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Psalms 23:1-3 (3/4/21)

Controlling Your Desires

March 4, 2021 • Benham Brothers

* “Not wanting is as good as having” - Seneca. * When you want something, you can choose one of two things: * 1) Get it. * 2) Stop wanting it. * #1 requires ambition. * #2 requires contentment. * #1 meets the external “felt” need. * #2 meets the internal “true” need. * Contentment is the path that David takes us on in this Psalm. * Vs 1 - He essentially says, “With God as my guide, I am not in a state of continually wanting more and more stuff…” * Famous quote - “Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” * Vs 2-3 - a picture of contentment. * A professional shepherd, Phillip Keller, wrote a book on Psalms 23. He said that in order for a sheep to lie down four things are requires: * 1) They must be FULL. * 2) They much be UNAFRAID. * 3) They must be CONTENT. * 4) They must be in UNITY (those around him need the first three things). * Problem - if you don’t get vs 1 right, vs 2-3 aren’t possible. * Want is like the magnifying glass on a piece of paper on the sidewalk in the Texas summer heat. * It magnifies the sun’s light and intensifies its heat until the paper is burned up. * What you focus on magnetizes in your mind and your longing for it intensifies until you’re burned up. * EX: Jake w/every new thing - “dad, we need a boat!” * The result is always emptiness - you get the thing but it doesn’t satisfy you like you thought it would. * Here are three ideas on how you can want something less: * 1) Acknowledge the cost - you may want a Ferari, but getting it means you have to pay the bill… and never parking in a normal spot again. * You were free before you had it, but you give up your freedom to get it. * Imagine every time you formed a new want, you drew up a contract detailing what you would give up in exchange for the thing. * “I promise to be unhappy until I get _________.” * Don’t put on the “golden handcuffs.” * 2) Desire stacking - keep your bigger desire the focus, rather than the smaller desire. * EX: I’ve always wanted a lifted truck. But that short-term desire took a backseat to my long-term desire of independent wealth. * Prioritizing your desires helps you remain content. * 3) Delay until expiry - don’t let yourself get something until you’ve delayed for a period of time. * Purposeful delays often times makes the desire go away. * EX: Give yourself a 30 day buffer before you buy your thing… * Not wanting is as good as having.

Joshua 8:9-35 (4/15/21)

Good Leader • April 15, 2021 • Benham Brothers

* Good leadership is good followship. * You know a good leader by the one he is following. * Joshua was a good leader because he was a faithful follower - of God and Moses. * Backstory - the Israelites had just repented of their sin (Achan) and made it right. * Now it was time to fight again (use their mistake for their benefit). * This was the first battle that involved typical military strategy. * So how did Joshua lead them? Notice six things: * 1) He was with the people (vs 9) - Just like Jesus, he didn’t elevate himself above them (Judas w/the kiss). * God makes clear in Scripture that He is “with” us (the best thing you can say to someone). * 2) He was in the valley (vs 13) - if things were bad with the people then he’d be right there with him. * Psalms 23:4 - “Though I walk thru the valley of death I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” * 3) He listened for God (vs 18a) - he paid attention to God’s voice. * 4) He obeyed God (vs 18b & vs 29) - when he heard God’s command, he obeyed without question. * 5) He built an altar (vs 30) - he had an attitude of reverence to God, a heart of worship. * 6) He elevated Scripture (vs 34) - he elevated God’s Word above all and made sure everyone heard it. Specifically the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28 (George Washington).

Joshua 18:1-10 (4/15/21)

Four Steps to Taking Your Promised Land • April 15, 2021 • Benham Brothers

* God has a “promised land” for each of us in the different areas of our lives - physical, spiritual, emotional, relational, financial, etc. * The only way to get there is to make a decision to do it. * Success is forged by DECISIONS. * Decisions are fueled by DISCIPLINE. * Backstory - God had a Promised Land for His people - it was a place of peace, prosperity, and purpose. * Israel had defeated 31 kings, now they had to go take the land. * There were remnants remaining who had to be driven out - it would be hard. * Vs 1-3 - They had the power (the ability to do something) and the authority (the right to use power) to take the land - but they just had to “do it!” * EX: Grossly overweight - you have the power and authority, now make decision, wrap discipline around it, and DO IT! * Your first decision - make a PLAN! * Vs 4, 8-10 - It was their responsibility to make the plan, but God’s to lead them. * Proverbs 16:9 - “In his heart a man plans his course, but God determines his steps.” * You can’t steer a stationary car - it’s got to start moving. * What do you want to accomplish? * Make a plan and start moving. Here’s the flow: * 1) Figure out what you want (Psalms 37:4 - “Delight yourself in the Lord…”) - follow your desire. * 2) Make a plan to get what you want. * Begin with the end in mind * Work backward * Break it down into small steps * 3) Die to that plan - let God handle the results. * 4) Start moving forward - execute while listening intently for God’s voice. * When you operate like this, you’ll inherit your Promised Land, just as the Israelites did.

Joshua 5-10 (4/8/21)

Principles for Entering a New Season • April 8, 2021 • Benham Brothers

Joshua 5-10 - Principles For Entering a New Season * God’s way of leading is through seasons. * Noun: A period of time associated with an activity. * In agriculture, the activity is “growth.” * In sports, the activity is football, basketball, etc. * Verb: * To give more flavor to food (make things taste good). * To treat so as to prepare it for use (make wood suitable for use as timber by adjusting its moisture content to that of the environment in which it will be used). * To make fit by experience (a seasoned veteran). * It was time for the Israelites to enter a new season where they would experience blessing like never before. * But they would have to fight in order to get it. * These fights taught them a lot, and “seasoned” them to handle the new opportunities that would be available in their new land. * We’re going to look at the first four battles and the principles they learned. * Before any fight, the first principle was: * Principle of the Past - Don’t rely on what worked in the past - allow God to change things for the present (no more manna). * Principle of Provision - Provision is made possible through work (not called to live in the miraculous). * Battle #1 - Jericho (Joshua 5-6) * Principle of Purity - Circumcise first - get rid of the junk in your life. * Principle of the Plan - Follow God’s plan (no matter how crazy). * Principle of the Priest - Let your “priest” take the lead. * Principle of Power - Worship precedes warfare. * Principle of Protection - If you do what’s right, God will protect (Rahab). * Principle of Piety - Giving God your first and best shows your devotion to Him. * Battle #2 - Ai (Joshua 7-8) * they only sent 3k men and 36 died * * Principle of Decision - Before you act, ASK! * Principle of Discernment - Your lack of discernment is pointing to something you need to get right. * Principle of Defeat - Sin renders you powerless in life (root it out). * Principle of Direction - Upon repentance, God will turn things around for your benefit (He’ll use your past failures for present victories - ambush). * Principle of Delayed Gratification - Good things come to those who wait (Achan). * Battle #3 - Gibeon (Joshua 9) * Gibeonites tricked Joshua * * * He failed the Principle of Decision “again.” He didn’t ask God. * Principle of Peace - You can’t make friends with those who are enemies of God. * Principle of Partiality - God’s justice doesn’t play favorites (Lev 19:15). * Principle of People - People will always complain, but good leaders want grumbling today rather than later. * Principle of the Pivot - Make your mistakes work for you (slaves) * Battle #4 - Five Kings (Joshua 10) * Principle of Fight - Enemies unite when you’re on God’s side (When you fight God’s battles, He joins forces with you). * Principle of Faithfulness - The miraculous follows faithfulness (hailstones & sun stood still). * Principle of Fatigue - When you’re tired, watch what God does (hailstones). * Principle of Fortification - The things that kill others won’t touch you (hailstones only hit the enemy). * Principle of Faith - Prayer of faith lines up w/God’s will (sun stood still). * Principle of Authority (Joshua 11:15) Joshua did everything Moses commanded, who did everything God commanded (he stayed under authority and therefore maintained power) * Result - They defeated 31 kings! (Joshua 12 - mentions Sihon and Og first!)