Sermons

Summary: God is with us and empowering us so that we can do great and mighty things in the everyday, ordinary things of life.

THIS HUMOROUS STORY HAS BEEN TOLD MANY TIMES, SO I’M SURE YOU’RE FAMILIAR WITH THE EVENTS SURROUNDING A DEVOUT CHRISTIAN MAN WHO HEARD AN URGENT NEWS REPORT ON HIS RADIO THAT A FLASH FLOOD WAS WITHIN MINUTES OF ENTERING THE PEACEFUL VALLEY WHERE HE LIVED.

IMMEDIATELY HE WENT TO HIS KNEES AND PRAYED FOR SAFETY. THE WORDS WERE STILL ON HIS LIPS WHEN HE BECAME AWARE THAT WATER WAS GUSHING UNDER HIS DOOR. HE RETREATED TO THE SECOND FLOOR AND EVENTUALLY ONTO THE ROOF OF HIS HOUSE.

WHILE HE WAS SITTING ON THE ROOF, A HELICOPTER CAME BY AND HOVERED OVER HIS HOME. THE PILOT ASKED OVER THE LOUDSPEAKER IF THEY COULD LIFT HIM OFF. "IT’S NOT NECESSARY SINCE I HAVE THE LORD’S PROTECTION," HE REPLIED.

MOMENTS LATER THE HOUSE BEGAN TO BREAK UP AND HE FOUND HIMSELF FLOATING DOWN THE SWELLING WATERS ON A PIECE OF HIS BROKEN ROOF WHICH SOON LODGED INTO THE TOPS OF SOME NEARBY TREES. A POLICE BOAT, BRAVING THE WATERS, APPROACHED HIM FOR RESCUE, BUT HE ASSURED THEM THAT THE LORD WOULD SAVE HIM.

FINALLY, THE TREE BRANCHES GAVE WAY UNDER THE PRESSURE AND THE MAN WENT TO HIS DEATH. NOW, IN HEAVEN, HE STOOD BEFORE THE LORD ASKING, "LORD, I’M GLAD TO BE HERE, BUT WHY DIDN’T YOU ANSWER MY PRAYER FOR SAFETY?" THE LORD RESPONDED, "SON, I TOLD YOU OVER THE RADIO TO GET OUT OF THERE! THEN I SENT YOU A HELICOPTER AND A MOTOR BOAT!"

NOWHERE IN THE BIBLE ARE WE GIVEN THE IDEA THAT GOD WORKS ONLY IN THE EXTRAORDINARY. MUCH OF THE TIME HE SUPERNATURALLY WORKS THROUGH HIS CREATED ORDER. MANY PEOPLE THINK GOD IS PRESENT ONLY WHEN THERE IS A MIRACLE AND THAT HE LEADS ONLY THROUGH SIGNS AND WONDERS.

THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO ALWAYS LOOK FOR A SIGN. THEY WALK BY SIGHT, NOT BY FAITH. TO THEM, GOD IS ONLY PRESENT IN THE MIRACULOUS OR THE UNUSUAL.

HOW MANY BLESSINGS FROM GOD HAVE WE MISSED SIMPLY BECAUSE HE DELIVERED THEM TO US IN “ORDINARY WAYS?” HAVE WE MISSED GOD WORKING IN OUR LIVES BECAUSE WE SHRUGGED THEM OFF AS CIRCUMSTANCE, LUCK, OR SOME QUIRK OF FATE?

SOMETIMES WE NEED TO STOP AND REMIND OURSELVES THAT GOD WORKS MANY OF HIS GLORIOUS WONDERS THROUGH THINGS WE WOULD FIND TO BE ORDINARY.

HAVE WE ALREADY FORGOTTEN THAT GOD GREETS US EACH MORNING IN THE SUNRISE? THAT BEING ABLE TO GET UP AND GO TO WORK EACH DAY IS HIS WAY OF SHOWING US THAT HE HAS PROMISED TO PROVIDE FOR US? ORDINARY WAYS!

NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE OR WHAT WE ARE DOING THERE SHOULD BE A TIME THAT WE PAUSE AND LOOK AROUND US TO SEE JUST HOW GOD IS WITH US IN OUR PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES. WE SHOULD STOP AND SEE GOD!

GOD PROMISES US THAT HE WOULD NEVER LEAVE US NOR FORSAKE US WHICH MEANS GOD IS NEVER ABSENT. THERE IS NEVER A TIME WHEN GOD IS NOT PRESENT TO REVEAL HIMSELF IN SOME FORM OR FASHION.

JOSHUA WAS ONE OF THOSE WHO FOUND OUT FIRST-HAND WHAT THIS PROMISE WAS ALL ABOUT. MOSES HAD RECENTLY DIED AND NOW JOSHUA FACED THE MONUMENTAL TASK OF HAVING TO NOT ONLY PICK UP WHERE MOSES LEFT OFF, BUT LEAD A NATION UNDER GREAT PRESSURE BECAUSE I AM SURE THEY EXPECTED HIM TO BE LIKE MOSES AND LEAD LIKE MOSES.

NOW IT WAS UP TO JOSHUA TO FACE THE TREMENDOUS TASK OF CONQUERING CANAAN. JOSHUA KNEW THAT THE CANAANITES WERE VIGOROUS PEOPLE WHO LIVED IN STRONGLY FORTIFIED CITIES. NOT ONLY WERE THE CITIES FORTIFIED BUT THE SURROUNDING TERRAIN WAS RUGGED AND MOUNTAINOUS.

WHAT COULD JOSHUA DO? HE KNEW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO! HE REMEMBERED THAT WHEN GOD GIVES A COMMAND HE ACCOMPANIES IT WITH A PROMISE. THE PROMISE OF VERSE 5, “AS I WAS WITH MOSES, SO I WILL BE WITH YOU.”

I-WILL-BE-WITH-YOU! BEFORE JOSHUA COULD EVEN SPEAK, GOD ANSWERED BY SAYING, "I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU." THAT’S ALL HE NEEDED TO HEAR!

THAT’S ALL WE NEED TO HEAR! JUST THINK: THE SECRET OF MOSES’ SUCCESS HAD BEEN GOD’S PRESENCE WITH HIM. IT WOULD BE THE SECRET OF JOSHUA’S SUCCESS ALSO, AND NOW IT CONTINUES TO BE THE SECRET FOR OUR SUCCESS: GOD WITH US!

SO, ARE WE LIVING OUR LIVES WITH CONFIDENCE THAT GOD IS WITH US OR DO WE LIVE AS IF NOBODY HAS EVER SHARED THAT SECRET WITH US? ARE WE, LIKE JOSHUA, FEELING LIKE WE HAVE SHOES AS BIG AS MOSES’ TO FILL IN OUR OWN LIVES?

HAVE WE HAD TO FACE A FUTURE THAT REALLY SEEMED TO NEED THE GUIDING EXPERTISE OF SOMEONE LIKE MOSES? BUT, NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU PRAYED, GOD WOULDN’T GIVE YOU A SMALLER PAIR OF SHOES NOR WOULD HE GIVE YOU YOUR VERY OWN JOSHUA TO TAKE OVER FOR THE SITUATION HE WAS DEMANDING THAT YOU GET OUT FRONT AND LEAD LIKE MOSES!

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