The Deliverance Ministry
DELIVERANCE FROM DISCOURAGEMENT
Joshua 1:7 “Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go.”
Several times the Lord tells Joshua to be strong and very courageous, for this is a critical time in the life of Joshua, and the Lord is ministering to him personally, to keep him from getting discouraged by the circumstances that he is presently facing and those which he will be facing later.
We need to remember that discouragement is a spirit, and we do not fight spirits with physical weapons, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, we fight spirits with the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, and that is how we overcome them.
Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law (the Word of God) shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
God tells Joshua that His Word, which He gave the Israelites through Moses, is an indispensable weapon that he needs to use and maintain continuously in order to overcome the spirit of discouragement.
How do you fire this weapon? With your mouth! Watch what you say!
We are to meditate in His Word day and night, that is how we keep our spiritual weapons clean and loaded, and we are to fire it every time that we come under attack from the enemy.
If the spirit of discouragement has a favorite meal, the spirit of death would be it, for discouragement feeds on dead things like worms do.
Joshua 1:2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.”
Death always brings change with it, and change is something that we naturally mistrust, for with change comes another opportunity for us to fail, and in our relationship with God, having a new opportunity to fail God again in a different way, is not something that we welcome.
God simply tells Joshua with five little words that, Moses My servant is dead, and with that simple, yet very powerful statement, He tells Joshua that it is time to move one and to, Arise, go over this Jordan.
God is basically telling Joshua not to be afraid to cross that river that stands between him and God’s promises, and to not let the spirit of discouragement keep him from fulfilling God’s destiny for his life.
From Joshua’s experience we can learn that he had plenty of opportunities to be discourage, when God took Moses to the mountain top for forty days, Joshua was kept out in no man’s land, while the children of Israel that stayed back and fell into idol worship.
It is very difficult for us humans to deal with the reality of not belonging, for what we are a part of, is what helps us to identify with who we are as a person. Joshua was in a transition period for many years, kept there by God until the day came when he was to step into the new order of things that God had prepared him to fulfill.
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Perhaps the most difficult part for us to understand when we are in the midst of no man’s land, spiritually speaking, is that we are still part of the purpose and will of God, not only for our lives, but even within the will and greater purpose that Jesus has for His church.
There are so many things changing right now that it is impossible for me to enumerate them all, but it is this change that is taking place right now, that is discouraging so many Christians today.
We are living witnesses of the demise of western civilization. We are witnessing the death of the institution of marriage, and we are witnessing the death of the godly principles that the martyr’s of the Gospel of Jesus Christ died to secure for us. Life has become a choice as well as gender.
Many churches have fallen prey to the gospel of conformity, so that the spiritual life of many churches has been drained out, leaving many of the faithful within those churches to ask this question, Where has the Spirit gone? Death and change seem to be the only certainty.
In order for us not to get discourage we need to keep all that is going on right now within the context of the Word of God. Remember that God promised Abraham four hundred years earlier the land that they were about to enter, and God also told Abraham that the iniquity of the inhabitants of the land had not reached its peak at that time, so that his descendants would have to wait for their inheritance before they could enter and possess the land of promise.
Genesis 15:13/16 “...Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs (Egypt), and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years...But in the fourth generation they shall return here (the land promised to Abraham), for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
So that God’s timing precedes everything, way before Moses was born, and before Joshua was born, and before whatever circumstance arose that Joshua was facing, God had already set up the time and date for their conquest to begin four hundred years earlier.
Had Joshua concentrated on the facts that his circumstances presented him with, he would have had reasons to be discouraged. But God was there to remind him to keep his eyes on the Word of God, for therein lay the promises of a God who cannot lie.
2 Timothy 3:1-4 “ But know this, that in the last days perilous (times of stress) times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
But know this: Can you hear the certainty with which Paul makes this statement about our present day condition? It helps us to know that whatever it is that is going on right now, God knew what it would be like thousands of years before it came to pass.
Let us ask ourselves a few questions in regards as to what is going on today, and let us see if we can answer them within the context of what God said would take place, and what took place during the days of Joshua.
Is the world as a whole and society in particular going through a radical change right now for the worst? Yes it is.
Did God say that it would happen like this at the end of time? Yes He did.
Is there a reason why God is letting the moral fibers of society to become undone? Yes there is.
Why is God letting those things that kept us together for centuries all of the sudden become undone? Have we reached the point of conclusion?
Our prayer emphasis has been for the unity of the Spirit, the more united that we become in the Spirit in our prayers, the stronger that we are at restraining the power of lawlessness.
It is my belief that true Christianity does not slack in prayer in the face of discouraging news, it is the opposite, the more bad news that we hear, the greater our prayer emphasis becomes, for we know that the more that sins abound, the more that the grace of God abounds as well, so that we do not give up in our praying no matter what.
I’ve then reached the conclusion that the reason why the power of lawlessness seems to be increasing it is because we are within reach of the point of conclusion, the event horizon, the point of the end.
If that is the case, the death of Moses before Joshua lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land, can be likened to the death of our Judeo-Christian values before our Joshua, Jesus, leads us into our Promised Land, the resurrection and rapture of the body of Christ.
Isn’t it amazing that from Christianity’s point of view death does not lead into depression but into salvation? For us Christians, natural death is welcome for as stated within His promises, Absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, so that as we are witnessing the death of everything that is near and dear to us, be it civil or moral, religious or traditional, the things that are dying, be it good or bad, can only mean one thing for us Christians, our blessed hope is nearer than we think.
Here is the last will and testament of Moses, the servant of God, before He died and blessed the children of Israel with these promises.
Deuteronomy 33:26-29 “There in no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides the heavens to help you, and in His excellency on the clouds. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, ‘Destroy!’ Then Israel shall dwell in safety, the fountain of Jacob alone, in a land of grain and new wine; His heavens shall also drop dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall summit to you, and you shall tread down their high places.”
Here are some promises that will keep us from getting discouraged no matter what changes we are going through right now.
Who rides the heavens to help you.
We can count on His spiritual help; just this week I saw on the news how Christians are being killed and persecuted in the Middle East, and how their places of worship and homes are being burned, I saw this Christian priest forced face down to the ground before he was beheaded, and I thought to myself, what a great honor this man was given, it humbled me to the core, how God allows some of His servants to die a martyr’s death, I could just hear the cheers from heaven as he was welcome into the joy of our Lord and given a place of honor among those who have died for the faith, like apostles and prophets of old.
It touched me because every night my wife and I pray for those who are being persecuted for the sake of the Gospel, and in my prayer I always pray that God would give His strength to those whom He has called to give their life as an offering to God, seeing this man, not resisting but peaceful, encouraged me to know that God always answers our prayers.
The eternal God is your refuge.
In the natural, those killed and those persecuted and tortured for the sake of the Gospel, might be viewed by unspiritual people as unfortunate or disadvantaged, but what does the Word of God say?
Hebrews 13:6 “So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’”
Our time here on this earth is temporary, our refuge in God is eternal!
Happy are you, O Israel.
Happy people are people who are not discouraged. For their happiness is based on the eternal promises of God that do not change with the circumstances.
The shield of your help and the sword of your majesty!
Remember how God told Joshua that, This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, well, the shield of our help is the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the breastplate of righteousness which cover and protect our vital parts, but we have also been given a majestic sword, and this is an offensive weapon, which we can use to execute against our spiritual enemies the will of God, to tread down and subdue the strongholds of the enemy, with the words that proceed out of our mouths, as we enforce the Word of God over our enemies.
Psalm 149:6-9 “Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment—this honor have all His saints. Praise the Lord!”
Once we understand that if we are in the will of God, whether we are called to martyrdom, suffering, or to triumph over our enemies, it does not matter what the circumstances are, as long as we believe that we are within the will of God for our lives, no discouragement can afflict us.
Nations may fall, they may rise, or nothing may end up taking place after all, it does not really matter, as long as we know that our God is in total and complete control of whatever situation we might be facing, we have peace and the assurance of His promises for us who believe.
Joshua 1:5 “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Go into God’s spiritual bank today, and in the name of Jesus deposit some of these promises, for they will suffice to cover for whatever debt or lack you may have that is causing you to be discouraged.
Just remember that whatever situation you are facing today will pass, but the promises of God, they endure forever.