Summary: God is Able to help you overcome your weakness
Five kings were keeping God’s people from entering the Promised Land. Joshua and his army chased them, so they hid in a cave. Joshua had some of his men block the entrance to the cave, trapping the kings inside while the rest of his army slaughtered the kings’ forces. Once the battle was over, Joshua told the soldiers guarding the entrance to the cave to bring the five kings to him. Here’s what happened next: “And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against
whom ye fight. And afterward Joshua smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees” (Josh. 10:24 – 26 KJV). This King James Version of the story uses a word that we don’t
use that much: dismayed. Its most literal translation is “to be made unable.” So Joshua was saying to his men, “Don’t be made unable. Don’t fall apart. Don’t freak out. Even though you’re facing impossibility, a great opposition, don’t be afraid. Your God is able, but first you have to get victory over these five kings.” God is still able, but first you have to kill five kings, and I like to think of those kings as our five senses. If you’re going to win the battle of faith, if you’re going to see your family blessed, see your life blessed, see God’s favour then you have to overcome these five kings. Your five senses what you can smell, what you can feel, what you can see, what you can hear, and what you can taste are powerful evangelists of unbelief. If you allow them to, your five senses can talk you out of what God’s Word has promised you. You have to learn to put your foot on the necks of your five senses. You have to subdue them and say, “You’re not going to steal from me what I know God’s Word has promised me.”
1. The Smell of Truth
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace. When God brought them out, not a hair on their heads was burned. Scripture makes an interesting distinction: “there was no smell of fire on them” (emphasis mine). In other words, they went through a fiery situation where they should have been burned, but they came through without even the smell of smoke. God doesn’t want you to go through fiery trials and smell like them for the rest of your life. Sometimes I meet people who have been through a fiery trial, and every time I’m around them, that’s all they can talk about. Maybe you were burned in a relationship. Maybe you were burned in a business deal. Maybe you were burned at a church because some preacher was a hypocrite or somebody hurt you. Perhaps now you judge everybody the same way. If you’re going to win your faith fight, first you have to gain victory over what you smell.
I don’t want to smell like everything I’ve been through. Ministry has taken me through a lot of stuff. People in ministry can take home the smell of their work. We deal with problems and lots of
messy issues, but I don’t want to take that smell home to my kids. Just imagine how those Old Testament priests must have smelled: the blood, the gore, the burning of sacrifices. That’s why the priests had to burn incense. God said, “To kill the smell of ministry, burn incense.” Worship is a type of burning incense. Worshiping helps grant us victory over smell. In John 11, Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus told them to take the stone away from the front of his grave. When Martha said, “Lord, by this time he stinketh,” that was a statement of unbelief. Jesus
had already told them they were going to see God’s glory. Jesus didn’t care what condition Lazarus was in. Jesus was suggesting to them, “Even if it stinks, still believe.” Maybe your marriage stinks, but still believe. Maybe your finances stink right now, but still believe. Maybe your children are going through a season in which it seems like they just can’t get their act
together and you feel like giving up. In spite of what you smell, in spite of what you feel, in spite of what you see, in spite of what you hear, in spite of what you taste, you have to realize that our God is able. If you’re going to conquer, you have to get your foot on your sense of smell. I heard a story about some children who played a trick on their grandpa. He had one of those long handlebar mustaches. He was taking a nap, and these little brats snuck in and rubbed some limburger cheese on his moustache. When he woke up, he said, “Whew! This bedroom stinks.” He went to the kitchen and still smelled it, so he said, “Wow, this kitchen stinks too.” Then he stepped outside into his back yard and said, “Man, the whole world stinks!” If you’re not careful, if you get burned by enough people, you might start going around with an old stinky attitude and old stinky words. Even though you’ve been through the fire, you don’t have to smell like it. Burn some incense of praise and thank God you still have a future.