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Best Year Ever (Part Two)

The real problem with many of us is a gap between what we want to see happen and what we will do today.
We dream of a fabulous future. We plan on changes this year.
· Devotions
· Get in shape
· Go back to school
· Job change
· Build better relationships

But the reality is we drift toward the routine – the expected – the normal. We start out well but the emails, the meetings, the daily grind pulls us back into the same ole same ole.

Now let me just say, to accomplish a future we want, we will have to do things differently. And I know, this scares the socks off a lot of you. I mean, “Risk is for risk-takers, and a risk-taker I am not.”

But what if – what if – you could begin to change that, starting today?

Text: Joshua 1:6-9 NLT
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.7Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.8Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.9This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Before we can make changes and achieve goals and succeed, let’s look at courage.
· It’s simple, if we fail to take risks – if we do not do anything different – there can be no breakthroughs in your life. You will continue to live beneath the dreams and desires of your heart.

Here’s one thing that I really struggle in discerning of those who never live out their purpose - nor achieve their dreams…who seem to always “want to” but never “get to.” Are we fearful or lazy? The motivations of those 2 are different, but the outcomes are the same. I’m not saying you ought to be a crazy-reckless person, but you probably need to be more of one than you are right now.
· Start small.

As we look at this text and its principles for a couple of weeks, I want to share at least 7 Risks Any of Us Can Take Today:

1. Start today, even if you don’t know how to finish.
A. God said to Joshua, “You will lead these people to the Promise Land – just be strong and courageous.”
Two times He says, “Be strong and courageous.”
· Note, He didn’t say, “Here’s the detailed plan. Here’s the strategy. Here’s the blueprint.”
· No – just be strong and have some courage.

B. What is it you want to do in 2016? What change do you want to make?
What difference do you want to make?
What is it you are after?
What project is it that scares the life out of you?
Start it today! Start it today! And see where it goes. You’ll figure it out as you go. You will.

C. Most people who become significant in life had no idea what they were doing when they started. They just started! Why would it be any different for you and me?

D. I hear God saying, “Joshua, you’re the man. Joshua, I’ve got the plan!”
And sure – you better believe God cares about your dreams of a better future and a better life! And yes, He is saying to you, “You can do this. You can draw closer to me this year.”
· “You can do that ministry.”
· “You can give more.”
· “You can go back to school.”
· “You can start that business.”
· “You can grow that business.”
· “You can have a healthy family.”
· “You can lose that weight.”
· “You can get healthy.”
· “You can pay that debt.”
· “You’re the man. You’re the woman. And I’ve got the plan.”
Step out in courage and be strong!

2. Start doing what you’ve been thinking of doing but haven’t done yet.
A. Look at verses 10-11 of Joshua 1.
Joshua then commanded the officers of Israel,11“Go through the camp and tell the people to get their provisions ready. In three days you will cross the Jordan River and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you.” (NLT)

B. What’s the deal?
· Joshua heard from God. “You’re the man. I’ve got the plan. Go possess the Promise Land.”
· Joshua could have made it a matter of prayer.
· Joshua could have asked and waited on signs. Joshua could have just resigned himself to, “Well, I really want to do this and if it’s God’s Will, it’ll happen.”
· And Joshua would have gone through the year with a word from God and a desire to do something, but New Year’s Eve that year thought, “I wish it would have happened. Maybe this year!”

C. No. Joshua immediately called in his leaders and said, “Go through the camp and tell the people to saddle up. We are about to ride.”

D. We all have things we’ve been thinking of doing for years that actually might be doable. But we just haven’t started yet.

E. Nike got it! They took it and ran with it and have become the largest athletic company in the world. In 2014, their net income was 2.7 BILLION dollars, which was 10.3% of the world’s income! And by the way, Nike’s first account in Virginia was right here in Winchester.

F. Just do it, people! Seriously. Now, today. This week. Actually, do what you’ve been thinking of doing for years but haven’t started yet.

I tell you this – those who achieve goals and change lifestyles - and do things that count - have a propensity for action, not just thinking or talking.

So, what is it you want to do this year?
1. Do a ministry?
· Volunteer to observe
· Volunteer to assist
· Just do it!

2. Go back to school?
· Get a catalogue. Look at the courses. Take one that interests you. Just do one. Just do it!

3. Want to write a book? Then, are you writing anything?
Writers write.
Start a journal.
Start a blog.
Just write.
Just do it!

4. Want to pray more? Want to read your Bible more? Then carve out a time each day to do that.
Get out of bed earlier. You don’t need all that sleep anyway. You can sleep when you’re dead!
Just do it!

5. Want to get married? Then become the person someone can’t live without.
· Dress up. Groom yourself. Take a bath. Get a job.
· Just do it!

6. Start a business.
· Research it. Talk to some of these Christian business owners in the church.
Write up a business plan. Become an expert at what you want to do.
Just do it!

I think you’re getting it – just go for it. Step out there. Face your fear. Jump! Take a leap! Embrace the challenges. Be determined that when you fail at times – and you will – fail forward!

Don’t miss next week as I continue. It gets better and you just can’t miss it.