Summary: God desires the kind of faith that is willing to step into a flooded river knowing He will make a way.
Text: Joshua 3:1-17
Title: “Getting Your Feet Wet”
I. Let God be in the Lead (3-4)
• As the children of Israel stood on the cusp of possessing the land of promise God simply told them to follow Him.
o The Ark of the Covenant was the presence of God among them.
o If they were to be successful in this or any endeavor then they had to trust and allow God to lead them.
o It is the same for us today.
• Not only were they to let God lead the way but they were to follow.
o “Then you shall set out from your place and go after it.”
o That seems kind of obvious, but is it? How often do we feel God leading us in a certain direction and fail to follow Him all the way through.
• Joshua tells them not only to follow but not to follow too closely.
o They were to keep their distance so that they would know which way to go.
o “For you have not passed this way before.”
o In other words keep following God, don’t get so comfortable or sure of yourself that you think you can lead the way. (Leading kids through the woods)
• We also have confidence in knowing that God will never ask us to go somewhere that He Himself has not already gone before us.
Hebrews 4:14-16 -- 14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
II. Expect God to Overcome Obstacles (5)
• The information we don’t have here is what we learn from vs. 15b
• Here are the children of Israel sitting on the east side of the Jordan River looking over into the land of promise separated by a flooded river; talk about a discouragement.
o How many times are we following God’s will and we run into an obstacle?
o Sometimes we feel that if it’s God’s will then it will never be hard, every door will be wide open, and every road as smooth as glass.
o And when our sense of perception doesn’t match the reality we find we throw our hands up in the air and give up.
o So why does God allow there to be obstacles?
• God puts those in the way so that He can “work wonders among us.”
John 9:1-3 -- 1 As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 2 And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
o Would we know how bright God’s love is if it were never dark, would we know how much comfort He brings in the storms of life if it were always sunny days.
o God not only allows obstacles but brings them so that He can be glorified.
• We need to be a people that are not just ready for these things, but are happy when they come because we get yet another opportunity to see our God at work.
III. Get Ready to get our Feet Wet (8-17)
• God commanded them to stand in the water before He would begin to clear the way.
o This was a great show of faith, how far were they willing to go and still trust God.
o God doesn’t want just lip service, He desires and deserves a people who will trust Him and follow Him no matter what.
Titus 1:16 -- 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.
o Are we willing to have a faith in God that results in obedience, living a life that is pleasing to Him?
o Let me share with you a story that illustrates the kind of faith that God wants.
Blondin lived from 1824-1897 and was a famous French tight-rope walker and acrobat. His greatest fame came in 1859 when he accomplished one of his greatest feats for the first time walking an 1100 foot tight-rope suspended 160 feet above the waters of Niagara Falls. Blondin went on to walk across the falls several times each with a different theatrical flare. On one such high-wire walk Blondin crossed over the falls pushing a wheelbarrow. When he reached the other side he asked the spectators if they believed he could do it again. Everyone cheered. Blondin then asked if they believed he could again cross the tight-rope with someone in the wheelbarrow. Everyone cheered believing that he could do it and wanting to see this incredible stunt. Blondin then asked for a volunteer to ride in the wheelbarrow. No one stepped forward. It was one thing to believe Blondin could do what they had all seen him do, and another to put your life in his hands letting him push you across the falls on the high wire. (Encyclopedia Britannica)