“Why Are We Fighting?”
Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Joshua 1:1-9 (NRSV)
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’s assistant, saying, “My servant Moses is dead. Now proceed to cross the Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the Israelites. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and the Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the Great Sea in the west shall be your territory. No one shall be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you or forsake you.
“Be strong and courageous, for you shall lead this people to possess the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to act in accordance with all the law that my servant Moses commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you may be successful wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful. I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Theme: today we are going to think about fighting; why we fight, how we fight, and what we’re supposed to do about it.
New Testament reading: Philippians 2:1-5 (NIV)
If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.
Paul tells us to be what? Of one mind; one spirit. If someone is on the outside looking in on a conflict, it seems easy to solve or just tell people to knock it off. Someone on the inside of the conflict would respond by saying it is just not that simple. ~D. Moore
From the outside perspective the solution seems easy and obvious. but from the inside, people feel trapped. The outside observers’ tendencies are to have a superior alternative toward the people in the conflict. ~D. Moore
The Bible says the problems come from inside all of us. ~D. Moore
Keywords in the passage:
selfish ambition: shows the pattern of behavior (symptom)
vane conceit: get to the motive (root)
What governs your relationship with people? Either our needs or the truth. You can understand your needs through the truth, or the truth through your needs. When truth governs your needs, one can allow truth to help better understand yourself. But if needs govern your understanding of truth, then you are a hyper-fighter. ~D. Moore
Another way to say this is that I am right, because I’m me. My needs are right, they need to be met above all else. My tribe is right because it is my tribe. This type of thinking is prejudicial. ~D. Moore
My drive in life is a fear of being mediocre. Where does this feeling come from in all of us? The Bible says it is sin. The self-centeredness is wanting it my way all the time. ~D. Moore
The remedy is in verse 5. “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” There is no peace until the inside and the outside are fixed. ~D. Moore
As soon as we can say, “I’m unrighteous,” God says, “Here is righteousness as a gift from Jesus.” And He did that by taking our place. Jesus lived the life we should have and died the death we deserved because of love. That’s what had to happen outside. ~D. Moore
Inside, have this mind in you which is also in Christ Jesus. When Jesus comes into our lives, he is a living argument. Which means the cares of the world, your fears, personal insignificance, your sin has been overcome by Christ’s love, He is sufficient for us and we begin to have a mind of Christ. That is demonstrated by the peace that begins to pervade our lives.
This week: Pray that Christ would give us the ability to let go of our selfishness (sin) and allow peace to fill our lives.