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Defeat: The Fear of Failure | Dr. David Jeremiah | Joshua 1:2-9

If god commands you to do it, he’s obligated to help you do it. His commandments are his enablements.
I cannot imagine god saying, Jeremiah, I want you to do this, but I’m not gonna help you, see if you can make it work.
No, no, that’s not the message we heard today, is it?
God promises in every situation I will be with you.
And when he calls you or me to anything, whether it’s difficult or easy, whether it’s a challenge close at home or far away.
If god has called you, he is obligated to help you and I’m here to tell you, after all these years, he has never ever failed me.
Let me tell you this in this in this way. Listen to me.
If you will do what god has called you to do, hear me now.
He will always show up. He will always show up when you need him. He’ll be there with you.
He will never leave you. He won’t forsake you. You can count on it.
There is no greater adventure you can ever get involved in than doing what god calls you to do and just waiting to see how he’s gonna show up and help you do it.
Although he was the leading Democrat, of his time, and everyone thought he was certain to become the next president of the United States.
Linden Baines Johnson failed to become president at that time because he could not get the nerve to give his backers the final okay that they needed to get him nominated.
While he was trying to summon the courage to give the final go ahead, John F Kennedy got ahead of him, gained the momentum, got the nomination, and then was elected as the president.
And those who studied Lyndon Johnson’s life tell us that his loss of the White House was due to his fear of failure.
When he was a teenager, his very wealthy father had lost his entire fortune, and Lyndon Johnson was reduced from a very popular rich kid to the brunt of all the jokes at his high school.
He was paralyzed when he was given the opportunity to run for president by a fear of failure, a fear that he would end up like his father.
And he was so afraid of failure that he wouldn’t give his backers permission to actually make him the nominee and his fear of failure became a self fulfilling prophecy.
And while he ultimately became the president at a later time, At this particular time he was paralyzed by fear.
A person who is afflicted with fear of failure considers the possibility of failing so intense that he chooses not even to take the risk, I’ve known people, and you have too, who who are so afraid of failing, they could not possibly succeed.
In fact, in the Bible, there are over 200 people mentioned about whom it is said they were afraid.
And I’m not talking about peripheral characters. I’m talking about main players in the biblical narrative.
And the fear of failure in the Bible shows up especially in what we refer to as the call narratives of the Bible.
I know that’s a new term, and I’m gonna explain to you what it means.
A call narrative is a section of scripture in which god calls a person to do a particular task or to accept a particular assignment.
And so, uh, they call these passages, call narratives, narratives about the call of god.
And there are some very famous ones, especially in the Old Testament.
What happens during a call narrative is pretty routine. It goes like this.
The encounter takes place between god and this person, not in some some spiritual place, but in the routine of life, for instance, uh, it happened to Moses while he was tending sheep.
And it happened to Gideon while he was threshing wheat. And it was sudden. There’s no advanced notice.
All of a sudden, out of nowhere, god speaks to this and and gives them a calling to a specific assignment.
And then the calling is followed almost without exception by objections from the person and to do what god wants them to do.
Can they get a witness? Let me give you a couple of illustrations.
God called Moses, to lead his people out of the bondage they found themselves in in Egypt.
And when god called Moses to do that, here was Moses’s response, exodus 3111410.
Who am I that I should go to pharaoh and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?
Oh my lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.
Lord, you got the wrong man. I’m not the right guy. It happened to Gideon.
The Bible says that god called Gideon to go up against the fortresses of the midianites, and and to win the battle against Israel’s enemies.
And when god called Gideon, here’s what Gideon said. Judges 615. Oh my lord.
How can I save Israel?
Indeed, my clan is the weakest in Manasa, and I am the least in my father’s house.
Lord, you got the wrong man.
And then there’s my namesake, Jeremiah, god called Jeremiah to be his prophet.
Listen to how Jeremiah responded. He said, then, said, I, oh, lord god.
Behold, I cannot speak for I am a youth.
Lord, I’m too young with God I could still use that as an excuse.
Each of these stories provides an opportunity for us to see just how god responds to our fears and our weaknesses.
And nowhere is god’s concern for his fearful servant more evident than in the way that he prepared Joshua to lead the children of Israel after the death of Moses.
In this record, which is given to us in the first chapter of the book of Joshua, all of the principles that are scattered throughout the other call narratives come together in an organized step by step strategy for dealing with the fear of failure in our lives.
Now, let me set the stage for this story in Joshua.
This is what we call a transition passage.
There’s a transition going on between Moses and Joshua up to the first chapter of Joshua’s about Moses Now, it’s gonna be about Joshua.
In fact, the first verse of Joshua chapter 1 reads like this, after the death of Moses, the servant of the lord, God spoke to Joshua saying Moses, my servant is dead.
God came to Joshua, and he said to Joshua, you know that Moses has died, and you may be wondering who’s going to take his place, while I would like to make this announcement, I have chosen you.
Joshua, you are the one to follow Moses as the leader of the people of Israel.
Now, this was an amazing moment for this man, Joshua.
In order to understand the magnitude of it, you have to get your arms around the greatness of Moses.
Moses was perhaps the greatest man who had ever lived.
The Jewish people revere him in the same way that they revere Abraham.
Moses, the emancipator of the people of Israel from Egypt.
The Bible tells us that Moses had a relationship with god unlike anyone else you read about in the scripture, Exodus 3311 says that the lord spoke to Moses face to face as a man speaks to his friend.
Someone said Moses and God were tight. So how would you like to have been Joshua?
Joshua, you have to follow this great icon of Jewish history and be the new leader of the Jewish people.
And this was not going to be an easy task, even had Moses survived these days.
You see, the people of Israel had been taken out of Egypt where they had been in bondage for 400 years.
They had then wandered through the wilderness in order to fulfill god’s, uh, punishment for their disbelief And now they were on the threshold of going into the land of Kanan, which was filled with people who were, who were strong militarily who knew how to fight wars and who had a reputation of being cruel people, uh, who took advantage of others.
And the people of Israel did not have a military bone in their body.
They’d had some minor skirmishes in the wilderness but to go up against the canaanites, they were totally ill prepared for that.
And the word had come back from canaan that the people in the land were people of gigantic, uh, height and strength.
In fact, it’s the only place in the Bible up to this point where we even hear of any kind of military, uh, armament Joshua was 1716, says all the canaanites dwell in the land of the valley, and they have chariots of iron.
So here are these israelites totally unprepared with no military experience at all about to go into a land, and they are going to get killed if god doesn’t do something.
The Bible tells us that the people in Canon lived in walled cities. Remember, the walls of Jericho.
And the Bible also tells us that up until this time, almighty god had been caring for the food of the Israelites.
He had fed them every day. Remember, they had a special thing going with god.
And every day, he dropped the food down in in front of their tent, and they didn’t have to worry about food at all.
Um, they had a rhythm andotonous diet, but they always had something to eat.
But the Bible tells us that at this point in time, god is no longer going to do that, and they’ve gotta figure out how fee themselves.
So whoever follows Moses is gonna deal with Moses greatness, with the fierce enemies of the land of canon, with the walled cities, and with the food problem that they had never faced before in all the generations where they had been in Egypt.
Somebody has got to take this responsibility.
And god said, Joshua, you, the man, you the man.
Now, suppose you were a consultant And Joshua came to see you and unloaded everything I’ve told you up to this point, and he said, okay, I need some help.
Can you get me ready to do this job? What would you have said to him?
Well, let me tell you, Joshua did have a consultant He was a divine consultant.
Joshua’s consultant was almighty god, and almighty god is about to prepare Joshua to take on this fearful assignment and help him get past the fear he would have had to do this.
And go on to victory. And what I’d like to do in these moments that we have today is to show you what god said to Joshua and help you understand how god is still in the same process of doing that for all of us.
The first thing that Joshua heard from the lord was this.
God said, Joshua, I have a principle of divine perspective that I wanna put in your heart, and here it is Joshua 15.
Here’s what I want you to know, first of all, as I was with Moses Joshua, so I will be with you.
Now, that must have been an incredible moment when Joshua heard those words, because as you see, uh, Joshua had been Moses Lieutenant He had walked with Moses all through his journeys, and he had been, he had his side.
And obviously, he had seen god do the miracles that god did through Moses, He’d he’d had a ringside seat.
He had watched god’s hand upon Moses. He’d been there.
He’d been a part of the inner circle, and he had seen that. Now, he faces his own challenges.
And the first thing god tells him is this, young man I want you to know, just as I was with your boss, I’m gonna be with you.
You can count on it. How many of you know that if god is with you, you’re already off to a good start.
Yes. God promised him he would be with him.
And then secondly, god gave him the principle of divine purpose.
And by that, I mean, he told Joshua what his assignment was.
I’m gonna read these words to you from the first chapter and verse 2.
He said that Joshua, now Joshua go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, the children of Israel.
And every place that the soul of your foot will tread upon, I have given to you, as I said to Moses, and then he gives the outline of the barriers of the land.
God said, Joshua, I want you to understand clearly what your job description is.
Here’s what I am calling you to do.
I’m calling you to lead these people across the Jordan River into the land of Kanan, and I want you to settle that land.
I want you to take control of it. And you see, God already owned the land.
And he’d already given it to Israel, but in order for Israel to possess the land, they had to go in and take control of it and he used this picture, he said, Joshua, every place where the soul of your foot touches, it’s yours.
In other words, he was saying, What have I given to you Joshua?
Want you to go and take possession of it.
It’s yours, first of all, by my gift, now make it yours by your own personal possession.
And what god was doing for Joshua in this moment, and what he loves to do for us is he was giving him focus.
He was saying to Joshua, don’t want you to be fuzzy about what this is I’m calling you to do.
Here’s your assignment. Here are the details. This is exactly what I want you to do.
I want you to keep this central in your mind And as the leader of the Israelites, keep it central in their minds, don’t get caught up in anything else, don’t get on any detours, Joshua, here’s your job.
Description. And when you have focus in your life, it’s amazing what it does to your fear.
When you have focus, your fears begin to subside.
When you begin to implement focus in your life, you discover that you no longer have fear, and since fear is the father of failure, The less there is fear, the less there is failure.
You see, when you get up and you don’t know what to do, and you’re caught up in the ambivalence of an undirected life, fear comes in and begins to just take control.
But when you get up every day and you know that God has called you to something and you know what it is, you begin to focus your attention on it, something begins to happen in your heart.
He gave him divine perspective, and he gave him divine purpose And now he’s gonna give him a little pep talk, if you will, divine persuasion.
With all the experience that god had with Moses, and all that was before Joshua, here’s what god said to him.
In fact, this is so pronounced in this text, I wanna show you that not only is it three times right at the beginning of the text, but it’s also the 4th time at the end of the first chapter here’s what god said to Joshua.
Here, here, where is marching orders. Verse 6 of chapter 1. Be strong. And of a good courage.
Verse 7 only be strong and of a good courage. Verse 9.
Have not, I commanded you be strong and of a good courage.
You get the impression God wanted Joshua to be strong and of a good courage.
And in case he missed it, if you go on through the rest of the chapter, he says it again at the end of the first chapter.
Now why why was it important for Joshua to have courage and strength?
Well, I can think of many reasons as I read through the rest of the book of Joshua.
Not only the reasons we’ve cited already about his position following up this great leader, but god is going to ask Joshua to do some very unlikely things.
I mean, can you imagine Joshua coming before his military people when they’re about ready to go against the city of Jericho and saying to them, Here’s what we’re going to do, you guys.
We’re gonna walk around the city every day, uh, this week.
And on the last day, we’re gonna walk around at a bunch of times, and we’re gonna blow our trumpets and the walls will come down.
Okay. Are you ready? Say what? And then Joshua faced some discipline problem.
There was sin in the camp, and Joshua had to do it.
Throughout the whole book of Joshua, there’s this one reason after another why, if he wasn’t strong and courageous, he never would have been able to do this work.
And god is saying to him, Joshua, I want you to be strong, and I want you to have courage.
And then we are told that god gave to Joshua a divine priority.
And if you don’t get anything else, uh, from what I say today, and you have a challenge in your life with fear, I hope you will get this part of it.
In order for god to protect Joshua from the fear of failure in the assignment that was given to him, He gave him these words, these are the words of Joshua’s divine priority verses 89.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, and you shall observe to do according to all that is written in it.
God said to Joshua, I wanna give you your instruction manual.
It is the law.
What god gave to Joshua couldn’t have been anything more than the first five books of the Bible, the pentateuch, Genesys Exodus numbers deuteronomy.
And god said to Joshua, here here’s the book. Here’s the law.
I want you to spend time in this law. Notice, I want you to know this.
I want you to put this in your heart. This is to be the main thing going on with you.
As you take on this assignment, you can’t get very far away from this book, because this book is the book that will help you.
And I wanna say to you this this morning, if you if you’re not familiar with this book.
This is the book God has given to help you.
Did you know, uh, in the Bible, there are many commands?
Do you know what the most often repeated command is in all the Bible?
Gonna ask you to say this with me in a moment, way more than any other.
You know what it is? Fear not over two hundred times. Fear not. Say that with me.
Fear not. God cares about what we experienced.
Why would he ever put that in the Bible if there wasn’t a problem of fear?
Apparently, it’s a major problem because he put it in there a lot of times.
And when you read this book, it doesn’t matter where you start, but as you read this book, you will come into contact with the record of god’s provision for his people over and over and over again.
Somewhere along the way, you’ll find yourself in this book. And you will realize that god has spoken to you.
All Joshua had was Genesis, Exodus, Sophus, Sophus, Sophus, numbers, and deuteronomy.
I doubt if most of you go to that section of the word of god when you need encouragement, but I wanna remind you that when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness by the devil, Jesus used all of his quotations against the enemy from the book of deuteronomy.
Did you know that? Every place that Satan would confront Jesus, Jesus, would just say, it is written, and that he’d quote deuteronomy.
So you might wanna read those books. There’s some good stuff in there.
Jesus thought pretty highly of it.
When god told Joshua that he was to take the word of god as his main priority, He told him, first of all, he was to talk about it constantly.
This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth. He was to meditate on it continually.
But you shall meditate in it day and night.
He was to read it obediently, observe to do according to all that is written in it.
Look up for just a moment. I tell you something about that one.
God said, Joshua, I want you to read this book in a special way.
I don’t you read it to get smarter.
You know, a lot of us read the Bible so we can know more.
God wants us to read the Bible not to know, he wants us to read the Bible to do.
He says, I want you to observe to do. How do you read the Bible?
Do you read the Bible every day so that you listen. Here’s here’s how most people do it.
I’m gonna find out what god says so I can decide whether I wanna do it or not.
Can I get a witness? No. No. No.
You don’t get very far if you do that.
You read the Bible as god’s instructional manual And when god says something you you’re supposed to do, you just do it.
And he told Joshua, when you read the word of god, and make it your manual I want you to observe to do, and it’s written in the text twice.
Observed to do. Say that little phrase with me. Observe to do.
I promise you, if you start reading a Bible like that, it’ll change your life.
If you say, lord, whatever it is you want me to do, I’m gonna I’m gonna do it.
Just show it to me, and then you do it, the Bible will become a new and rich volume for you.
And then he told Joshua to follow it exclusively.
He said, do not turn from the right hander to the left and to accept it totally, to do according to all that is written in it.
So men and women, whenever we are afraid failure, or perhaps we feel as if we are failures, there’s one place and only one that I recommend without reservation, and that is god’s holy word.
Find in it these strong words of truth, and they will lift you up and set you free from your fear.
And then, here’s one of the great encouragements of this incredible passage of scripture.
God gave to Joshua the principle of divine presence. Read with me verses 5 and verse 9.
And think about this as if you’re Joshua and you’re sitting there kind of trembling in your boots, wondering how am I ever going to pull this off?
I know what these people are like, god. I’ve been with Moses. I’ve watched this.
Here are the words of god. To Joshua.
As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.
I will not leave you nor forsake you Do not be afraid, do not be dismayed for the lord your god is with you wherever you go.
God said Joshua, I don’t want you to be afraid. I don’t want you to miss this.
I’m not asking you to do this on your own. I’m going with you Joshua.
I’m gonna be just as close to you as you were to Moses, and I am never gonna leave you, and I’m never gonna walk away from you.
I’m never gonna let you be out there on your own.
And isn’t it interesting that that is the similarity between all of the call narratives that I mentioned earlier?
Back in the beginning, I told you about these men that god called and their excuses, but I left out something because I wanted to put it in right here.
This is where it belongs, And I want you to see how consistent this is in all of these situations when god called Moses, and Moses said, lord, I’m not the right man.
To Moses, god said, Exodus 3 12, I will certainly be with you.
Remember Moses said, lord, I’m not a very good speaker?
Exodus 412 says, now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth.
Help me with your mouth, Moses, and I will teach you what you shall say.
God said to Moses, exactly what he said to Joshua, I know you’re afraid of this task, but I don’t want you to worry about it because I’m going with you, and I’m going to help you.
I’m going to be your source of strength When he spoke to Gideon and Gideon said, you remember, Gideon said, I’m the least one in my whole family, and we’re not even very important.
God said, Gideon, surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the midianites as one man.
And when Jeremiah came up with this excuse about his youth, god said to Jeremiah, do not be afraid of their faces.
For I am with you to deliver you, says the lord, I am with you, says the lord, to deliver you.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I want to tell you something.
If you have god with you, all the excuses go away.
Because it becomes apparent when you get to this point in the discussion that the whole issue is is god gonna do this through me, or am I gonna have to do this on my own?
And god never asks us to do something, and then abandons us to fail.
As we’re going to see in a few moments, god goes with us into whatever he’s called us to do.
The main thing we need to find out is this god telling me to do this, and if he is, he has promised to be with you, the principle divine presence.
And then god makes one final promise And, uh, this is kind of like the carrot at the end of the at the end of the journey.
Versus 58, god gives to Joshua the principle of divine prosperity.
He says, No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.
For then, you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
And I know that you know that out in the greater confines of Christianity, there’s a lot of folks that talk about prosperity and success, almost like it was the main message of the Bible.
Here’s an interesting thought. The word success is only in the Bible one place, and we just read it.
And the word prosperity with success isn’t found any other place in the Bible, except right here.
And god said to Joshua, here’s what he’s telling him.
He was saying Joshua, if you just do what I tell you, if you allow me to be your source, if you will go out and strengthen, be courageous, and strong, and you will do this in obedience to my word, I will be with you.
And when I am with you, Joshua, nobody will be able to stand before you.
No one will be able to take you down. And you will be successful and you will prosper.
What did he mean by success and prosperity He wasn’t given Joshua a new chariot or a new house.
He met you will be successful in what I’ve called you to do.
Which is to go in and settle the land of canaan.
Joshua, if you will do what I told you to do, the way I told you to do it, I want you to know that no one will ever be able to stand before you, and you will have success, and you will be prosperous in what you do.
God’s promise of prosperity and success.
Do you know what he hasn’t changed his mind about that?
When god calls us to a task and gives us the definition of what we’re to do, and we say yes, and we march forward, it is impossible that we can fail if God is in it.
Now, I have to tell you These verses are very special to me.
They’ve been very special to me for all of my life as a pastor.
I’ve come back to them many times when I was facing challenges that seemed insurmountable for me.
And you know what? This is my testimony. We used to give testimonies in church.
How many remember that? We used to give testimonies. We don’t do that very much.
And I have never given you my testimony. So I don’t know.
I even got this job without giving you my testimony, but I’m gonna give you a testimony today.
I was thinking about this when I was studying this passage, and I was wondering when have I been afraid of failure?
The first time I remember that being prominent in my life is when I was a senior in seminary and knew that I was going to have to go out and join the real world.
And actually do a job.
But let me tell you the story of the most fearful thing that I felt and dealt with as a young pastor.
My first assignment after graduating from Dallas Seminary was to go to Hidden Heights, New Jersey, And you’re gonna laugh at this.
I was a youth pastor and a Christian head director, and Don and I for for 2 years worked with some of the greatest young people you would ever want to meet.
We had the privilege of mentoring them, and we hung out with them day night And, uh, we still hear from many of these kids who’ve grown up now and have their own kids, some of them grandkids believe it or not.
And they tell us about those days we spent together at the Hatten Heights Baptist Church in that growing youth department.
During the last few months of my 2nd year at that church, god began to stir in my spirit about preaching because I wasn’t preaching.
I was teaching young people, but I wanted to preach.
I sat under a man who was the pastor of that church at that time who was coming to the end of his ministry, and the god was using him, not only to touch the congregation, but he was firing me up to preach, because he loved to preach, and he had such great passion when he taught the word of god.
And we began to pray that if god wanted to do something like this, that he would show us, I had a chance to preach a few times there, but very much.
And then at the end of our 2nd year, god began to answer our prayer.
I got a call from an old family friend who lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, And he told me this story, I had no idea where this was going.
He said, David, you know, uh, our churches started 11 churches in Fort Wayne, Branch churches all over the city, and we’re getting ready to start the 121 in a very affluent part of town.
And, uh, we’ve been praying about this, and we have seven couples that are ready to go out there and do this, and we’d like to ask you if you might be interested in coming and being the pastor of this church.
Well, I have to tell you starting a church from scratch wasn’t in my top 10 list.
It wasn’t in my top 50 list. I had no desire to do that. I’d never even thought about it.
Uh, but this man was a friend of my father, a friend of our family, he said, look, I’m not asking you to do anything.
I’d just come out and let us tell you what we’re gonna do.
Give us a weekend and then you can decide whether or not you think this is what god is up to in your life.
So we got permission from the pastor. And one weekend, we went to Fort Wayne.
And they asked me to preach in the big church, which I did, and then to meet with these 7 couples and talk about starting the Black Hawk Baptist Church, number 12 on the list, and in the most affluent part of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Well, I was pretty certain God didn’t want me to do this, but I thought I’d just go through with it anyway, you know, how that is.
We traveled from our weekend in Indiana, and we were just both overwhelmed.
First of all, with the faith of these seven couples who were going to start this church, And secondly, we were shocked that they wanted us to come and help them do it.
And they gave us 2 weeks to make up our mind.
2 weeks to decide whether this is what god wanted us to do.
And as we drew near to the deadline for our answer, I was so conflicted.
We we were in a very comfortable place in our lives.
We both were loving what we did in the church where we were. We loved these kids.
And, uh, you know, I I got to do the 2 things I like to teach young people.
I was playing basketball, and I was doing those 2 things every day.
We had a gym in that church.
And I realized that if I stayed there, I wouldn’t be I wouldn’t be pressed out of my comfort zone.
But I had no clue what to do about starting a church, and we had to give him our answer.
And so I told Donna one day, I said, honey, I’m going to go down, uh, to the shore.
That’s what they call the beach in in in the east.
I’m going to go down to Ocean City and I’m gonna walk on the boardwalk, and I’m just gonna walk and pray until god tells me what to do.
And so I left her. She bid me uh, her blessing, and I went to Ocean City, and I got out of my car.
It was cold. I had just a thin jacket.
And so I walked the boards for a couple hours and just cried out to the lord and said, lord, I don’t know You’re gonna show me.
I don’t wanna make a mistake here. It’s not just me anymore.
It’s it’s it’s two of us, and it got cold.
And so I decided to stop and get some coffee And I grabbed hold of the Philadelphia inquire, and I went into a coffee shop and I sat down.
And, uh, I was trying to catch up on what was happening in the sports news for a few moments to get a break from what I was doing.
And some of you remember if you’re old enough that way back then, um, Vince Lombardi was going through a transition in his life.
He was leaving the Green Bay Packers to go and become the coach of the lowly Washington Red ins, which at that particular time were the worst football team in the NFL.
And nobody could figure it out. Why would you do that?
Leave this dynasty that he had built and go to Washington. And so it was the discussion of the newspaper.
In that day, I was reading the Philadelphia Inquire, and he was asked that question by the reporter, and the answer he gave was blocked out in bold type over here on one side of the paper, and I see it in my mind’s eye even now after all these years.
They said, why would you do this? And here’s what he said.
He said, I have discovered in my life that there is more there is more meaning and challenge in building than in maintaining So I’m gonna go and build.
I shut the newspaper up, paid for my coffee, got in my car, and I went back to New Jersey where Donna was, And I said, honey, we’re going to Fort Wayne.
And she said, Oh, yeah. And I said, yeah, we’re going to Fort Wayne.
I said, the lord god called me from the sports page.
And, uh, we we laughed about that, and we called them and told them we were in.
And we made plans to leave the church where we had found such a comfortable place of ministry.
We set out for Indiana. One detail I forgot to tell you about.
1 of the members of the church that was gonna start in Fort Wayne, Indiana was involved in the sale of mobile homes.
And he had figured out a way to put 4 mobile homes together into an L shaped facility with one double wide serving as a small auditorium and the other part of the complex available for a nursery, a few classrooms, and a pastor’s office.
Got the picture? I’m going to an affluent area of Fort Wayne, Indiana to start a church in a mobile home.
As I drove around looking at all the beautiful buildings that were already up and running where there were churches, I could not imagine why anyone would want to come to our mobile home church.
But I heard from god that day, and I knew he wanted me in Fort Wayne.
So we left. I was thinking about this today. You probably don’t even remember these.
We had a Reynaldoine Do you know what that is? Oh, what a car.
It was easy on gas, and you can understand why it had no get up and go at all.
And we drove that thing.
And when we got to Fort Wayne, the families there had helped us buy a little home.
That was not far from the church.
And so we pulled our, we pulled our car in and got out and walked into this little home, and someone had gotten there before us.
We don’t know to this day who it was.
We walked into the kitchen and pasted up on the, on the cabinets in the kitchen was this sign.
I will never forget it. Here’s what it said. God’s commandments are god’s enablements.
2 scared young people walking into that environment, and that was the message that we found in the apartment.
We still don’t know who put it there, but we have a feeling God wasn’t involved in it.
Because what that says to me and what it should say to you and should say to all of us, listen up, if god commands you to do it, he’s obligated to help you do it.
His commandments are his enablements.
I cannot imagine god saying, Jeremiah, I want you to do this, but I’m not gonna help you, see if you can make it work.
No, no, that’s not the message we heard today. Is it?
God promises in every situation I will be with you.
And when he calls you or me to anything, whether it’s difficult or easy, whether it’s a challenge close at home or far away.
If god has called you, he is obligated to help you and I’m here to tell you after all these years, he has never ever failed me.
Let me tell you this in this in this way. Listen to me.
If you will do what god has called you to do, hear me now, he will always show up.
He will always show up when you need him. He’ll be there with you. He will never leave you.
He won’t forsake you. You can count on it.
There is no greater adventure you ever get involved in than doing what god calls you to do and just waiting to see how he’s gonna show up and help you do it.
Some of you need to hear that message today because you’ve been sitting back in your comfort zone.
You’ve been waiting, and I don’t know what for But god has a plan for your life.
He has something he wants you to do.
It may be simple or it may be complex, but if god is in it, you need to step out in faith and do it and count on the fact that god will never ask you to do something he won’t help you do, and he will be with you.
So here is our verse of scripture. We’re gonna read it out loud together. Are you ready?
This is your memory verse for the week. Let’s read it out loud together.
Fear not for I am with you. Be not dismayed for I am your god. I will strengthen you.
Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. God is enough.
For whatever he has called us to do.
And if you are here today and you’ve struggled with fear in your life, fear of failure, fear that if you take the next step, you won’t be able to pull it off.
Here’s the most important question. Is god in this?
If god is in this, if this is what he’s telling you to do, go forward with confidence, there’s not anything god will ever ask you to do that he will not empower you to do.
And that’s to know that we his task, to meet our needs, and to stay with us, strengthening and supporting us until the mission is finished.
There’s no better place to be and in the center of god’s will, and you can’t really understand what that is, unless you have a personal relationship with god through placing your faith what that means.
I have 2 free resources that will help you tremendously.
A book called Your Greatest Turning Point and our monthly devotional magazine Turning Points.
We’ll be glad to send them to you free of charge if you’ll contact us here at Turning Point today.
Next time on Turning Point.
However, alone you may feel you are never alone if you’re a Christian.
Almighty god is with you.
His spirit indwells you, and his son, the lord Jesus Christ is with you every moment.
You say, well, I’m not aware of it. You know how you can become aware of it?
When you study the word of god and you begin to hear the word of god, you become aware of the presence of god.
Your life.
Thank you for being with us today.
Join doctor Jeremiah next time for his message. Action, the fear of being alone.
Here on Turning Point.

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