During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The Cross-over Miracle (10). Her text was taken from the Book of Joshua chapters 23 and 24.


The Book of Joshua reveals a great man of God, a leader of men, called Joshua. His name means ‘God Saves’. He is a type of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has the same name. In the Book of Genesis we find the birth of Israel. In the Book of Exodus, we find the redemption from slavery of Israel. In the Books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy we find God’s instruction thru Moses to Israel. In Joshua, we see the fulfillment of the redemption of Israel that started in Exodus. The book of Joshua is not just history, but it is a prophetic book that speaks to all believers to the end of time. The book can be divided into three sections: the conquest of Canaan (chapters 1–12), the distribution of the land among the Israelite tribes (chapters 13–22), and Joshua’s farewell address and death (chapters 23–24). The farewell address of Joshua sets forth the conditions for Jehovah’s maintenance of Israel in the land. Joshua tells them to obey and to serve the Lord with all their hearts. He also warns them that if they rebel against God and His Word, God will drive them away from this land. He said: “If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm, and consume you, after having done you good” (Josh 24:20). His words were prophetic. God drove His people into exile to Babylon and later scatter them for almost 2000 years after the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans. According to the prophecy, God brought His scattered people back to the Promised Land. The nation was Israel was officially declared in 1948. Glory to God!

When Abram was 99 years old, God came and made an unconditional covenant with him. It was a covenant and a promise of grace, to be his God and the God of his many descendants. God also promised to give him the Land of Canaan where Abram was a visitor at that time. This is what God said to him: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you. Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God” (Gen 17:7,8). Between the death of Abraham and the birth of Joshua is about 400 years. Joshua was 40 years old when he came out from Egypt during the exodus. For the next 40 years he lives in the wilderness, a servant and assistant to Moses. Joshua is 80 years old when he crosses over Jordan to enter the Promised land. He leads Israel to conquer and posses the land for about ten years. Then the tribes separate to take over their respective landed properties. The tribes of Ruben, Gad, and half of Manasseh go back to their land on the eastern shore of Jordan. Between Joshua chapter 22 and 23, there is a period of 20 years. During this time Joshua quietly retires to the place he gave to his tribe, Ephraim. As an old man, Joshua calls all Israel once more to review their history and to them give them his final advice (chapters 23 and 24). Joshua dies at the age of 110. He was a great man of God, a wonderful military general and a leader of men. He was strong and courageous. He was an ‘ordinary’ man. He was the servant of Moses for 40 years. His calling to leadership ministry was not with fireworks. He was appointed by his master Moses who knew God and knew the qualities of Joshua more than all men. God confirmed his call to be the leader of Israel in the Promised Land. Joshua’s life and ministry is an encouragement to all believers. We see that God can use ‘an ordinary man’. We also see that God rewards humility and faithfulness. Selah!

The Book of Joshua starts with a burial and ends with three burials. Between death there is life! Moses dies at 120 and he is buried on the eastern side of Jordan. He sees the Promised Land, but he does not enter it. At the end of the Book of Joshua, we see three great men buried in the Promised Land. Their burial means that Israel is now the real owner of this Land. In the last two chapters of the Book of Joshua we have Joshua’s last words to the nation of Israel. Joshua is an old man now. He speaks words of wisdom to all people. Generally, people listen to old men’s words much more than when they were young. For example, before he dies, Jacob prophetically blesses his sons. Moses spoke his last words in the Book of Deuteronomy. Now, Joshua reviews the history of Israel, starting with their cross over miracle into the Promised Land. Clearly, Joshua is ready to die in peace, a happy and fulfilled man of God. To live and die well is the greatest achievement of men. This successful life and peaceful death are possible in Christ alone. Joshua is a wonderful example of a mature successful believer.

The Book of Joshua’s counterpart in the New Testament is the Book of Ephesians. As God promised to give Israel the Land, so we are promised to receive all blessings and inheritance in Christ. As Israel needed to fight to possess the land, we need to do spiritual warfare. Selah!


In the last two chapters of the Book of Joshua, we have Joshua’s last sermon. He speaks like a pastor. Joshua reminds the people that God has given them rest in the Promised Land. They still have to fight some battles, but the worse is over. They should be happy and grateful to God for this rest and peace. Joshua takes no credit for the success. He is truly a humble man. He gives all the glory to God! (Josh 23:1-4). He gives the people hope and promises for the future (Josh 23:5). Finally, he warns them, not to rebel against God and His Word (Josh 23:12, 13; 24:20). Joshua commands God’s people to obey God! These commands are true for all believers who seek God and desire to experience godly success:  

1-Be very courageous! (Josh 23:6). Godly success and leadership need extreme courage! We define courage as suppressing fear in times of danger. But in Hebrew the words ‘be courageous’ means ‘be stubborn and strong to seize and to conquer someone’. It is a warfare word. It means to strongly hold and defend your position at all costs. To defeat your enemy, you need to hold on tightly to the Word of God!

2-Obey God’s Word! Do not look to the right or to the left. Don’t be distracted by unbelievers. Stay focused on God’s Word! (Josh 23:6).

3-Hate idolatry! Don’t mention the name of their gods! Do not admire, serve, or bow down to idols! Put away idols! (Josh 23:7; 24:14, 23)

4-Don’t marry unbelievers! Don’t make intimate friendship with unbelievers! (Josh 23:12, 13). Stay pure! Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit!

5-Cling to God! Hold fast to the Lord (Josh 23:8). The word ‘cling’ describes the intimacy in marriage. It is the same as Genesis 2:24.

6-Love God! (Josh 23:11). Be careful and jealous over your heart! Love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength!

7-Fear the Lord! (Josh 24:14). You honor God. You fear the God because He punishes sin (remember what happen to Achan)!

8-Incline your heart to the Lord God (Josh 24:23). In Hebrew, the word ‘incline’ means to stretch out, to bend towards God to hear His whisper.

9-Serve God in sincerity and truth! (Josh 24:14, 24). Worship God in Spirit and in Truth! Reject hypocrisy! Serve God with all your family!

Joshua encourages them from looking at the past, how God was with them and led them to victory. He also warns them about the future.

Lesson: if you backslide, you will lose God’s power, protection, possessions, and peace! Remember Samson’s story!


“But the children of Joseph said, “The mountain country is not enough for us; and all the Canaanites who dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron, both those who are of Beth Shean and its towns and those who are of the Valley of Jezreel.” And Joshua spoke to the house of Joseph—to Ephraim and Manasseh—saying, “You are a great people and have great power; you shall not have only one lot, but the mountain country shall be yours. Although it is wooded, you shall cut it down, and its farthest extent shall be yours; for you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have iron chariots and are strong” (Josh 17:16-18).

Manasseh and Ephraim are the two sons of Joseph. Jacob adopted his two grandsons, and each became a separate tribe. That gave Joseph a double portion in the Land. After they conquered the land, Joshua sees the two tribes together as one unit, calling them ‘the house of Joseph’. Joshua himself is of the tribe of Ephraim. He gives them the land starting from Jericho towards East, towards Ai and Bethel. It was a desert land. It was not the most fertile land. When the men from Manasseh and Ephraim came to complain that the land he gave to them is not big enough, Joshua is not moved by emotions. He is not willing to engage all the armed men to help them fight. He tells them that they are strong enough to go and clear the forest, fight, and drive the Canaanites by themselves and enlarge their land. This is amazing. These days, men in position of authority give preferential treatment to their family members, personal friends, and their own tribal people. But Joshua is not manipulated by familiar spirits. Like God, he does not show favoritism. “There is no partiality with God” (Rom 2:11). This is a rare quality in men, especially the leaders. The more I study Joshua, the more I love him! He points us to the heavenly Joshua, our Lord Jesus Christ who alone gives rest and satisfaction to our souls. “For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Heb 4:8-10).  


“The Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass… I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed” (Josh 21:43-45; 23:14).

The war was over. It lasted about 7 years. Joshua defeated 31 Canaanite kings. For the next three years Joshua divides the land to each tribe. The tribes of Ruben, Gad, and half on Manasseh go back across Jordan to the land they wanted, and Moses gave to them. At the end of the war, they went home wealthy. Joshua blessed them saying: “Return with much riches to your tents, with very much livestock, with silver, with gold, with bronze, with iron, and with very much clothing. Divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.” So, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go to the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, which they had obtained according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses” (Josh 22:8-9). Finally, at 90, Joshua retires from his position as the military leader of Israel.

 He settles in the land allotted to his tribe, Ephraim.  

Joshua reminds them how great God is and how great are the things He has done for them. All His promises have been fulfilled. God is faithful! This is the glorious testimony of God’s faithfulness to His covenant. It was God’s promise that His people will one day occupy this land. He was with them in Egypt, when they were slaves for more than 400 years. He brought them out from slavery thru His servant Moses. He was with them for 40 years in the wilderness. God gave them the law and the tabernacle to worship Him. He promised that one day they will possess a particular land ‘flowing with milk and honey’. God used Joshua to lead them into this land. He gave Joshua the mind of a military genius to lead the people in battle after battle. He then divided the land for each tribe. Joshua and the men could have failed but God sustained them. The invisible but Almighty God never left them. Their extraordinary success is God’s gift to them. It is true that the people did not conquer all the Promised Land during the time of Joshua. But they did the best with the time and resources they had at that time. They knew that God was with them, helping them to possess the land. They were all happy with the results. They spoke by faith that one day, they will conquer all the land. That prophesy is possible in Christ alone.

There are more than 8000 promises in the Bible. It is not enough to just read or memorize them. As Israel had to fight, defeat the Canaanites, and take over their land, we must have a mature faith to believe the promises. It is only by the Power of the Holy Spirit that we inherit and enjoy the promises of God. “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4, 5). As you inherit the promises, God’s divine nature of victory will manifest in you. The greatest promise is eternal life! Eternal salvation is by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, by the Word of God alone and to the glory of God alone! Jesus has promised that He will always be with us! “Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen” (Matt 28:18-20).  God has promised that the Holy Spirit will comfort us forever. “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever” (Jn 14:16).

Lesson: As Christians we tend to forget that God is the secret author of all victory and breakthrough. We worry that our strength is too small, and that we do not have enough money. We put too much trust in men, in pastors, in big churches and forget that God is the creator of them all. Faith in God, in His Son Jesus Christ, in His Word, is still the best weapon we have to fight and win the battles of life.


Faithfulness means to be trustworthy. It means to be solid, stable, and un-changeable. The opposite of that is to be unstable, to doubt, to always change position and ideas. God is truth. God never changes. “For I am the Lord, I do not change” (Mal 3:6). As a believer, you can trust God with your very life and destiny. He will never let you down. How do we learn to trust God? By knowing Him better. You can only know God thru His Son Jesus Christ. God revels Himself thru His Word. You need to study the Bible and pray. As you mature spiritually, you will trust God more. Faith grows with experience. Each answered prayer grows your faith to trust God more! Read the following true statements about God:


God is faithful to all His promises. He alone is worthy to be trusted. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb 10:23-25).

If you really believe that God is faithful then you too must be faithful to these things: you continue to say that Jesus is your Lord; you stir up others to love and good works; you do not forsake going to your local church; and you encourage others in their faith. God is Truth! The devil is a liar! GOD NEVER LIES! This is part of Him being faithful to His Word! “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num 23:19). Paul said: “God cannot lie!” (Titus 1:2). Believing that God is faithful to His Word, brings great comfort and encouragement to us, the believers. Since God’s word is always truth the Christian can place complete trust in His promises. “The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do it” (1Thess 5:24).  


God is the creator of everything that exists. God has a plan and a purpose for everything that He has created. God has a plan and a purpose for each person, especially for the believers. Sin has damaged the soul. By His grace, God redeems the sinner and brings him back to the original pattern, the way He created him to be. Sin separates us from God. In His faithfulness, in Christ, God will bring us back to His original purpose for our lives. This is a great mystery. Trials and suffering cannot damage us further. Our faithful Creator is sovereign. “Therefore, let those who suffer according to the will of God commit their souls to Him in doing good, as to a faithful Creator” (1 Pet 4:19). God has a plan for each person. He not only knows your future, but He designs your future. “I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Is 46:9, 10). Many plans are in a man’s mind, But it is the LORD’S purpose for him that will stand (be carried out)” (PV 19:21; AMP).


Trusting that God is faithful is the holy ground of faith for miracles. “By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised” (Heb 11:11). God provides for our needs. “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). God never abandons His children. Even when we are not faithful, God is faithful. He never forgets you! “For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath (Deut 4:31). God is sovereignly faithful! His faithfulness is not depended on our behavior. “If we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown himself (2Tim2:13). Grace covers our unfaithfulness!


God sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. In Christ, if we repent and confess our sins, God has promised to forgive us. Forgiveness comes with peace, joy, and great freedom to worship God. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn 1:9). All humble people who have repented of sins have found that God is faithful in forgiving them.


Jesus listens and answers our prayers. He understands our pains during temptations. Trust Him to intercede for you according to God’s will. All things will work together for good for the believer. “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb 2:17, 18). Jesus helps you always, especially when you suffer under temptations.


Finally, for you to appreciate God’s faithfulness, you need to be faithful to God’s Word. God Desires Faithfulness From His People. “Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful” (1 Cor 4:2).


The Book of Ephesians is the counterpart in the New Testament of the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament. Joshua was a great military leader who excelled in the battles of the Lord. He led Israel into Canaan, conquered a big area and divided the Land to all the tribes. At the end of his life, he was not a bitter, frustrated old man. He was truly a fulfilled man of God. Even when he retired from leading the nation to war, he still remained their leader. As a godly husband and father, he first led his household to serve the Lord! His godly influence lasted even after his death. His memory is blessed. All the people who knew Joshua continued to serve God for as long as they lived. This is a wonderful testimony!

The Books of Joshua and Ephesians have at least three similar concepts in common: God has given His people an inheritance. It is His gift to them. In both books you see that the promised inheritance must be occupied by faith. There is warfare involved. Lastly, Joshua and his house pledged to serve God. Apostle Paul commands the husbands to love their wives and families and lead them to spiritual maturity. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph 1:3). To obey God’s Word and stand in faith you need to be strong and courageous!

God commanded Joshua: “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” (Joshua 1:9). God commanded Joshua not to be afraid or dismayed. Fear is an unpleasant emotion connected with lack of hope. To fear it means that you are worried about the possible defeat or pain in the process. To be dismayed it means to lose courage by a sudden trouble. It means to be angry and disappointed at yourself especially in times of trial. God commands Joshua to be strong in his thinking and emotions and to be courageous in his will!

Paul gives us the same command: “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore…” (Eph 6:10-14)

As believers we do not fight against human beings, but against the demons who manipulate them. As soldiers of God, we are commanded ‘to stand’. Standing is defined as being in an upright position, supported on straight feet. Standing your ground is the position of the victorious landlord. It means to show courage, occupy, and maintain your place. Standing tall is the picture of a leader. It means to show courage, calmness, and strength, especially in times of trial. It also means to successfully accept or bear something that is unpleasant and difficult. In Greek, this word means to be established and confirmed. An iroko tree is a tree from the time the seed is planted until it is a giant. If you stand well at the beginning of the battle you will stand firm to the end. If the foundation is strong, the house will be strong!

This position of standing as a soldier for Christ is to defend your testimony against all attacks. The devil wants to weaken you with accusations, slander, deception, lies, and intimidation. Some days the attack is greater than some other times. In good days and in ‘evil days’, it is our responsibility to stand firm, to show courage and oppose all attacks. The devil cannot steal your salvation but he can damage your peace and joy. The devil cannot kill a believer, but he can hurt him. By preaching and teaching God’s Word, by serving in His house, we do God’s work. The devil tries to destroy God’s work and your testimony as God’s servant. Standing firm at your post encourages other believers to do the same!



“Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved” (Phil 4:1).

There is no other ground or position in the universe by which a man can stand strong except in the Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord!


“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Rom 5:1, 2).

The Grace of God is the platform that strengthens our feet to stand. God’s unmerited favor to us released at the Cross encourages us to stand even during the devil’s attacks of slander and condemnation. We know that we are sinners saved by grace. We are saved by faith in Christ Crucified. His Blood shed on the Cross strengthens our hearts to stand and fight the good fight of faith. The courage to stand our ground in Christ builds our hope of glory, gives us a peace that passes all understanding and fills us with inexpressible glorious eternal joy.


“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (1 Cor 15:1, 2).

Simply said, this is the Gospel: “Jesus died and rose again for me”. The power of salvation is manifested thru the Gospel, Christ Crucified, and resurrected. The false gospels give false hopes and cannot strengthen the heart. No man can save except Jesus Christ of Nazareth! I know that I am a sinner, and I am supposed to go to hell. I could not save myself. I needed a Savior. When I heard the Word of God, by God’s grace, saving faith was granted to me. I believed that I am a child of God. I believe that I am one with Christ. I died with Him, I was buried with Him, and rose with Him. This death and resurrection testimony of Christ is now imparted in my spirit. I died to sin, to the devil and to the world. I now live for the joy of serving Christ, my King. This revelation gives me strength to stand when all other things in my life shake and fall away. I am not ashamed of the Gospel because it it’s the power of God to save me to the uttermost! I did not believe in vain! My faith is fruitful!


“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love” (1 Cor 16:13, 14). “By faith you stand” (2Cor 1:24)

Faith comes by the hearing of God’s Word. Faith matures thru the process of sanctification, by the power of the Holy Spirit and practical application of God’s Word. The more you study and apply God’s Word, the greater the assurance of your identity in Christ becomes. Unbelief and doubt weaken your desire to stand for Jesus. Use the shield of faith to quench the arrows of the devil. Love God and love the fellowship of the brethren. Faithfully attend a living church. Serve God in any capacity. Your faith will grow. Your standing will be confirmed! 


“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. 2 Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith” (Gal 5:1-5). Jesus died so that we live. By His Blood He paid for our debt of sin. Therefore, we are not slaves of sin or of the devil, anymore. We are free to be who God made us to be. We are free to worship and serve God without any hindrance. Religion is a hindrance to this freedom. Trying to be justified by law, trusting your good works to go to heaven, that is a false hope that weakens your faith. You cannot stand before God based on your merit. It means that you have fallen from grace. By faith in Christ we stand free and strong in His victory we share. “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand!”


“Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God” (Phil 1:27, 28). The unity of the Spirit is necessary for strength to stand.


“Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Col 4:12). It is God’s will that we die to self, take our cross daily, and follow our Commander, Jesus. We cannot even consider the idea of going back to sin. “Is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess 4:3). It is God’s will that we grow spiritually, thru faith in His Word and by the power of The Holy Spirit! Mature faith in God becomes fruitful assurance of salvation.


Most countries have an army to defend their borders. To be a soldier is seen as a great honor. But it requires great sacrifices. To be a solider is one of the most difficult jobs in the world. The solider must endure constant hardship. The civilians do not understand these challenges. The soldier’s greatest reason to join the army is because of his love for his country. He wants to protect it and honor the name of his country.

A soldier is alert always. This watchfulness manifests in times of peace and especially in times of war. The civilians sleep well at night. A soldier does not sleep carelessly. He is ready to wake up and act immediately if there is a need. Soldiers spend long time separated from their family. They do not enjoy regular holidays like others because they still need to be at their duty. Even during vacation, a solider may be called back by his commander anytime. He cannot refuse his commander. Soldiers need to keep a healthy body and mind. They do rigorous physical training. The food, especially during war, is not the best. They work in difficult weather conditions. They cannot complain to others. They cannot run away from the army. They must be faithful to their commander until they retire.

Spiritually, Christ’ soldiers pass thru rigorous training too. They die to the flesh and live by the power of God. This is Paul’s word to Timothy: “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier” (2 Tim 2:1-4).

By faith we stand in the Lord! We know that attacks will come but we cannot sit down for entertainment. We cannot even imagine that we should backslide. We reject fear, doubt, dismay, and self-pity! We watch and pray! We wait to hear the voice of our Commander. We encourage others to stand for Jesus! We are soldiers of Christ and not ‘religious civilians.’ Like Timothy, we must ‘endure hardship’ as good soldiers of Christ. For both believers and unbelievers, life is not easy. The unbelievers pass thru many trials, but the greatest pain is the fact that they do not have God to pray to. For the believers, the devil will attack to make us fall. In this life hardship comes in many ways. There are trials and temptations; there is sickness, sudden losses, divorce, or broken relationships. To endure means more than just exist or survive. It means more than just to keep quiet when you suffer. To endure successfully it means to stand firm in your faith from the beginning to the end of the trial. It means to refuse to backslide and continue to serve God despite the pain. To endure as a soldier for Christ it means to continue to submit and obey your Commander, Jesus Christ. You may be angry sometimes but you do not allow the anger to take root in your heart and become bitterness. You may be afraid sometimes, but you pray for courage and strength. You do not give the devil a foothold!  Many Christians are in bondage to a spirit of defeat. Many Christians will go to heaven barely saved; no rewards at all. This is a challenge to spiritual maturity!

To ‘entangle’ it means to be caught in a net, making difficult to escape. It means to be twisted together. Spiritually, is to be intimately involved with other things that are not your priority and therefore, your life becomes complicated and confused. The good soldier not only endures hardship, but he refuses to become ‘entangled’ in the worldly lifestyles of religious people. They make friends only with other soldiers who appreciate the army discipline. “Soldiers on duty don’t work at outside jobs. They try only to please their commanding officer” (2 Tim 2:4; CEV).

Apostle Paul suffered much persecution, yet he finished strong and confident to the end. But the greatest example of all is our Lord Jesus Christ! He knew that He will suffer much on the Cross. But the joy of obeying God the Father, the joy of His reward ahead, kept him strong to the end. “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb 12:1, 2). By His death on the Cross, our heavenly Jesus crossed over into heaven, our eternal Promised Land. By faith we sit with Him in the heavenly places. As Israel lived in houses they did not build, we too shall live in mansions that Jesus designed and built. He said to us: “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (Jn 14:1-3). What a Day that will be for our heavenly Cross over miracle! Halleluiah!


For the past 40 years, Joshua led God’s people into the Promised Land to conquer and possess it. At the age of 110, Joshua dies, and he is buried in the land given to his tribe, Ephraim. Eleazer, the high priest, the son of Aaron, who crossed over with Joshua, dies too. He is buried in the land that belongs to his son Phineas. The priests and Levites were not supposed to have personal land. They had special towns called priestly towns. But Phineas bought a piece of land for himself. Here you see that the priests started to become corrupted by breaking the law. Joseph’s bones that were carried from Egypt were buried in the Promised Land also. They were buried in Shechem, in the plot of land Jacob bought for himself. For better or worse, the Promised Land is theirs! God is faithful to His promises! May we be found to be good and faithful servants! Let us end with Joshua’s greatest challenge and word of faith: “If it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15).

Finally, this is the testimony of Israel of old: “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, the deeds You did in their days, in days of old: You drove out the nations with Your hand, but them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out. For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, nor did their own arm save them; But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, because You favored them” (Ps 44:1-3). Worship the Lord!


1 Standing on the promises of Christ, my King,

Through eternal ages let his praises ring;

Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,

Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,

Standing on the promises of God, my Savior;

Standing, standing,

I’m standing on the promises of God.

2 Standing on the promises that cannot fail.

When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,

By the living Word of God I shall prevail,

Standing on the promises of God.

(By Russel Kelso Carter, 1886)

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