JOSHUA - Lesson 3: Preparing for Victory
“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice." John 10:4
God has offered us a glorious homeland, but His gift does not eliminate our responsibility. As we step forward by faith to take possession, He gives us the victory. Initially, this process of taking possession requires from me (1) faith in God’s promises and sufficiency, (2) a mind-set to rise up and follow and (3) preparation for the battle according to God’s directions.
My Lord, you have given me a vision of your kingdom, you have shown me yourself and your sufficiency, now would you cause my heart and will to be strengthened in you to choose to follow you as Joshua did into the promised land? Again, speak to me by your Spirit so that I might know and live according to your word. Thank you.
1. Read Joshua 1:10-18. God had finished speaking to Joshua, and Israel's new leader has received his challenging assignment. What was it?
2. How did Joshua begin his mission?
3. Joshua's task would have been humanly impossible, yet he could proceed with confidence. Why? How had God prepared his heart for the challenge?
5. (Personal) Where, in our own life, did you seen God's loving preparation before you faced a difficult challenge?
6. Read Joshua 1:12-16. In these verses, Joshua was speaking to the members of three of the twelve tribes of Israel. Who were the three?
7. Why were they singled out for special instructions? (See Numbers 32:1-7, 16-24)
8. What were those special instructions?
9. How did the three groups respond to those instructions?
10. Read Eph. 6:10-18. Consider the New Testament context, where Paul is writing a letter to the Christians in the Greek city, Ephesus. Then, compare verse 10 with Joshua 1:7 and 9. How do the two settings differ?
11. In what ways are the two settings similar?
12. How does Ephesians 6:10-18 amplify the message stressed in the Joshua 1?
13. According to verses 11-12, who is our actual enemy?
14. The sequence of the pieces of the armor are significant. Why must the “peace” of v. 15 follow truth and righteousness?
15. As you prepare to battle against these unseen forces, what encouragement do you find in 1 John 4:4 and 5:4-5?
16. a. Remember what you have learned about Joshua up to this point. How did he demonstrate victorious faith?
17. How does Joshua's example help you to hold up the "shield of faith" in your spiritual battles?
18. The helmet of salvation brings victory in our daily battles as well as for eternity. What words spoken by Joshua seem to illustrate the heart of God's soldier wearing the helmet of salvation?
19. The first five parts of the armor are defensive—they protect us. The sword of the Spirit only is the only offensive piece. What is that sword of the Spirit? What part of God's command in Joshua 1 prompts us to prepare to wield the sword of the Spirit?
20. Read Ephesians 6:13-14 and Joshua 1:16-18. What does it mean to “stand firm” after having put on the armor? On what do you stand? Why is this important? (See also 1 Corinthians 16:13-14)
21. Only by God's grace and Spirit can we "stand" firm, "strong and courageous" in every physical and spiritual challenge ahead. In light of this truth, what do you need from our sovereign King today? How might you ask Him to meet that need?
Next: Lesson 4 - Know God & know about the enemy