New Wine for New Wineskins December 2009

By , November 30, 2009 5:41 pm

Let the Weak Speak

Let the Weak Speak

Part 16 – Joshua – Knowing God IS (1)

Remember – the purpose of this series is to release the potential that is within us to build successful ministries, kingdom businesses, and to be world changers who really make a difference in this world.  That will always involve change but we don’t need to panic because all of the change God requires from us is by way of exchange.  And so we simply come to the place of exchange – the Throne of Grace – where we have the opportunity to trade our weakness for his strength!

We are no longer wearing ourselves out chasing signs and wonders – we are signs and wonders and so we are destined to be the most exciting thing that is going on wherever we are!

Isaiah 8: 18

18 Here am I and the children whom the LORD has given me!
We are for signs and wonders in Israel
From the LORD of hosts,
Who dwells in Mount Zion.

Joel 3: 9 – 10

9 Proclaim this among the nations:
“Prepare for war!
Wake up the mighty men,
Let all the men of war draw near,
Let them come up.
10 Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’”


We have been looking at some of the imperfect people listed in the Hebrews 11 “Hall of Faith” who “by faith” overcame their weaknesses when they allowed God’s strength to manifest in and through them!

Last time we looked at Moses and saw that impatience leading to frustration and ultimately manifesting in anger was the weakness that Moses had to overcome.  It had led to the failure of Moses’ first attempt at deliverance ministry and eighty years later it resurfaced and tragically prevented him from entering the promised land.

It is vital that we are never complacent about the weakness in our lives regardless of how long we may have experienced victory over it.  Jesus said that we must watch and pray at all times so that we don’t enter into temptation – because our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak!   Remember – to OBTAIN victory is easy but if we don’t MAINTAIN our victory then we will not RETAIN it – we will lose it!

This time we are going to look at Joshua.  Although Joshua’s name is not actually mentioned in Hebrews 11 what he achieved by faith is!  As I was considering the fact that his name was not mentioned it came to me that what took place at Jericho should in fact have been a continuation of Moses’ faith works if Moses had not been disqualified from entering the land.  God was clear that it was because of unbelief that Moses was disqualified.  When he died at 120 years old it is stated that his natural strength had not diminished and his eyesight was still perfect.  He still had a good few years left in him but it was time for the next generation to cross over and he could not be the one to lead them.

Numbers 20: 12

12 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe me, to hallow me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.”

God has made it simple for us – believe and receive or doubt and do without!  There is only one way to receive the promises of God and that is by faith!  Our life is not a lottery where we take our chances or fatalistically accept everything that comes along. God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him and who take his word seriously.

Psalm 138: 1 – 3 (Amplified)

1 I WILL confess and praise You [O God] with my whole heart; before the gods will I sing praises to You.
2 I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise Your name for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth and faithfulness; for You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and You have magnified Your word above all Your name!
3 In the day when I called, You answered me; and You strengthened me with strength (might and inflexibility to temptation) in my inner self.

It is absolutely vital that we recognise that God has placed everything that HE IS in his word because it is impossible to access all that HE IS apart from his word.  It doesn’t have to get spooky – I just need to believe, stand on and declare his word and everything has to eventually conform to his will!

Hebrews 11: 30

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were encircled for seven days.

Joshua was Moses’ assistant.  Forty years previously, he and Caleb were the only two of the twelve spies who brought back a good report concerning the land that God was giving them.

Numbers 13: 25 – 33; 14: 6 – 10

25 And they returned from spying out the land after forty days.
26 …they brought back word to them and to all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. 27 Then they told him, and said: “We went to the land where you sent us. It truly flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 Nevertheless the people who dwell in the land are strong; the cities are fortified and very large; moreover we saw the descendants of Anak there. 29 The Amalekites dwell in the land of the South; the Hittites, the Jebusites, and the Amorites dwell in the mountains; and the Canaanites dwell by the sea and along the banks of the Jordan.”
30 Then Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, “Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we.” 32 And they gave the children of Israel a bad report of the land which they had spied out, saying, “The land through which we have gone as spies is a land that devours its inhabitants, and all the people whom we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.”

1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron, and the whole congregation said to them, “If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the LORD brought us to
this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

When will God’s people learn that you cannot go back and stay alive?  When you are delivered into a new place of freedom then you can’t go back and stay free!

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6 …Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out
the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them.”
10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.



Every time you speak faith someone will want to stone you but the glory of the LORD will appear!


Joshua faithfully served Moses and was mentored by him.  Some people think that the opposite of leading is following but following is actually the process that prepares and equips you to lead!  The opposite of leading is actually laziness or apathy.  When we choose to follow we are creating the character and credibility to become the leaders that God has destined us to be.  If we can be trusted as a follower we can be entrusted with followers.

God hadn’t said to Moses that Joshua was going to be leader after him when he first became his assistant – he was simply that, an assistant!

Exodus 24: 13

13 So Moses arose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up to the mountain of God.

Joshua was the guy that Moses would ask to carry his bags, or put up his tent, and another host of apparently mundane, menial tasks.  But to someone like Joshua who is willing to humble himself and serve another man’s vision nothing is deemed to be tedious or boring.  As Moses’ assistant, Joshua got to experience the glory of God on the mountain of God, he remained in the tabernacle when Moses would return to the camp, and all the time God was watching so that when it came time for a new leader to succeed Moses, Joshua was the LORD’s choice.

Numbers 27: 15 – 20, 22 – 23

15 Then Moses spoke to the LORD, saying: 16 “Let the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the LORD may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”
18 And the LORD said to Moses: “Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight. 20 And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient…
22 So Moses did as the LORD commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. 23 And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.

It is important that we recognise that Joshua hadn’t been serving Moses because he thought he was going to be the next leader.  He served Moses because service was in his heart.  He served Moses because Moses’ vision was the vision of his heart – to see the people of God living in the fullness of God’s blessing and provision.

From the day that Joshua caught his first sight of the promised land there was no turning back for him.  He was fully persuaded that God was able to take them into their inheritance!

In 1993 New Wine Church had its first meeting in Stornoway, having previously met on the west side of the Isalnd.  That Sunday morning the LORD gave me this Scripture.  I read it out at the start of the meeting and a lady from forty miles away in Harris who arrived late and had not heard me read it out shared how the LORD had given her the same Scripture as she was on her way to the meeting.

Isaiah 43: 18 – 19

18 “ Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth;  Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.

The LORD said to me the other day that from that day there could be no going back!  Because he is not the God who works in the past or anything related to your past – he is the God of NOW!  HE IS THE GOD WHO IS!  He worked in the past and he will work in the future but HE IS working NOW!  You can’t go back to the former things and expect to walk in or experience the fullness of your destiny!  Listen up!

The weakness that Joshua had to overcome is one that I believe is common to most if not all of us!   We become comfortable in our supporting role and we have no expectation for things to change to a place where we are expected to take the lead and to take responsibility for what we always assumed would be someone else’s function.

Many of us were part of churches that we naturally believed would always be sufficient to bring us as far as we needed to go and would provide everything spiritually that was required to live out our lives.  But when it became apparent that our hunger for God was taking us beyond the provision of these churches we found ourselves thrust into a leadership role where we were expected to take responsibility to break through and pioneer on behalf of others.

Joshua had no doubt expected Moses to be the one who would eventually lead the people into the Promised Land.  He was committed in his role as Moses’ assistant but he had no expectation to have the leadership of God’s people thrust upon him.

In Joshua’s experience Moses had always been there.  But now Moses was no longer there!

Joshua 1: 1 – 4

1 After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: 2 “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. 3 Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory.

God was very specific – Moses my servant is dead!  NOW you arise, Joshua, and lead this people into the land!  How do we know that Joshua considered himself weak in relation to this task?  Because three times the LORD says to him, “BE STRONG!”


Up until now Joshua had followed Moses but now he was expected to lead!  This was brand new – he hadn’t been this way before!  This is also true of every one of us if we are following hard after the LORD.  None of us have been this way before!  We are still finding our way line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.  But we are FREE!  We know we are in the place where all of God’s promises can be fulfilled and all of God’s provision can be accessed!  By faith!!!

There is no going back but there is always something to go forward into!  Remember – far enough is not far enough when there is further to go!  High enough is never high enough when there is higher still!


Moses had always been there for Joshua but now he was gone!  Except that wasn’t entirely true.

Deuteronomy 34: 5, 9

5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD…9 Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; so the children of Israel heeded him, and did as the LORD had commanded Moses.

Moses was gone but the same spirit of wisdom that was on Moses was now on Joshua.  We cannot go back but there are things deposited in us from our past that will help us to go forward.  A few years ago the LORD said to me, “I have been delivering you from the religion of your forefathers while still holding fast to the God of your forefathers”.  Our forefathers loved God but far enough is not far enough when there is further to go!  If the LORD tarries then I trust that our children will go further than we have gone!  It is not dishonouring to our forefathers to move on beyond the place of experience that they achieved – in fact just a few days ago it came to me that the way we honour our fathers the most is by living our lives to the fullness of our potential because they are the ones who gave us the gift of life!

In the same way Jesus told his disciples and it has come down to us that there are the same and greater works for us to do.  He said that it was BEST (John 16: 7, NLT) for them that he go away so that the Holy Spirit could come upon them.  Now they remembered what it was like before he had come into their lives!  Some were fishermen, one was a tax collector, one a political activist, etc.  But from the moment they met Jesus their lives were very different!  They had drunk wine that started out as water, they had seen blind eyes opened, deaf ears unstopped, and dumb mouths speak.  They had seen the dead raised to life, evil spirits cast out, and they had partaken of supernatural fast food.  They had seen storm force winds and violent waves cease and be still.  None of this had been their experience before they left everything to follow him and now he was saying that it was BEST for him to go!

What would you have thought?  Jesus was saying it was BEST for him to go because then the same Holy Spirit – the same Comforter, Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, and Standby – that was in him and upon him would be in and come upon them and us!


Joshua could have been tempted to think, “What would Moses do?”  But that was no longer relevant!  It was now, “What will God do!”

Joshua 1: 5 – 6

5 No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

The church has been weakened by thoughts like, “What would Jesus do?”  We should be saying, “What will the Holy Spirit do?”  We should never look back and think, “How would it have been done in our old church?” or “How do they do it in our old church?”  It has to be, “How will the LORD do it now?”

Hebrews 11: 30

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were encircled for seven days.

The walls of Jericho could have been Moses’ challenge but now they were Joshua’s!  Joshua could have looked back at how Moses might have dealt with this obstacle.  Moses might have struck the walls with his rod or spoken to the walls but whatever he did would have been what God told him to do!  NOW, Joshua had to hear from God and do what he said!

Joshua 1: 8 – 9

8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 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.”

What you meditate on will become strong on the inside of you and will manifest as strength on the outside.  We are to continually look away from everything else and look to Jesus who is the author and the finisher of our faith.  “What will Jesus do?” He will fulfil all of his covenant promises in real time!  He will be whatever you need him to be and do whatever you need him to do when you simply take him at his word and do what he says!


The same spirit that was on Moses was on Joshua!  The same Holy Spirit that was in Jesus is in us and the same Spirit of the LORD that was upon Jesus is upon us – the same Spirit that raised him from the dead!

All true disciples tend to feel a little inferior to their teacher and wonder if they will ever be up to the task of taking up the mantle!  Without the mantle you are weak – but with the mantle you are STRONG!


Joshua could have been tempted to say, “If only Moses was here!” and we could be tempted to say, “If only Jesus was here!”  But it’s not the MAN you need – it’s the MANTLE!

Jesus said it was BEST for him to go so we don’t need him to show up.  What we do need is his anointing!  That is what he promised us!


LET THE WEAK SAY, “The Spirit of the LORD IS upon me…”  Not WAS – not WILL BE … IS!

Joshua 1: 9

9 “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.”

We can’t look back and we can’t expect a repeat performance from the past!  Those who come to God must believe that HE IS and that HE IS a rewarder of those who diligently seek him!

Hebrews 11: 30

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were encircled for seven days.

The strategy for taking Jericho was so outrageously ridiculous that it had to be GOD!  The God WHO IS!  Because if it wasn’t God there was going to be some serious egg on the face of Joshua!

Joshua 1: 9 – 18

9 “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.”


10 Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 “Pass through the camp and command the people, saying, ‘Prepare provisions for yourselves, for within three days you will cross over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess.’”
12 And to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh Joshua spoke, saying, 13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, ‘The LORD your God is giving you rest and is giving you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your livestock shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side of the Jordan. But you shall pass before your brethren armed, all your mighty men of valor, and help them, 15 until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’s servant gave you on this side of the Jordan toward the sunrise.”
16 So they answered Joshua, saying, “All that you command us we will do, and wherever you send us we will go. 17 Just as we heeded Moses in all things, so we will heed you. Only the LORD your God be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage.”


Next time – the “I AM”-mutables!

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