The Book of Joshua

Chapter Four

Living in the Promised Land


Focus Verse: Joshua 1:9 Lesson Verse: Gal 2:20


I.         Introduction


A.      For 95% of modern Christians, the victorious Christian life is totally UNKNOWN to them. To most of us, being 'nominal' in our walk with God is considered to be 'normal' and anything above that is considered to be abstract, and vague, and even fanatical.

B.       What is about to happen in these two chapters has got to take place before the conquest of the Promised land can begin. For the Christian, these things have to take place before any spiritual battles can be attempted!

C.       Review of Previous Lessons:


1.        Chapter 1 - Preparing to Serve

2.        Chapter 2 - Taking-Up the Challenge

3.        Chapter 3 - Dying to Self (Part 1) The Crossing of the Jordan River


II.       Background - Dying to self will involve two things:


A.      Mortifying your "flesh" - the old nature (Gal 5:24; Col 3:5-8)

B.       Separating yourself from your resulting dead corpse - leaving the old life way behind you, and living the new life in victory!


III.     Lesson - "Dying to Self (Part 2)"


A.      Reckon Yourself to be Dead (Rom 6:11; 4:1-24) - means to make it real FIRST "in your mind" and then you can make it real in your life (Pr 23:7)


1.        Dead to what?


a         Dead to sin's power over your life - it is not 'God' anymore!

b        Dead to your past - Egypt is supposed to be way behind you - leave it for good - let your struggles be the times your way back to the old life are closed, and you only press forward!


2.        To do this you must do two things at each river (great trial) you face:


a         Pull something out from the river - the trial, testing, temptation

b        Bury some things under the river

c         God calls them "Spiritual Memorials" or "Memory-Markers"


1)       The place of God's miraculous work - getting you through!

2)       Marking the place of someone's death (as in a 'tomb-stone')


d        Going through the River will get easier and easier each time if you do these things


3.        Bring something OUT of each Trial


a         Each tribe was to remember this event and mark it with those who went through the same river on dry ground (miraculously)

b        They were to gather large STONES from the midst of the river

c         Those stones would then be constructed into a monument visible for all to see that this thing really happened, that God really did get them through, and God will do the same for every believer!

d        Those stones are things that you must have learned while going through the tribulation, and can never forget!


4.        Leave something back IN each trial


a         The stones you leave back there in the midst of the trial are things that need to be buried - you are not going to forget them (you will know they are there), but you will know that they are STILL there - they don't belong in the new life you have now!!!

b        Examples would include: spiritual failures, personal failures, disasters, heartaches, sorrows - all need to be buried, and left in the times of struggle!


5.        Let the trial close the way back - no turning back. The Christian application can be found in:


a         Romans 6:4-14; Matt 16:24,25

b        If you want to follow Jesus, there needs to be that level of commitment that is marked in your life by a memorial that says, you have come this far, and you are not going back

c         EX of a mountain climber using spikes that he or she uses to climb to the next step - once they have climbed up a step, they remove the spike and never go back, only forward!


6.        Reason for memorials, "memory-markers" - to be a sign (4:6,7):


a         To your children (4:6,7)

b        To the world (4:24)

c         To yourself - to remind you to stay humble before He who never fails you, and will always get you through every trial!


7.        Where the memorial came from (4:8) - from deep in the river. No memorials are meaningful on the easy path - only in the darkest valleys, and deepest rivers are memorials forged!


a         So, just as being "born again" involves a person dying…

b        Having victory over the flesh, the world, and the Devil involves dying again, as here. Some of us Christians need to die again, and again, and again!


B.       Enjoy the Process of Maturity (4:10-13) - the priests stood and watched it all happen before their eyes!


1.        In the process of the death of your flesh you will have the opportunity to be able to enjoy two things:


a         The fulfillment of the promises and miracles of God.

b        Your own daily spiritual walk and experiences.


2.        Make the event COUNT (mean business with God) - set your focus ahead, not behind you

3.        Prepare for war! NOW you are getting ready to fight!


C.       Walk in the Newness of Life (4:14-24). After you are dead, the following things should take place:


1.        Joshua/Jesus is magnified in your life (Phlp 1:20)

2.        Joshua/Jesus is feared by you! (2 Cor 5:9,11) - great respect

3.        You let God shut the door to the way back - He closed the river

4.        You leave the river behind you and start conquering - you can now engage the enemies of your life (2 Cor 10:4,5; Eph 6:10-18).

5.        You become a witness to others around you (4:21-24), always ready and willing to tell people what God did, and what He still does in the lives of His people!


IV.    Conclusion


A.      Notes: The significance of this spot at the Jordan river


1.        Crossing of Israel into the Promised Land

2.        Elijah stopped the river at this same spot and crossed over dry land as well (II Kings 2:6-8)

3.        Elisha did the same thing here (II Kings 2:12-14)

4.        John the Baptist baptized here (Matt 3:6) for the following reasons:


a         To get Israel to return to their starting point as a great nation.

b        to get them to "DIE" in preparation for the Gift of life (Jesus)


5.        Jesus was baptized here - marking the start of His ministry (Mt 3:13).


B.       Lesson Principles


1.        What you can do by nature, is NOT spiritual, it is CARNAL!

2.        You are never going to get real victory in your life until you DIE.

3.        Dying to self involves giving-up what you want to do and letting God show you what to do.

4.        You are never going to die to self's control until you step out by faith right into the middle of the river Jordan (which represents 'trouble').


C.       Questions


1.        Joshua commanded that the children of Israel take some things out of the middle of the river-bed. What were they? ___________________

2.        What did Israel make there by the river? _______________________

3.        What was the purpose for what Israel made at the edge of the river? ________________________________________________________

4.        Joshua then went down into the river-bed and made something. What was it he made? __________________________________________

5.        This location where the River dried up was also where three other people crossed, and did some wonderful things. Name one of the people: ____________________________________________________