Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Leslie Basham: Here’s Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I think on of the most profound promises in all of God's Word is one the God made to Joshua when He said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Today we’ll explore what that means in day-to-day life.

First, let me remind you that you’re going to be able to hear the teaching today on Revive Our Hearts thanks in large part to a special group of listeners we call our Monthly Partner Team.

They help make Revive Our Hearts possible in three ways: 1. They pray for the ministry. 2. They give monthly to help support our expenses. 3. They tell others about the ministry and the message.

In order for Revive Our Hearts to continue to airing across the U.S. and spreading around the world by means of the Internet, we're asking the Lord to provide at least 800 new monthly partners here in September.

When you become a monthly partner during the month of September, we’ll say thanks by sending you a copy of a new edition of my book called The Wonder of His Name. In this book, you’ll get to know Jesus in a deeper way by meditating on thirty-two of His names. Timothy Botts used his distinctive paint and calligraphy to bring these names to life visually. That artwork is featured in this new special gift edition in a hardcover version of the book.  That's our gift to you when you join the monthly partner team this month.

When you are a monthly partner, you can also come to on Revive Our Hearts or True Woman conference each year at no charge.

If God has used this ministry in your life in a meaningful way, then I hope you'll consider becoming one of our monthly partners this month. If the Lord is prompting this way, just give us a call at 1–800–569–5959, and say, "I want to become a part of your monthly partner team. If you have questions, we'll be glad to answer those. You can also get more information by visiting us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Thank you so much for considering whether God would have you to be a part of helping us reach women in this area and around the world through this message, as part of our partner team.

 

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Tuesday, September 16, 2014.

God is with you right now. It’s a simple truth with some profound applications. Gain a new appreciation for God’s presence in your life as Nancy continues teaching on the life of Joshua in the series "Lessons from the Life of Joshua (Part 7): Indispensible Ingredients for Life."

Nancy: If I say the phrase, “Don’t leave home without it,” what am I talking about? American Express Card. You’ve seen the commercials and you see people all over the world in strange situations and out-of-the-way places, and they’re high and dry if they don’t have their American Express Card with them, so the commercial tells us. “Don’t leave home without it.”

Well, I thought of that phrase and the American Express Card as I’ve been meditating on the first couple of paragraphs of Joshua, chapter 1, the first nine verses. As we’re seeing the changing of the guard, the baton handed over to Joshua from Moses and now Joshua has become the leader of God’s people and is to take them into the Promised Land.

As God speaks to Joshua in these opening verses, he tells them there are two things he had better make sure never to leave home without. As I read these verses, I want to ask you to pick out what are the two essentials that Joshua had to have in order to succeed in his calling? These things are repeated in these verses, so look for them as I read, beginning in Joshua 1:1.

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel.

Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates [which is to the east], all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun [that’s to the west] shall be your territory.

No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.

Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful 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.

Have I not commanded you? [God says to Joshua] Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (vv. 1–9).

Now, there’s some repetition in those verses, and I think that’s because God knows we need repetition. We need to hear things over and over again. I have been meditating on those verses over and over and over again in the past months, and God has used them to bring fresh courage and faith to my own heart as I think about the calling that God has given to me. I hope that over these next few days as we talk together about these verses that God will bring fresh courage and faith to your own heart for whatever situation you may be facing in your life.

In this passage, we see that there were two recurring themes in the life of Joshua as there had been in his predecessor, Moses. Two things that he had best not leave home without. The first is the presence of God. I will go with you. Don’t go without God. You can’t go without God. Don’t leave home without Him. The presence of God.

The second is the Word of God. “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night.” Don’t leave home without it. Wherever you go, whatever you do, if you want to be successful and prosperous, take God’s Word in your heart. Meditate on it. Do it. Lean on it.

The presence of God and the Word of God. Two indispensible ingredients in the life of any servant of God. I don’t care how old or young you are. I don’t care whether you’re a student or a wife or a mom or in the workplace or an empty nester or you’ve got three toddlers or what you’re doing in your season of life, you need the presence of God and you need the Word of God.

Strength, courage, success, freedom from discouragement. All these things come from knowing that God is with you and from knowing that you are in obedience to God’s Word.

In this session and the next I want us to talk about the presence of God and what it means to have that in our lives and what that consciousness should do for us. Then in the following sessions we’ll talk about the Word of God. The presence of God and the Word of God.

Now before his death, Moses had promised that God would be with the Israelites as they went into the Promised Land. Let me ask you to keep your finger in Joshua chapter 1, because we’re going to come back to it, but turn back for a moment a few pages to Deuteronomy, chapter 31.

In verse 3 Moses says to the Israelites,

The LORD your God himself will go over before you. He will destroy these nations before you. . . . Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you (vv. 3 & 6). 

Then in verse 7, Moses speaks to Joshua.

Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, "Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (vv. 7–8).

Now, it’s interesting that in this whole passage we see twice this connection between the fact that God will be with you and the fact that you are not to be afraid or dismayed. A conscious awareness of the presence of God in your life is what will keep you free from fear.

We'll see as we are going to look at several scriptures, how often the presence of God (I will be with you), is linked to freedom from fear. "Fear not, I am with you. Fear not, I am with you." If you know that God is with you, if you’re banking on that, if you’re conscious of it, if you’re trusting in His presence, then there will be no place for fear, no reason to fear.

Yes, there are giants in the land, but God who is with you is greater than the giants who are in the land. Joshua had not just heard that promise indirectly through Moses. In the passage we just read, Moses was the one saying to Joshua, “God will be with you.” But God kindly had Himself spoken to Joshua and promised, “I will be with you.”

Turn the page to Deuteronomy chapter 31, verse 23. This is while Moses is still living. “And the LORD commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, ‘Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you.’” God says this to Joshua.

Then we come back to Joshua chapter 1, the passage where we started. Now we’re after Moses’ death and God says to Joshua, “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” (1:5–6). I read in one commentary that that phrase, “I will not leave you or forsake you,” could also be rendered, “I will not drop or abandon you.” Don’t you like that?

“I will not drop or abandon you.” You say, “This is scary.” God says, “I will not drop or abandon you. I will be with you.” Verse 9, Joshua, chapter 1. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed” [why?] “for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua needed at the outset of his ministry—he’s been Moses’ attendant, Moses’ assistant, but now he’s in charge, and Joshua desperately needed to know that there was someone who was in charge of him, that God was in charge and that God was with him.

  • Joshua knew there was no way he could fill Moses’ shoes.
  • He knew there was no way that he could get across the Jordan.
  • He knew there was no way he could face all those enemies on the other side of the Jordan.
  • He knew there was no way he could accomplish the task that had been given to him.

Remember forty years earlier Joshua had been one of the spies who had gone into the land. He had seen the land.

  • He knew how thick those walls were around those cities.
  • He knew how tall those giants were in the Promised Land. He had seen them with his own eyes.
  • He knew he could not take them on himself.
  • He knew he needed God with him.
  • He knew that he had no hope of success, no hope of survival apart from God going with him.
  • So God reassures him: “I will go with you.”

I think that promise—“I am with you”—is one of the greatest promises that God has ever given to His children. As you read through the Scripture, you will see this promise repeated over and over and over and over and over again. "I am with you." "I will go with you." "I am with you now; I will be with you then." You see it stated over and over again.

Often in times in crisis or uncertainty. Don’t know what to do? “I am with you.” You’re terrified. “I am with you.” There’s a crisis at hand. “I am with you.”

Let me just read to you several verses that make this point. They’re verses mostly that you’re familiar with. I won’t ask you to turn to them, but we’ll have the references for you on the transcript at ReviveOurHearts.com. But listen to some of these times when God appeared to His servants, many of them in times of crisis, and gave them this promise to be with them.

I think in the book of Genesis chapter 26, where Isaac meets with the Lord. Isaac has been forced to move around and is looking for a secure place to settle. And God comes to him in Genesis 26:24 and says, “I am the God of Abraham your father. Fear not, for I am with you and will bless you.” It’s like that’s all he needs. That settles it. He doesn’t have to be afraid anymore. God is with him. The same God who was with his father Abraham.

Genesis 28:15, God says to Jacob, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” So God gives the promise to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

Listen, it’s not enough for you to know that God was with your parents, that God was with previous generations. You need to know that God is with you in your generation today. God is with you, and He gives that promise to successive generations.

Exodus chapter 3, God is calling Moses to leave his post as a shepherd in the wilderness and to go back to Egypt where he had grown up and to lead his people out of captivity. Moses, who’s been living a solitary life pretty much for the past 40 years, is terrified. He knows he can’t just walk up to Pharaoh and say, “Let these two million people go—these people who are serving you and are your slaves.” Pharaoh’s not going to pay any attention to him. He’s going to say, “Off with your head.”

I’m paraphrasing Scripture a little bit there, but in Exodus 3:11, “Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’” God said, verse 12, “I will be with you.” It’s as if God is saying, “Moses, what else do you need? If I am with you, who do you need? What do you need that you don’t have? If I am with you, you have everything that you need to go and speak to Pharaoh. I am greater than Pharaoh, and I am going with you.”

In Deuteronomy 20:1, Moses says to the Israelites,

When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army bigger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

See Moses had experienced that God was greater than Pharaoh. God was greater than the Egyptian army. And now Moses is saying to the Children of Israel as they’re going to go into the Promised Land there will be other armies. There will be other wicked kings and rulers. There will be horses and chariots. You will be outnumbered at times. You will be outwitted at times. You will be overpowered at times.

So what are you to do? Don’t be afraid. For God is with you. The same one who brought your parents up out of the land of Egypt, He will go with you into the land. He will be with you. That’s all that you need.

  • He’s greater than the enemy.
  • He’s greater than the army.
  • You are not greater, but God is greater and God is going with you.

I think of the passage in Judges chapter 6, where Gideon, fearful, trembling, scared Gideon was asked by God to go into battle against the Midianites and God was going to give him a very strange battle plan. He was going to go against this huge Midianite army with 300 soldiers. They were hopelessly outnumbered. Gideon says to God, “How can I save Israel? Behold, my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.” I’m a nobody. How can I do this? “And the LORD said to him, ‘But I will be with you’” (Judges 6:15–16).

What else do you need? It doesn’t matter how small you are, how little you are, how little your tribe is, how little your family is, nobody knows who you are. So what? “The littler you are, the more glory I can get God,” God says.

People will know you didn't win this battle. They'll know it wasn't your power, your energy, your strength that did this. They'll know it was the power of God.

We come to 2 Chronicles 20:17, where Jehoshaphat is the king of Judah. He’s speaking to the people of Judah who are hopelessly outnumbered by the confederate armies of Moab and Ammon. Jehoshaphat says to the people,

You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of LORD on your behalf. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them and the LORD will be with you.

Now how did Jehoshaphat know that the Lord was going to be with him? God had told him, “I will be with you.” And now with faith welling up in his heart, Jehoshaphat the king says to his people who are trembling in fear, “Don’t be afraid. God has told me that He will be with us. I’m telling you God will be with us when we go into that battle. There’s nothing to fear.”

Now humanly speaking, he’s nuts. Humanly speaking, he’s crazy. Humanly speaking, the army of Judah is going to be demolished by the Moabite and Ammonite army. But God is with His people. But God is with you he says to the army as they go out. So when they go out into the battle the next day, remember how they went out? Singing songs of praise. They put the choir at the front of the army. How would like to be in that choir? God had put faith in their hearts.

God is with us. The unseen champion and warrior of our faith. He is the One goes before us. He goes in us, with us, through us, above us, alongside of us. He goes with us. Don’t be afraid.

You read that theme throughout the book of Isaiah. Let me read some verses that are familiar to you.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isa. 41:10).

Chapter 43:1–2,

Fear not, for I have redeemed you. . . . When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

How do you walk through floods, through fires? And life has fires and floods of a literal sense but many times in a not so literal sense and you feel like the whole world is caving in on you. How do you walk through that without fear? You go knowing that if you are a child of God, God has redeemed you and promised to be with you and in you.

In Jeremiah, we read that same thought seven times: “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD” (Jer. 1:8).

You see it when you come to the New Testament and the apostle Paul is in the city of Corinth where he is being opposed and reviled. In Acts 18:9, we read, “And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision,” and I can just imagine that this might have been a night when Paul had gone to sleep really troubled. What’s going to happen? We don’t know, but the Lord appeared to him in a vision and said, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent, for I am with you.”

I am that I am. The God who appeared to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Moses and Jeremiah and Isaiah and Gideon. I am with you. The same God. The God of your fathers. The God who got them through, the God who took the children of Israel into the Promised Land. I am with you. Don’t be afraid.

Second Timothy chapter 4, Paul says, “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me” (2 Tim. 4:16–17).

Some of you in your family situation feel deserted. I get emails from our listeners who say, “Everyone has left. No one is following the Lord in my circle of friends or my family or my workplace. What do I do? I feel so alone.”

Paul said, “The Lord stood by me and He strengthened me.” God will stand by you when you feel that you’ve been deserted and you are alone. He will strengthen you.

As Jesus was about to ascend into heaven, He said to His disciples, “Go, make disciples, teach them to observe all that I have commanded you.” How are you to do this? “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20, paraphrased).

Those disciples must have felt a little bit like Joshua getting ready to go into the Promised Land. How are we to do this? The Jewish religious leaders are not in favor of this new Christianity thing? The Roman government is not going to be in favor of it. You’re telling those of us who are left here, this little band of terrified disciples, that we’re supposed to go and make disciples of all nations? How in the world are we to do this?

Jesus says, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” You won’t be doing it alone. You’re not going in your own strength or your own power. “You are going in My strength, in My name, in My power, and with Me at your helm.”

God makes that same promise to His people today. “I will never leave your nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). “I won’t ever leave you. I will never forsake you.”

Charles Spurgeon talks about that phrase "I will never leave you." I love his words. He says:

There is nothing you can want; there is nothing you can ask for; there is nothing you can need in time or in eternity; there is nothing living or dying; there is nothing in this world or the next world; there is nothing now, nothing at the resurrection morning, nothing in heaven which is not contained in this text: "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee."

Everything you could ever want or need for now, for the future, for time, for all of eternity, is found in that promise: "I will never leave you or forsake you."

There have been so many times in the process of the birthing and the growing of the ministry of Revive Our Hearts over the years that I have felt, for moments, very alone. Now, I’m not alone and Satan can use that as a weapon to get us emotionally pulled down to make us think we’re alone.

I thank the Lord for people who pray, for people who encourage, for people who support this ministry in different ways. When I’m sitting in my study sometimes trying to prepare material for the next recordings or something is happening in the ministry that is challenging, sometimes I just feel like there is nobody here to walk through this with me.

There are times when the waters get a little tumultuous. There are times when they get a lot tumultuous. I’m saying that knowing it’s true of my life, but knowing it’s true of your life as well.

There are so many times when I have thought to myself, thinking of those disciples out on that stormy sea with the waves rising up against that boat, the waves taller than the boat, and the disciples thinking we are going to drown, and I’ve been reminded, if I didn’t know that Jesus was in this boat with me, I would be discouraged. I would be terrified. I would give up. I would know we are going to drown.

But what brings peace and encouragement and grace, confidence and security to my heart, what enables me to sleep well at night is knowing that I am never alone in the boat. No matter how stormy and high the waves, no matter how threatened my boat may be, I know that Jesus is in that boat. He’s there with me.

It’s His presence that gives me confidence, that sets me free from fear, that enables me to move forward knowing this boat may fall apart, but even if I fall into those waves, I’m not alone. He has said, “I will be with you.”

He’s with you in your boat today. He’s with you in your storm today. You say, “I’m not in a storm today.” Well, you may be tomorrow, and He will be with you then and there. “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Don’t be afraid.

Leslie: So many people need to cling to those words today. Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been showing us why God’s presence is an antidote to fear. Today’s program is part of the series "Lessons from the Life of Joshua (Part 7): Indispensible Ingredients for Life." There’s no way Joshua could fight the battles he was called into without God’s Word and God’s presence.

The teaching you’ll find on Revive Our Hearts will point you to His Word and encourage you to recognize His presence. When you visit ReviveOurHearts.com, you can listen to today’s program and past, archived teaching.  And you can read the daily transcript and leave comments about today’s program. 

Nancy Leigh DeMoss says the presence of God is everything. Without Him you cannot succeed and with Him you cannot fail. Learn why the presence of God is so important tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the English Standard Version unless otherwise noted.

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