like, why in the world would you put me in this position? The first thing in my leadership and we've hit a real rough patch here. God, look what's going on. And there's often times in seasons in our life where we question God, like God, what about this situation? Why this transition? Why is it rocky? Why is it bumpy? Well, I love this hard. Truth is that God doesn't always lead us to a place of convenience and comfortability. If you look all through scripture, if you look at the disciples, you look at the Old Testament, God doesn't promise us this beautiful rainbow and like flowers and all this beautiful stuff. Matter of fact, it's quite the opposite. Like many, many times, like we have to go through things in life that push us, and grow us, and shape us and mold us. You're like, Oh, that's not fair. Well, let me tell you why. Why in the world would God lead us through some troubled waters? For us to rely upon God. Moses or Joshua would have walked through the wilderness for 30 or 40 years. Up to this point, he would have wandered with his people. He would have seen the destruction of God's people disobeying. And they would have wandered 40 years in the wilderness. And Joshua would have grown up in this. And here he is. He's at a headway. And he's about to cross the Jordan River.

He sees a way out of no way. And the first thing that God's trying to implement into his life is you have to rely upon me. Joshua, you can't do this thing alone. You can't part the waters. You can't make the people go across. You can't give them protection, guidance and provision. Joshua, it's right now. It's me or nothing. You got to rely upon me. Another reason why we go through troubled waters is to see God's deliverance. Have you ever realized that sometimes, like, we go through some things in our life and God brings us out on the other side fairly well? Right? And other people see that. And go, I have absolutely no idea how you handled that. I couldn't imagine what you're going through. Like, tell me why. It's like, man, I've got faith in Jesus. I mean, I have to see the other side. Everything may not be good right now. But God brought me through it and I'm standing on the other side because of it. Sometimes we go through things in life, not for us. But for other people to see the goodness and the greatness of God. And the last one, I think the hardest one for us today. Why does God lead us to troubled waters? Because he wants to test us. He wants to test her faith. You would see over and over again how God would test the Israelites. God would test Moses. And here's the thing. If you're anything like me, I was a C student. Come on. Right. Like we get degrees, baby. All right? Nobody cares. Nobody sees it on the other side. It's all good. And I am not ashamed of it. Right. But tests have these, like, negative connotations sometimes. And, like, I would know this off the bat. Like, any time I'd go into a test, like I already would be, like, I'm going to fail it, right?

Because I'm like, I just had that anxiety build up. I knew I wasn't the smartest dude. I had like some severe ADHD if you can't even tell, right? Like I'm one thing, the next thing, the next thing, right? So, I may be like, question one, two and three. And then I'm thinking and the next thing you know, 20 minutes goes up. And then the teachers like, by the way, turn your tests in, and I'm like, I'm not done right. And we have this anxiety about testing. And nobody wants to talk about Job, right? When the enemy comes to God and he looks at him and says, Hey, how about you give me somebody to test? And God gives up Job and says, Hey, look, I love Job. Job loves me. I know him intimately. I know him passionately. Here you go, test Job. Because at the end of this, I know he comes out faithful to me. I know it's hard reality, but God tests our faith. Why? To grow us, to mold us, and to shape us. To correct us where we need to be corrected. To give us praise where we need to get praise. All through our life, God will put tests and trials in our life. And we kind of as Christians, we get this notion like if we come to church all the time, we read her Bible and we pray and like maybe even teach a Sunday school class, like everything will be okay, right? And then like the problem, the rock hits you know, and like this arrogance of like, hey, God, oh, I don't deserve this, right? Why am I going through this? Why is there still troubled water? Rather than like, hey, guys, put a test in front of us to see if we're faithful to him or not. It's a harsh reality. All right. I know we've been pretty dark, pretty grim, but we're about to get different. Okay. Point number three, the future is bright students. The future is bright for you guys. It's going to be awesome. It's going to be fun. Here's what it says in Joshua one verses three and four, and I love this. He says, hey, Joshua, Moses is dead. Get ready. You're about to cross the Jordan. And he says this I will give you every place where you set your foot as I promised Moses, your territory will extend from the desert of Lebanon to the Great River Euphrates, to the Hittite country, the great sea of the West.

God looks at Joshua and is like, Hey, buddy, by the way, you can't do this without me. You're going to have to rely on me. But guess what? The future is completely bright. Here's why. Because I'm going to be with you, Joshua. One chapter one, verse five says this No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life as I was with Moses. So, I will be with you. I will never leave you or never forsake you. He's standing in front of Joshua, going, Listen, it's by my purpose and my plan that my people are going to take this land and I'm going to flourish you through it. You're going have a bright future because I'm going to be with you every step of the way. He keeps going. Not only will he be with you, but he will also make you succeed. Now, students, I cannot promise you you'll have success in the sense of you'll make bank and drive a Land Rover. Okay, I can't promise that to you. But here's what God will promise to us with success. Joshua, one verses six through eight. He says, Be strong and courageous because you will lead people to inherit the land. I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong, be very courageous. Then he says, this highlight. Underline the rest of this. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you. Do not turn from it to the right or to the left that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this book the law, depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do anything written. Then he gives the caveat. Then, you will be prosperous and successful. Now we have so miscued this world and to think success is all about money and things that we can give and how great we are at our job. I mean, I would love to look back at my life and these students' life and go, man, how successful were we in following Jesus? How successful were we to keep his commands? And look back at the law and go. my heart yearns to not turn to the right or to the left, to follow this world. But God, I want to follow you. I want to follow your ways and your path for my life. Students, can I tell you, you're about to walk into one of the most tempting seasons of your life.

I know you feel like you're already there. But it gets a whole lot harder. And this world's going to throw every single thing it possibly can at you in order to turn you to the left or turn you to the right. My prayer for you this morning is that you meditate on this word, that you fall in love with this word that you so yearn for the presence of God that is so rich in your life that it doesn't matter what direction somebody throws something that to you like. Nothing is better than following Jesus. Because that's what Josh was saying here to all the people and God saying to him. The last one. He provides rest. Now I love this. Joshua 1:13 says this. Remember the command that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you: The Lord, your God is giving you rest. He's granted you this land. Man, I love this. If you do any research upon this, it would have taken anywhere from 11 to about 13 days for them to walk from Egypt to exactly where they're standing right in front of the Jordan River. And in that 11-to-12-day span that they would have walked it. They ended up wandering for forty years because they disobeyed God. In 40 years of picking up camp, having to move it. Finding resources. Finding food. Supporting their family. Complete hardship. God looks at him goes despite all of that and you disobeying me, I'm still going to provide for you. I'm still going to give you food. I'm still going to sustain you. And I'm finally going to give you rest by giving you exactly what I promised you beforehand. You're about to walk into the Promised Land.

Students, you're going to be tired. You're going to be broken. College has a funny way of doing that. Find your rest in Jesus. Adults, you know this all the better. It doesn't get any less busy when you become an adult and have all these responsibilities and duties and kids and running from A to B to C to D. But God promises that He gives you rest in Him. If you follow him. The last point for today. He kind of gives us a careful warning. And I want to give you a little bit of context and we're not going to read it, but I want to read the back half of Joshua, and Joshua gets done with God and God speaks to him and tells him that His plan is for God to move them through and that He's going to be with them. That he's going to take care of them. And the reason that he can be strong and courageous is because it's God's plan and not his plan. And then Joshua immediately goes to the officers of the people. These are the people that the officers represent the people. And he would have sent these officers out into the camp over the next three-day period to tell everybody, hey, prepare because we are moving. We're going to go to the Promised Land. And I want you to listen after Joshua says this. I want you to listen to the response of the officers to Joshua, because it's a very harsh warning, but also pretty good says this in Joshua one verses 16 through 18. Then they answered Joshua, wherever you have commanded us, we will do. Wherever you send us, we will go. Just as we fully have obeyed Moses, which is kind of ironic because their forefathers didn't. So, we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. And He gives him a warning. Whoever rebels against your word, whatever you have commanded them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous. See these officers, these guys also wandered the wilderness for 40 years. They also look back at the past and realize what their forefathers did by disobeying God. And they knew that if they had sin in the camp, that it was likely that they would end up back in some form of wilderness again. And so instead of allowing sin to kind of fester into their life, they said, instead of having that, we're just going to do away with it, because that's how important it is to us. We would rather follow God's plan to be strong and to be courageous because it's God moving us and propelling us forward. But man, if we've got any sort of sin upon our life or in our camp, we've got to get rid of it.

So, this morning is going to look a little bit different. But I want to take a moment as a church, just for a moment. As we prepare to close today. These seniors. Stepping into the new season of life. The whole world at their fingertips, the world pulling them all different directions. I just want to take a brief moment. Church. And I want us to pray over them. I'm. We're going to go Pentecostal. It's all good. Like it's okay to pray out loud. I know we're Baptists. It's okay to lay hands on people. Covid's over. Praise the Lord. Hopefully. But I want us as a church. And I want them to see. That they have a body of believers that come behind them and support them. Because you guys know. The struggles and the hardships that they're about to walk through. And I want us to pray as a church that it doesn't matter what the world will throw at us. That man will be faithful and follow Jesus in his footsteps. Doesn't matter what you're about to walk into. You may be like Joshua. You don't even know. You didn't see the other side. You have no idea what you're going to do with your life. So, okay, God's got a plan. Some of you right here, right now have realized, oh, man, it's about to get real. Well, I have to go off and be by myself and the fears and the anxiety of all that come up. It's okay because you have a church body that's behind you and for you and are going to go to bat with you.

So, this morning, I don't know what this is going to look like. But I want us to just get up and I want us to just lay hands on all these seniors, if you wouldn't mind coming to standing up here on the front of the stage. I want to take a brief moment. As a congregation. To pray over these guys. So, if you feel lead adult in the room, by all means, let us pray for these students.

Father this morning, we pray over these seniors. God, we ask. Father for your protection. Father for your guidance upon their life. Right now. We pray that you steer all temptation away from them. God, that you protect them. In this season. In this moment. Farther at times when they are, they may not be able to see in front of them. God, would you give their plan for their life? Got would you give them a community and a group of students that so passionately loves Jesus that they would push each other closer to you, Lord. God, if they don't have that, I pray that you give them the boldness and the strength and the courage to start their own Bible study. To be the bright, shining light on their dorm room floor. They're suite mate, to the people in their class. God, in the times in the moments in our life, God, when it’s hard. And the world around us is pressing. God, would you just remind them of how much you love them. How much you love us? God, would you give them peace over their life, God, that they can't even understand. Because you go before us Lord. And God, let us not just seniors, but as a congregation, be led by you, Lord. God, we love you and we seek your presence on the daily Lord, guide us and mold us and shape us. Into in the men and women that you've called us to be, Jesus. Father, we love you. God, we give you all the glory. Father, we give you all the honor. In your name we pray. Jesus. Amen



Follow Along with the Message

Navigating Seasons

May 1, 2022


Joshua 1:1
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: Moses my servant is dead.
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Philippians 3:12–14
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

PRINCIPLE: Our past doesn’t us.

When Joshua looked back, he would have seen:

1. Moses meeting and with God.

2. Moses’ to be in the presence of God.

Exodus 33:14–17
14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

3. Moses’ to set the next generation up for success.

When we look back, we would see:

1. God’s .

2. God’s .

Deuteronomy 6:23
But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land that he promised on oath to our forefathers.

3. God’s .


Joshua 1:2
Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them — to the Israelites.

HARD TRUTH: God does not always lead us to places that are or comfortable.

Reasons God leads us through troubled waters:

1. We on God.

2. We are by God.

3. We are by God.


He will…

1. Be you.

Joshua 1:5
No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Joshua 1:9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

2. Make you .

Joshua 1:6–8
6 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

3. Provide .

Joshua 1:13
“Remember the command that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: ‘The Lord your God is giving you rest and has granted you this land.’”

PRINCIPLE: The future is when the light of the world is leading the way.


Joshua 1:16–18
16 Then they answered Joshua, “Whatever you have commanded us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we fully obeyed Moses, so we will obey you. Only may the Lord your God be with you as he was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your words, whatever you may command them, will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous!”

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