Sunday, October 16, 2011

Claim Your Mountain!

Claim Your Mountain! Joshua 14:1-10

This is the final week of “The Me I Want to Be.” Week one we talked about how we are called to shine like starts, to put away false versions of ourselves and be who God has called us to be. Week 2: Renew your mind.—becoming Phil. 4 people. Week 3: Renew your time—getting serious about our priorities to make the most of the time God has given us. Week 4: Deepening my relationships—we are molded by who we associate with and our part is a vitally important part of God’s overall quilt of existence. Today we finish up with a challenge for you to claim your mountain!

How was Caleb, at 85 years old, able to still have the urgency to claim his mountain? He had three characteristics that we need to nurture in our own lives if we want to claim out mountain: wait, want, and will.

WAIT: Long-term faithfulness. He waited 45 years to stake his claim:
o      Wandered the desert for 40 years until a generation died off.
o      Sometimes something has to die before you can move forward.
o      What is it in your life that you need to release so you can grasp what God wants for your life?
o      Let me give you a tough but true biblical truth: God does more great things over 40 years than he does over 40 days. God more often rewards the determined than the distracted.
o      Waiting is God’s proving ground, and its tough. I don’t even like to wait at the grocery story, but no matter what the Cauley Curse activates.
o      At 85 he said, “I am still as vigorous as I was when God sent me out.”
o      Once you have served God faithfully He will put in your heart the…

WANT: Long-term focus. I don’t know if he could see the mountain during the 40 years of desert time, but I’m sure that occasionally they would walk in the shadow of his promise, and when it did it caused him to become more focused on God’s promise.
o      One of the great struggles of our culture is that we want everything now. Instant gratification is an addiction.
o      If we are not careful we sacrifice what we want most for what we want now.
o      When we get our eyes off of God’s best for our lives, if we isolate and insulate ourselves we give temptation power over us.
o      One of the reasons we encourage gathering in worship and in Connection Groups is that it allows us to have people around us to remind us not to give up wanting God’s best for our lives.
o      If you practice the wait, experience the want, then pray God will give you the…

WILL: Long-term fearlessness…God is able. Even at 85 Caleb did not choose the easy path, he chose the challenging one.
o    Retirement is not a biblical concept. Before the 1960s with the onset of Social Security, it was virtually unheard of.
o    We say it around here all the time, if you are not dead, you are not done.
o     “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:32
o    What are you afraid of? One speaker said that fear is vision without hope.
o    What you fear, or who you fear has power over you.
o    What you fear, or who you fear becomes a god, it controls your life, your actions. It causes you to have a fight, fright, or flight reaction.
o    Fear is why the people of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years. They forgot that they serve a God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, more than they can ask or think.

Ephesians 6:12b-13—“take your stand against the devils schemes. For our trouble is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

o    What would you do for God if you knew you could not fail?

How do you know if it is your mountain?
It moves you. When you talk about it, think about it, consider it, you feel a tug at your heart, your eyes may get teary.

It motivates you. It is something that you will get up early for and stay up late for. When you are working on it, time flies.

It matters to you. You can tell it matters because it begins to impact how you manage the two most important “books” of your life, your checkbook and your date book.

One of our connection groups has finished this series. They got to the end and they discovered their mountain. I was told that their mountain was “my fault” because I mentioned in a message recently that every summer children came back to school having lost weight because they didn’t have food to eat, and that dozens of kids went home every Friday and may not eat again until breakfast on Monday, and that this was unacceptable. Now I’m gonna let them tell you the rest of the story. 

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