How to succeed when things are changing | Chapel Hill Online | Gig Harbor

How to succeed when things are changing | Chapel Hill Online | Gig Harbor

Change and upheaval are hard times in life to deal with, especially when you’re doing your best to succeed, never mind get by. In this sermon, Pastor Ellis White looks at the story of Joshua and how they achieved success in the midst of change by relying on an unchangeable God. Join us in learning about overcoming instability in our lives, and still being able to succeed!

Discussion questions:
What’s been the biggest change that you’ve had to deal with in the last year?

Read Joshua 1:1-9. What were the changes going on in this season of Israel’s history and what were the constants?

How will you intentionally orient your life around God’s Word this Fall? Discuss as a family or LifeGroup what you can do to go deeper into understanding, living and experiencing God’s presence through his Word together this season.

Wednesday March 11, 2020. I remember the day well. It was the day everything I knew about ministry changed. It was the day we were all huddled together in a conference room trying to figure out how on earth we could do church when we weren’t allowed to gather. And it was the day our fearless leader, Senior Pastor Mark Toone stepped on a plane to North Carolina and said, “You got this.” And since then, it has felt like we’ve had to change how we do ministry every few months. I loved Pastor Megan saying last week that she has changed her church planting strategy in Port Orchard every single quarter!

In fact, what hasn’t changed every few months? The rules about masks, the rules about gatherings, the format of school. We’ve all experienced it. Change, change, change. So how do we deal with constant change? And more than deal… how do we succeed in the midst of constant change?

My name is Ellis and I’m one of the pastors here at Chapel Hill, and I want to welcome you here this morning, whether you are in person, or online. You’re joining us as we kick off a new series. This fall we are going to be working our way through the Old Testament book of Joshua. Over the coming weeks we will hear how God’s people pulled off the impossible, by placing their faith in the faithfulness of God.

We’re going to split this book up into 3 different series, according to the main sections of the book. And this week we begin our first series: “Ready. Set. Go.” We want to answer the question, how can we be ready for the work that God is going to do in our lives? And this morning, we’re going to ask the question, how can we be ready and prepared for what God is going to do through us in the midst of constant change? So, let’s dive right in to the book of Joshua. Joshua chapter 1, verse 1.

“After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD…” (Joshua 1:1 ESV)

And let’s stop right there. Now I know many of us are familiar with the story of God’s people to this point, but some of us might need a recap. Right now, we find ourselves at least 1200 years before Jesus was born, and if we wind the clock back another 40 years, we find God’s people, Israel, in slavery in Egypt. God had promised his people that he would deliver them from slavery and give them their own land. And he chose a man named Moses to do it.

Our passage calls Moses “the servant of the Lord,” and he was “the servant of the Lord.” There had been no one like him in God’s people’s history, and, there has been no one like him since, except Jesus. Not only did God use him to lead his people out of slavery; not only did God use him to do miracles, like the plagues, or the parting of the Red Sea, or drawing out water from a rock; not only did God use him to lead his people through 40 years of wandering due to their disobedience; but God met with Moses face to face in a way that he had done with no one before, and no one since. Moses was the mediator between God’s people and God himself—he was the conduit, the access point.

It could not be overstated enough that Moses was the most significant leader Israel ever had. And now, he’s dead.

And not only that, but between Israel and the promised land was a raging river; a river that Moses could have parted with his staff. And on the other side of the river were violent people; like the people of Egypt or Sihon or Og, who Moses had led Israel to defeat before. At this critical moment of change and transition, the servant of the Lord dies. Yes, they knew it was going to happen; yes, he was old; yes, they knew he wouldn’t lead them into the promised land; but still, here they are, without their leader, facing a difficult future filled with raging rivers and brutal battles. And the question on their minds was surely: how do we succeed in the midst of such change?

I majored in Mathematics at college. One of the concepts that is central to mathematics, and most science, is that of constants and variables. Variables are numbers which change. Variables are the numbers to which we ascribe letters, like x and y and z…
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