James River Church Life Group - Sheri Smith
Lesson #2 The New Normal - by John Lindell
Chapter One Strength Training
Book of Joshua in the Old Testament
Scriptures: Joshua 1:9
- Growing stronger would take time and training
- We need to find new strength for a new normal.
- We may desire more life, wonder, beauty, victory, etc.
- We have also seen giants in our lives that try to stop or hinder us from the fullness of the life God has for us.
1. Pray about how the above applies to you. What are the things in your life you would like to see different? What are your dreams?
2. List what you believe is your "best life", the life you want to live that you believe God has planned for you.
3. What are the giants in you or in the world that have stopped you from reaching God's plan for your life?
Pgs. 6-11 Hitting the Wall
- We will face spiritual resistance to this journey; a battle with ourselves and with spiritual forces of evil.
- Repeatedly God tells Joshua not to be afraid but to be strong and courageous.
- Sometimes the feelings we might have of fear of the unknown is us standing at the precipice of what God is calling us to do.
- Don't let self-doubt and insecurity hold you back from the promised land God is calling you to. Lean into God for all your needs to reach the destination.
- Be careful to not depend on people more than God.
Psalm 18:39 (NRSV) For you girded me with strength for the battle; you made my assailants sink under me."
You have equipped me with strength for the battle!
Just because I don't feel strong doesn't mean I'm not. My strength comes from the Lord, not a feeling or emotion. Faith. Trust.
At times we may feel like we don't have what it takes to make it through what God is calling us to face or to do, but that is when we need to pray, press, and proceed.
Pg. 11-14 Joshua and Me. On Not Working Harder.
- The Book of Joshua is a story of transition, change, battle stories, strength, and courage.
- It's more than willpower and hard work, it's a consistent trust and faith in God.
- Whose report will we believe? Be like Joshua and Caleb and have a good report of the promised land. Instead of just seeing the giants, see the promise of God.
1. Review the list of obstacles, things, or events that set me off course (small daily battles and large battles I have not been able to conquer).
2. What territory in my life and the lives of those who I love, need to be conquered?
3. What is my story, what do I want it to be, and what does God want it to be?
4. Am I relying on myself too much to win this battle or is my strength coming from the Lord and what He is doing in me?
Pgs. 14-17 The Power of Belief Changes Everything
- Entering the promised land has less to do with our capabilities and all to do with God's strength and will in our lives. We must step out in faith as God leads. Be strong and courageous to trust in Him and obey Him.
- Trust - God speaks. We take God at His word. We act upon God's word.
- Is there evidence in our life of the faith and trust we have in God's power to work on our behalf? George Muller example.
- Make prayer, hear the Holy Spirit, and read God's word as a way to navigate your life.
We get to start today! Now! Our past doesn't matter. If you have things you need to talk to God about and ask for forgiveness, do so. If you have hurt someone, ask their forgiveness. Nothing in the past should hold us back from our future. I do encourage you to take time to pray and ask God to reveal any bitterness, hurt, anger, or other things in your life. Then listen for His answer, throughout this whole week and really, your whole life.
I have found, though, that God wants to move in our life in the midst of our healing. We don't have to wait until we are "perfect" to move into the promised land. We are righteous through the blood of Jesus and His death on the cross.
As many of you know, I had a brain tumor and brain surgery in Jan 2021. I have an incredible testimony as to God's miraculous Hand through it all. Later, in the fall of 2021, I was still recovering. I had a long way to go in the physical side of complete recovery but God spoke to my heart to serve Him right in the midst of it. The Holy Spirit encouraged me through prayer and the word and His gentle voice that I shouldn't wait to "feel good" in my body to serve Him, but instead to do it in the midst of my healing.
So, here I am.
Joshua 1:9 (NKJV)
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.”
Psalm 18:39 (NRSV)
For you girded me with strength for the battle; you made my assailants sink under me.
Below you will find the link for the sermon from Ch. 1 of The New Normal book. This was preached at James River Church and is a great add-on to reading the book.
More information and links:
James River Church website with sermon & notes: https://jamesriver.online/sermon/strength-training/
YouTube Video of Strength Training sermon https://youtu.be/8cmsyPWlo-s
James River Church Facebook, Instagram, Twitter accts.
Audible Book For those who like to listen to the book. I enjoy reading this way, but I miss being able to underline and write notes.