Summary: This sermon looks at how little things can keep us from moving to a higher level in life and in God. It looks at Achan and his actions at Jericho.
Moving To The Next Level
What if I told you that a baby by the name of Khalik , born in Fiwi, out on an island in the Pacific Ocean, started talking two days after he was born, was walking at the age of two months , and by the time he was three years old, he was playing the piano marvelously, how many of you would say “wow, that’s incredible?
“ How many of you would say, that’s a bunch of nonsense? Well those of you who think it’s nonsense are absolutely correct. I don’t know of an island called Fiwi and I never heard of Khalik until this sermon. The problem with the story is that Khalik, is moving from one level to another much too fast.
Life comes to us in steps. We often do not move to one level, until we have finished a previous one. Sometimes it takes longer to move from one level to another than we imagine. Five year old Cindy was so excited to go to Kindergarten. She came home saying, “Mommie, I did it, I did it. I went to school. I’m a big girl now”. Her mother said, “that’s wonderful Honey. I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself. You’ll probably even have a more wonderful time tomorrow.” Cindy looked at her Mom with a shocked look on her face and said, “what, you mean I have to go back again. I thought I was through.”
Then there are those times in our lives when we want God to move us from one level to another by prayer rather than by work. One Sunday during the invitational, a youth asked me to pray, that he would have a good report card. I said, “well did you do all your homework, pay attention in class, and study for your tests. He said, “well no, not quite.” I said, “well let’s pray that you card can be the best it can be under the circumstances.”
God wants to move us all to another level in our lives. The purpose of each level is to help us grow and to become more that God intends for us to be. The thing is, there is always going to be something that will seek to encourage us to try and take a short cut. Have you ever taken a short cut to get something, and then regretted it.
We take short cuts to buy things on credit cards, when we should have waited until we got the cash. We take a short cut on our homework by not doing it, and then we blow the exam or the grade. We even try to take a shortcut to growing in God, only to find out that we remain baby Christians.
Let’s go back into time and meet someone who wanted to take a short cut on how to get rich in a hurry. Has anyone here thought about looking into that short cut once or twice in life. Being eager to move to the next level financially brings it’s own kind of temptations.
God has led his people out of the land of Egypt and is now ready to start giving them the land He has promised to them. His people are ready to graduate or to move from the level of living in tents to having permanent homes. They will have to fight to take over the land that God is giving to them.
The first big test is for them to take the city of Jericho. Now Jericho is a city with massive walls all around it. The walls are thick enough for chariots to ride across the top. There are no planes to fly over and drop bombs. There are no tanks or missles to blow holes in the walls. The only way in is to go through the gates of the city. To do this, you will have to fight off, plenty of arrows being shot at you from the archers on the wall.
Whenever God wants to move us to the next level, the first thing we see is something that is going to require a lot of work, or something we cannot do on our own. Joshua is the leader of God’s people. He is also in charge of the military. Nobody there in the army has ever fought in a battle against a city with walls around it. Some people took one look at those huge stone walls and say “no way, it can’t be done. I’ll stay right here where I am. I do not need to go to another level.” It’s hard to help people who do not want to take on a challenge.
The thing with God, is that God can never be put in a box as to how He is going to work in and through our lives. We as a church want to move to another level. But we can’t tell God, how God must do it to make it happen. What’s the next level you want to go to in an area of your life? Are you willing to do it God’s way or have you presented God with the plan? Joshua is faced with, how do we defeat one of the most powerful cities in this land God is giving us to take us to the next level.