“I CAN TAKE IT FROM HERE”                    By Pastor YAU

Text: Joshua 1:6-9                                             February 21, 2010.

 

INTRODUCTION:

1)   This was what a man said. The highway that winds around the southern shore of Lake Michigan can be treacherous in the winter. One weekend as we were driving back from Chicago, a buildup of snow and ice slowed down traffic, caused numerous accidents, doubled the driving time. We were relieved as I eased off the expressway onto our final road. It was there, I told my family: Now I can take it from here. Just as I finished the words, our car spun around 360 degrees. As it came to a stop, hearts pounding, we could imagine God saying: “I am not sure.”

2)   This was what God said: “After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ aid: Moses my servant is dead. Now then you and all the people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them.” That was a tremendous task placed squarely on Joshua by God. If Moses couldn’t do it in 40 years wondering in the wilderness, what made Joshua believe that he could do it? Well, here are the words God said to him: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:1-2, 9)

 

WE LOVE TO TAKE CHARGE:

1)   It came as a temptation: “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it, your eye will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5) Wanting to be like God has been the most powerful temptation for men since the Great Fall. We all want to take charge of our own life, our destiny, what we want to do and how to do it. We want to take charge of our lives---no need of God and his interference.

2)   It shows in our nature: Have you seen little children want to be independent from parents and others? They want to go where they want, eat the way they want, crossing the streets without parents holding their hands and other acts of independence from adults. The first words children learn are No! No! (They may pick these up from their Moms.) Some may say there is an up side on trying to be independent and it comes with merits. But most of the mistakes and their terrible consequences come from their trying to take control of their life before they are able to.

3)   It is a double-edged sword: On one side, taking charge of one’s life is a good thing. It means taking responsibility of your own life. It also fits in the growing mode to achieve one’s potentials and develop his/her unique contribution. On the other hand, it may put oneself in unwarranted danger and suffer consequences when the self is insufficient to take charge at all. Many people are tempted to take charge of their life with little or no ability to do so. Many juvenile delinquents suffer much before they were able to make correct and good choices. Some make bad decisions on their marriage, investments, career and other choices and suffer losses of time, resources and their future.

 

CAUTIONS NEED TO BE AWARE:

1)   The problem of pride: “When pride comes, then comes disgrace. But with humility comes wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2) The biggest risk of taking charge of our life is pride: I can do all things, I don’t need anyone or God. How to draw the fine line between taking charge and pride is something each of us have to work on it. Ignore worthy advice and over size self-confidence are signs of serious problems of pride.

2)   What I can and cannot: “Now, O Lord, my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties...So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish right and wrong.” (1 Kings 3:7, 9)This story of the wisest king in human history has taught countless people a very important lesson in taking charge of one’s own life: to know what you can and what you cannot do. This is true wisdom.

3)   You are not like God: Even Satan had successfully fooled Eve to believe that she can do something to become like God. The truth is she had never been like God, not come close. There are things only God has the knowledge and wisdom to know, to deal with and to bring the outcome His way. There are also things only God can have or give that no one has the ability or opportunity to have. To brush God aside in dealing with life is like throwing away the compass when your ship is in an ocean, far away from shore. Once again, King Solomon said, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and He will mark your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) We always need God.

 

WHEN GOD IS IN CHARGE: (Joshua 1:6-9)

1)   God has a mission: “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their fore-fathers.” (1:6) God asked Joshua to be strong and courageous for a reason: God has a mission for him and he needed all the strength and courage from God. Joshua’s life was not just had a purpose, he had the mission from God. If you put mission or purpose on one side and who is in charge on the other side, we all know mission is far more important than who is in control. God gave Joshua a mission not for his personal gain but for the people of Israel, God’s chosen people.

2)   God has a guidebook: “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 to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.” (1:7) God did not just give Joshua a mission, He gave him a guidebook to accomplish His mission. All Joshua and us need to carry out God’s plans in our life is in the Bible, God’s guidebook for all lives. Don’t try to look for other guidebooks or write your own one for your life. God has it all in His book. Don’t leave home without His Book.

3)   God wants commitment: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (1:8)We all want to be successful and prosperous in all the things we do. It is possible to achieve that goal: Make a commitment to learn, meditate and follow the guidebook. God has so much to give to those who are serious in following His guidebook. Commitment is the key.

4)   God’s promise to you: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified, or be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” (1:9)Are there anyone else you would like to have as companion in your life other than God. Who else may know more, do better and love you deeper than God? When God promises to go any where with you, in all the things you do and guide you, protect you and bless all your ways, you certainly don’t need to take charge of your life any more. With God, you can rest your case.

 

CONCLUSION:

1)   He can do better: While we all want to manage our own life and oftentimes, we try and make some progress. But why not ask God to take over and make a promise to follow Him. If He can create the universe and you and me, if He knows all our being, inside out, why can’t we trust Him that He knows the best for us and can bring out the best if we just let Him take over? He is the only way.

2)   He can make you better: If you are honest, you know that you can be better than you are now. But who can make you better except God? Be humble before him and come to him, confess your sins, ask him to forgive you, to enter into your heart and become your Lord and Savior. He will remake your life, give you meaning, future, brighter reason to live and be all you can be as He made you over again.