You're Not Alone
Fear Not • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 40:34
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Today we are concluding our Fear Not series that we begin a few weeks ago. We have covered a lot of ground over a very short time, but I believe that if you will take to heart everything that I have told you then I believe that you will be able to walk on this journey and not fear. Today is no different. I want you to understand that Jesus is with you each and every step that you take. Let me show you.
If you have your Bibles go with me to the book of Joshua. I want to read a few verses from chapter 1. You can also find Matthew as well. I want to read one verse there in chapter 28.
1 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 “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. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
It is in this book that we get a closer look at Joshua. He was first introduced to us during Moses’ time, but now we know that Moses has died and Joshua has been given the reigns to continue taking God’s people into the promised land.
The Bible describes Joshua as being filled with the Holy Spirit and then commissioned as the one to follow in leadership after Moses.
9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.
It is in our text where God is calling Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. If you were to look at the name Joshua in the Greek, it is a form of the name Jesus. It means the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation. Joshua is a prophetic representative of Jesus Christ, simply because he led God’s people into the promised land and to victory over their enemies.
Think for just a moment the responsibilities that Joshua has been given. If you have ever read Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy you would understand that the Israelites were a difficult group of people and not only were they a difficult bunch, but they are a very large bunch and now since Moses has died Joshua has been given the responsibility to lead these people into the land that God has Promised them. I also believe that Joshua was looking at the enormity of this task and was thinking okay here we go. And don’t you think that he might have had a few hesitations about what he was about to do. Maybe he dealt with some anxiety, or worries or even doubts on if he could do this task or not.
But we also have to remember this, if God didn’t think he could do it, God wouldn’t have asked him to do it. And look at what God reminded Joshua of.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Did God tell him that he was only going with him part of way? No. He said he would be with him wherever you go.
Now, let’s look at the new testament.
For 3 years a group of people has been following Jesus and listening to his teaching. They has heard everything that he has said and they have truly left everything behind to follow him. They believe that he is the Messiah. They want to help him conquer the world and want to live in this new world.
Then Jesus let them know that he was going away. Then Jesus was taken away and put to death. All hope was lost it seemed. They were afraid. They thought they would be next. But Jesus came back from the grave. He was alive. And Jesus gathered them together. Look at what he told them before he left this earth. It is found in Matthew 28:16-20
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
They have been given an enormous task to go and make disciples of not just their home town, but all nations.
Can you imagine some of the thoughts that might have gone through some of the followers minds? There may have been some that were experiencing anxiety, maybe worry, possibly fear.
But Jesus reminded them of something in verse 20. He said, “…and surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
He didn’t tell them that he would just be with them for a short time. He told them that he would be with them until the very end of the age.
Maybe there are some of you here today. God has been given you a task to do and it seems enormous. It seems too great for you to accomplish. You don’t think you have the ability to do it. You don’t think you have the skills. You don’t believe you are capable of doing it. You find too many excuses for not doing it. You believe all the lies that the enemy tries to tell you. But it is time to stop and understand that God is using you. God is telling you today that he will be with you each step that you take and he will not let you go at this alone.
When someone is dying or leaving us, we pay close attention to his or her last words. Jesus left those disciples that day with some last words of instruction. God gave Jesus complete authority over heaven and earth. On the basis of his authority, Jesus told his disciples to go and make disciples as they preached, baptized, and taught.
With this same authority, Jesus still commands us to tell others the Good News and make them disciples for the Kingdom. We are to go—whether it is next door or to another country—and make disciples. It is not an option, but it is a command to all who call Jesus “Lord”. There is not a choice, but a command.
And just as Jesus promised to be with the disciples and just as God promised to be with Joshua, God promises to be with us.
We are being obedient to his word. We are listening to his commands and we are fulfilling his commands. God sticks to his word. He will not leave you.
Jesus is with us through the Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus told his disciples in John 14:26
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
The advocate, who is the Holy Spirit, is here with us today. He is helping us in every way. You do not have to worry. You do not have to fear. The advocate is there for you.
When Jesus is added to this habits you’ve been building and forming throughout this series you can begin to see how someone like Paul was able to say with confidence in Philippians 4:13
13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
When you know that the Savior of the universe is committed to standing with you through every trial, every season, every affliction.. literally everything, you walk with a bit more confidence in your step. There’s a little spark in your eyes and boldness in the moves you make through life.
It’s not that fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, etc. don’t exist, it’s that they have a proper place in the capable hands of Christ. So keep recognizing the unhealthy fear in your life and dealing with it appropriately. Don’t worry about tomorrow but keep your energy focused on today. And above all else, remember that Jesus is with you every step of the way.
I might not be able to give you the audible voice of God today, like Joshua got at the edge of the promised land and the disciples got from Jesus, but I can give you the same encouragement that the Lord has given all throughout the bible to his people.
Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, Fear Not. God and Jesus are with you always, through the Holy Spirit, until the very end. The Holy Trinity will never leave you nor forsake you.