Summary: Even when everything you are doing seems right, if you don’t seek God’s will you might be doing something wrong.
I. Much of what we say and do is done according to our carnal understanding and without the assistance of the Holy Spirit.
A. Illustration of the VW bus.
B. Outward appearances and evidence may seem convincing even if they don’t tell the whole story.
1. This is expected behavior for those who are spiritually dead.
2. Even mature Christians often resort to this kind of behavior, however.
a. Individuals go through life making decisions about finance, family, and friendships without a thought about the spiritual significance of their decisions.
b. Churches often vote on budgets, ministries, and even personnel without much prayerful consideration.
C. Thankfully the Bible doesn’t just show what the ideal lifestyle looks like.
1. Today we will look at a Bible hero who wasn’t perfect.
2. Joshua is undoubtedly one of the greats of Biblical history despite his shortcomings.
II. This story starts before Joshua was born when Moses first lead the Hebrews into the desert.
A. Deut 7:1 (NIV) When the LORD your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations--the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites, seven nations larger and stronger than you-- 2 and when the LORD your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy. 3 Do not intermarry with them. Do not give your daughters to their sons or take their daughters for your sons, 4 for they will turn your sons away from following me to serve other gods, and the LORD’s anger will burn against you and will quickly destroy you. 5 This is what you are to do to them: Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones, cut down their Asherah poles and burn their idols in the fire. 6 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.
B. God calls on his servants to serve him whole-heartedly, without any reserve.
C. This means that you should hold nothing back in your life and every aspect is to be lived according to God’s will.
III. There are many who would try to divert God’s people away from doing his will by seemingly good things.
A. Josh 9:1-6
1. Gibeonites are a subset of the Jebusites which are specifically listed in the passage from Deuteronomy.
2. The made a conscious decision to deceive the Israelites.
B. Illustration of the Occult intruder into the church.
C. We must be vigilant and aware that some people are intent on deceiving God’s people.
IV. Sometimes even a close inspection of people will not reveal their true intentions.
A. Even some who walk the walk and talk the talk are not truly right with God.
B. Illustration of the Sunday School teacher who had multiple affairs.
C. Vv 7-13
V. When your business is building God’s kingdom you should check in with him.
A. Vv 14-15
B. Joshua and the assembly all ratified the oath.
1. This was not an individual problem.
2. The attitude had infected the whole assembly.
3. They had been fooled by outward appearances.
C. Checks should be put into place in our own lives to prevent this from happening.
1. Accountability partners.
2. Routine prayer and Bible reading.
3. Time between motions and voting for church business (If it can’t wait for prayer it isn’t worth doing.)
VI. When you make a bad decision you will have to live with the consequences.
A. Vv 16-21
B. They made an oath that they could not break without destroying their credibility.
1. Words have great impact today as they did then.
2. We should keep our word when we make a promise.
3. Joshua and the Hebrews knew that breaking the oath would bring dishonor to God.
C. Business decisions are often affected by markets which are unpredictable.
1. Keep your promises even if it means personal loss.
2. Make only promises that you know will bring glory to God.
VII. God will redeem even our mistakes.
A. Vv 21-27
B. The Gibeonites became a blessing to the Hebrews.
1. They assisted in the temple worship.
2. They became additional soldiers for the battles to win Canaan.
3. The eventually were assimilated into the community.
C. Often our own mistakes are points of growth and maturity.
D. Illustration of the drug-addict trustee.
VIII. Checking in with God ought to be a vital part of Christian life.
A. It is personal and professional.
B. Staying grounded in the Word
C. Active and regular prayer life (Pray without ceasing.)