All the events of the leaving of Egypt, to the taking of the promised land, are meant to be lessons for us, especially for us of this last days.
I Corinthians 10:11
“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples, and they were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.”
Can God make it any more plain? We are to learn from these stories, especially we of the last days. We need to learn what revival is about, and what we’ll learn as we enter into the conquering life, is that the lessons taught in Joshua were recorded to be teaching instruments for us. They had battles, victories, and claimed God’s promises.
In Joshua chapter 1, we see they were promised:
‘the land which I will give them’ (vs 2)
‘every place that the sole of your feet shall tread upon, that have I given.” (vs 3)
there shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life’ (vs 5)
‘Thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest’ (vs 7)
“shalt make thy way prosperous, and have good success’ (vs 8)
‘Lord thy God is with thee, whithersoever thou goest” (vs 9)
‘the Lord your God hath given you rest” (Vs 10)
‘return to the land of your possession and enjoy it” (vs 15)
God has promised many blessings to us too. We are promised spiritual prosperity, material prosperity in heaven, blessings, revival, success, power over the devil, daily bread, etc. We need strength and courage to claim all that God has promised us.
“Be strong and of good courage.”
“Only be thou strong and very courageous.”
“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage.”
“only be strong and of good courage.’
To enter revival, then and now, we need strength and courage. Weaklings, doubters, hypocrites, double-minded, fearful, cannot claim revival. At best, they get the overflow of others. It takes courage to claim God’s blessings. It takes courage to take on the devil and demons, who are the enemies of God’s people.
‘BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE’
The land was to be divided and given to them as their inheritance, as God had promised (vs 6). They were to prosper and have good success if they obeyed and meditated on the Word (vs 7-8). The Lord would go with them (vs 9). The people who disobey will be punished (vs 18).
God told Joshua three times (vs 6,7, 9) to be strong and of good courage. Then the people agreed and told Joshua that they would (vs 18). There was unity of the people. They were willing to stand behind Joshua.
This is a key to success and revival. The people had repeated what God had commanded. Too often people say things contradictory to what God has been saying.
Leaders can have revival. Moses had revival for 40 years in the desert, even though the crowd around him was bickering, doubting, fearing, complaining.
Joshua and Caleb had revival too. But, not until the people stood and said,
they were not going to be spectators of the revival of the leaders, but wanted it too, did they enter easily into the revival.
The people promised:
‘all thou commandest will we do...’ (Vs 16)
‘wherever you send us, we will go...’ (vs 16)
‘we will listen to you as we did Moses, if God is with you as He was with Moses...’ (Vs 17)
‘...we will punish all rebels’ (vs 18)
It was the lacking of strength and courage that kept the preceding generation in the wilderness for 40 years. By insubordination, the children of Israel had to wander. So, now the next generation promises to punish all that disobey and became discouraged. They had learned a lesson the hard way. Now they promise to be different. The leader they had to give that unity and strength to, was Joshua. Today, it is Jesus, our Captain of the Lord of hosts to Whom we give our devotion and obedience.
If the troops of Israel had like many today, had not punished their own sins,
they would have many troubles. They had revival because they penalized sin. We too, need to take revenge on our own sins, and not look lightly on our failures. The early church punished and rebuked those who strayed into sin. Ephesus is said to ‘canst not bear them who are evil, and thou hast tried them who say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them liars.’
The present day church is scarce on discipline. When it does, it usually is unbiblical. Too often the only discipline in churches is over skirt length, hair length, law obedience, etc.
The church at Berea ‘searched the Scriptures daily’ to see if what Paul was preaching was truth. Few do that kind of thing today. (Acts 17:10-11) Some fear that kind of scrutiny, yet, the result there in Berea was ‘many of them believed’.
Instead today, many accept what they like, and reject what sounds hard and costly. Therefore, not many become real believers in such churches. The present day church fears that preaching an unadulterated message from the Bible will chase people from the church. So, we have churches of ignorant wimps, instead of on fire saints.
Paul told the Corinth church to ‘put away from among yourselves that wicked person.’ I Corinthians 5:13. That one had brazenly sinned and flaunted his sin in the community. In II Corinthians, they had done as Paul had instructed, and that action had brought him to repentance. He was then to be restored to the church. Lack of discipline would have led to him not repenting, and the church would have simply contained sin, and had no revival.
Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead when Peter called forth their sin in public. (Acts 5:3-5, 9) The results of that action, was ‘great fear came upon the church. (Acts 5:11) Also, it says ‘by the hands of the apostles, were many signs and wonders wrought amidst the people.” And also, ‘they were all in one accord’. (vs 12) More happened too, for ‘believers were the more
added to the Lord... multitudes.’ (vs 14) Finally, it says ‘healed everyone’ (vs 16) So, discipline of God, and of the church, brought many miracles.
We are given a command. ‘Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others may fear.” I Timothy 5:20
If we aren’t willing to be strong and of good courage in disciplining the church today, we will have a weak, impotent church. We will wander the wilderness. The rebuke should be Scriptural, and in love. But we must be determined that we will not allow sin and fear to keep us from the promised blessings.
“Moreover, if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault, between thee and him alone, if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church,
but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.’
If we clear up matters with Christians, we can enter into more victory. Most quarrels will be solved by this. Those not solved, can be severed from hindering our revival.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS AND REVIVAL, IS TO BE STRONG AND OF GOOD COURAGE. But all must join in. Moses, Joshua, Caleb, were not alone able
to give Israel the promised land. They had to wait with the fearful in the wilderness, till the multitude were ready to go in and take victory. If the people are weak, scared, apathetic, revival does not come. In fact, revival never just happens. We must be bold enough to seize it.