Lessons on Life & Business
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!)
Joshua 7:3 (4/1/21)
Direction Through Discernment • April 1, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* Your lack of discernment is often God’s way of pointing something out that you need to get right. * Backstory - the Israelites defeated Jericho, and God said all the spoils were to be dedicated to Him (nobody could take it for themselves). * Now they were tasked to take down Ai. * Vs 1 - Achan took it for himself. * God’s anger burned, but He didn’t tell Joshua. How would Joshua know? * Vs 2 - the spies were looking at their strategy of attack, not “if” they would attack (like the last time spies were sent out). * Vs 3-5 - their lack of discernment brought defeat, which brought doubt (fear). * Joshua prays / God responds: * Vs 10-11 - Stop! Do something about the sin! * Vs 12 - Because of sin, they lost God’s power and HIs presence. * Vs 16-19 - It takes time to discover the root issue. * God could’ve shown him what it was immediately. * But this serves as an example to us on how to slowly widdle things down until we get to the root. * Often times the root cause is subconscious. * This is why emotional intelligence is important. * Achan was “caught.” He didn’t willfully confess - it led to his death. * So what do we do? * Ask the 5 Whys.
Joshua 8:1-2 (4/1/21)
The Power of Delayed Gratification • April 1, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* Studies show that one of the key qualities that leads to success in life and business is delayed gratification. * You say “no” today so you can say “yes” tomorrow. * You put off today so you can have something better in the future. * As a believer, “I let go of what’s in my hand so I can have what’s in God’s hand.” * Delayed Gratification isn’t always a matter of sin - sometimes it’s choosing between good and great. (It’s not just about temptation) * Marshmallow experiment - test done at Stanford in 1972. * Backstory - God told the Israelites the spoils of Jericho were off limits. * Achan took some for himself: * 1) He saw it * 2) He wanted it * 3) He took it * 4) He hid it * He and his whole family died as a result. * Now, it was time to take down Ai. * Vs 1-2 - God told them they could have the spoils. * This was just a few days after they defeated Jericho. * Can you imagine what people thought of Achan? “If he’d only waited!” * ** Achan would’ve gotten so much more than he stole from Jericho. * How can you operate by delayed gratification? * Four steps (they are the opposite of what Achan did): * 1) We see - you can’t control everything you see, but what you can control, do it. (Ex: Tori’s ranger cookie dough - I can’t “see” it) * * When you see it, look away. How?… * 2) We want - don’t think short term, think about what you want in the long term. * Desire is stirred up by two things - imagination & emotion. * ** You imagine it. * ** You feel it. * Emotion is an impulse to act, so you have to drum up the right emotions. * When you see something, think about what you “really” want. * You want peace and joy and love and security - all things you get by saying “yes” to the long term and “no” to the short term. * EX: think of yourself as a loving husband and dad on vacation with the family - no secrets between you and your wife and nothing to confess… * 3) We take - don’t take the thing you’re looking at, take your thoughts captive! * Don’t give them control - lock them up and stay in authority. * ** You take something else in its place (like peppermint gum in place of ice cream). * 4) We hide - hide truth in your heart so you can be like Jesus did in the wilderness. * We remind ourself what God’s Word says. * Result - we get what we ultimately want, what God wants for us to experience.
Deuteronomy 10:22 (3/25/21)
Mountains & Valleys • March 25, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* In Genesis 41:52 Joseph named his son Ephraim, which means “God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” * He realized that the suffering and strain of his life made him strong. * God always puts you through a tight spot before you reach a spacious place. * It’s the tight spot that prepares you for the spacious place. * EX: Caterpillar in the cocoon. * ** Moses is preparing the people to enter the Promised Land - he reminds them of their history. * Vs 20-22 - they went through 450 years of slavery (from 70 to a million people). * Mountains & Valleys * Valleys don’t exist apart from Mountains (otherwise it would be flatland). * The rhythm of our life should be: * From one valley to the next by way of the mountain. * NOT, from one mountain to the next by way of the valley. * Life is in the valley, not the mountain. * But we’re not meant to stay in the same valley or on the mountain. * We’re supposed to move forward, from one to the next. * God uses one valley to prepare us for what’s in the next valley. * But He takes us to the mountain to get there. * EX: Jesus transfigured on the mountain with the three disciples. * Two Keys: * 1) The mountain is about PROMOTION (new job, more money, marriage, new baby, etc). * 2) The valley is about PREPARATION (it gets you ready for the next valley). * Valleys are where growth takes place. * Mountains are entryways to your next valley. * KEY - if you’re not faithful in today’s valley you won’t hav ether grace to handle the mountain or the next valley.
Deuteronomy 12:1-9 (3/25/21)
Rules For Your Sweet Spot • March 25, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* God has a sweet spot for each of us - the place where your greatest talent and your greatest passion intersect. * But it often takes a long time to get there. * In the meantime, make your current spot sweet through contentment. * We aren’t to see our sweet spot as a destination, but a state of being. * Why? * Because you’ll never be satisfied or faithful right where you are. * The sweet spot for the Israelites was the Promised Land. * But they had 40 long years staying at 41 different campsites along the way. * During this time, God was preparing them for their sweet spot. * Just before they were about to enter, God gave last instructions through Moses. * Vs 1 - God created a system for them to thrive. In included: * 1) Roles - a job function or title that defines authority level. * 2) Rules - “if / then” logic that defines boundaries. * RULE #1 (Vs 2-3) Destroy anything that stands between you and God! (No idols!) * You have to be violent with those things otherwise they’ll take over. * RULE #2 (vs 4) Don’t try to be like them (be holy - stand apart). * RULE #3 (vs 5-9) Redefine your pattern of worship. * God introduced a new system (series of rules). * Once they got to the sweet spot for their lives, they had to “up their game” in terms of worship! * The old rules were no longer in effect.
Deuteronomy 1:1-4 (3/18/21)
Remember • March 18, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* Forgetfulness leads to Fearfulness which leads to Faithlessness. * Psalms 78:9-11 - “The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle…they FORGOT His works and the mighty wonders He had shown them.” * If you want to face your fear, then you have to REMEMBER what God has done in the past. * Two areas to remember what God has done: * 1) In YOUR past (personal history). * 2) In OUR past (collective history - the Bible, etc). * Moses is giving his farewell speech. * The people are about to enter the Promised Land, but it would involve a fight. * In order to ENCOURAGE them, Moses REMINDED them! * Courage means “to make courageous.” * Vs 1-4 - he reminded them of Og and Sihon (two names you’ll hear a lot in the OT). * Sihon was known as a might king with a strong and terrible army. * The Israelites wanted to pass thru his land, but he wouldn’t let them. * He picked the fight and God helped the Israelites kick his butt. * EX: Like David beating Lebron in one on one. * Og was a giant king who had a bed that was twelve feet long, made of iron, and weighed nearly 500 lbs. * The Israelites kicked his butt too. * Moses was reading them of God’s faithfulness in the past, which would help them walk faithfully in the present. * EX: A few years ago Tori had to speak at a conference. She was nervous. She told a friend. The friend reminded her that she had done much harder things in the past and that she’d get through this the same. She remembered she’s delivered four babies! Speaking publicly was nothing compared to that! * So what is the OG and Sihon in your life? * Look at what God has done in YOUR past. * Look at what He’s done in OUR past. * He’s got your back!
Numbers 27:18-21 (3/18/21)
King & Priest • March 18, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* God has made you to be king & priest (Revelation 3). * As king we ascribe authority, rule, and power. * As king we ascribe mercy, and grace, and compassion. * In the OT, the offices were separate. * But they were meant to work TOGETHER! * Vs 18-21 - Moses was placing Joshua as the leader (king). * But he wasn’t to operate apart from the priest. * But notice who was supposed to LEAD! * The priest! * So long as the king followed the priest then all would be well. * If it got reversed (as it did in Saul’s case) then it would not be well. * So what do we do? * Before you ACT, ASK! * Before you let your ambitious king make a decision, consult the priest! * EX: Rick Brausch - wanted to keep the biz alive (king) but felt knotted up inside. I asked him what he desired more, money or peace! He chose peace - that’s what priests do!).
Numbers 7:6-9 (3/11/21)
Rules & Roles • March 11, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* God is a systems-thinker. * A system is a series of steps that gives you predictable results. * God created all the systems of life (solar, ecosystem, muscular, skeletal, etc). * Systems create the boundaries upon which life can thrive. * Systems operate by two things: * 1) Rules - built on “If / Then” logic. * 2) Roles - who does what, when & how. * The only way a system works is if everyone: * 1) Obeys the rules. * 2) Stays in their role. * ** Relationships need systems to thrive. * EX: Zoom call w/Whitakers (arguments bc of no system). * God wanted His relationship with the people to thrive. * So He set up a system. * Numbers 3:21-37 - system where the tabernacle of His presence could be taken care of and transported. * He divided it into three categories, all under the Levites: * * Gershonites - the structure of the tabernacle * * Merarites - tearing down, transporting, setting up * * Kohathites - the furnishings of the tabernacle (the Holy things) * ** They were to carry the holy things on poles, not carts. * Numbers 7:1-9 - the Kohathites didn’t get what the others got. * They were called to something different than their brothers. * They had a stricter calling because they were in charge of the Holy things. * * The higher you climb the leader ladder, the more strict your rules are. * PROBLEM - we often look at the rules and roles for others and think it’s ok for us. * The result is DEATH! * 2 Samuel 6:1-8 - hundreds of years later, the Levites carried the ark on carts and Uzzah lost his life. * God’s system is set - His rules for relationship are in place - you accept whatever role He’s given you and don’t back off of it.
Numbers 13:27-38 (3/11/21)
Problem Over Person • March 11, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* Problems become larger than the promise when you lose sight of the Person! * God promised a land flowing with milk and honey. * The Israelites were on the border, but they asked if they could send spies (Deuteronomy 1:22). * God let them go - He gave them what they wanted. * Numbers 13:17-20 - Moses was doubting God. * Vs 25-27 - the land was good. * Vs 28-29 - but God is holding out on us - He didn’t tell us about the giants and they had fortified cities! * ** What else is He withholding from us??? * Vs 30-33 - Because they were out of God’s will, they now had a vision problem. * When they stepped out of God’s will they stopped seeing things according to truth. * They saw problems, not possibilities. * They saw opposition, not opportunities. * They knew God had given a promise, but they didn’t expect problems along the way. * KEY: The path to the promise is paved with problems, and the only way you’ll stay there is if you focus on the PERSON who made the promise! * * What problems are you facing today? Those are the possibilities God has brought to you to fulfill His promise! * Focus on the PERSON!
Leviticus 25:18-22 (3/4/21)
Make God Your Work Partner • March 4, 2021 • Benham Brothers
* God wants to be your partner at work. * But you have to do things His way. * Backstory - God had given Israel some laws to obey in order to teach them how to trust Him. * Honoring the Sabbath was one of those laws. * They also had to take a a Sabbath year every 7th year - no working the land at all. * On top of that, they were required to take the 50th year off as well, which would be a double-Sabbath year rest (49th & 50th years in a row). Year of Jubilee. * We have no record of Israel ever honoring the 7th year or 50th year Sabbaths (this is one of the reasons the Babylonian captivity was necessary). * The principle is still powerful - honor God and He’ll honor you. * Vs 18-22 - God wants to bless your work!!! * The Israelites were farmers - that would be like telling a stock broker to pull out of the market and no longer trade, but then God says, “I’ll fill your portfolio with so many good stocks you can’t count the money!” * EX: Franchise story - don’t market! * God will provide, but only as you fully trust Him with the results.
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.