Title: Something To Sing About!
Text: II Chronicles 20:20-23
II Chronicles 20:20-23 says, “Early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in His prophets and you will be successful. After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His Holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.
As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The men of Ammon and Moab rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy on another.”
- There is nothing that God cannot do. The Bible encourages the Christian to have Faith in God. In your deep dark hour of need, the Bible tells us to have faith in God.
- One of the ways Faith is manifested in our lives is through singing.
- In our text singing was the result or manifestation of a people who trusted in God to see them through.
- When Paul and Silas were in jail after being flogged for proclaiming the gospel, they began to sing, because of there faith in God.
- Singing is an outward sign of how we feel inside.
- We will either sing a rejoicing song of victory, or a sad song of defeat.
- With God we always have the victory.
- So therefore we just don’t sing any songs, but songs of praise unto the Lord. Songs of Thanksgiving and adoration to the Lord.
- Why? Because we have faith that God will come through.
What is faith?
- Faith is the radar that guides a ship or an airplane through the night.
- No matter how dark, and foggy it looks, the beeping on the radar tells the polit that through the darkness, down below is the runway, just keep believing and guiding the aircraft in faith.
- Now going to God in prayer without faith, is like going to wal-mart without money.
- Faith is believing in God for the impossible.
- What your mind can conceive you can achieve.
- The Bible says, “Nothing is impossible for those that believe.”
- The question is what are you believing for?
- If you knew that nothing was impossible with God, what would you believe God for?
- What would you be willing to ask Him in Faith?
- Always remember God is moved by our faith.
- It’s faith that moves the hand of God and nothing else.
- What are you believing for?
- The big problem in Canadian churches is not our lack of faith.
- The problem is we don’t think God will do it for me.
- I can believe that God will do it for someone else, but God cannot do it for me.
- Success is for everyone, God is not a respecter of persons, God wants to use all, but we must respond in faith.
- In our text this morning, success was for the people of Judah and Jerusalem.
- It was not for a select few but for all.
- The Bible says in II Chron 20:24-25, “When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped. So Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value, more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it.”
- It was Jehoshaphat and the men of Judah that went to carry off their plunder.
- Meaning success is for everyone.
- There was so much that it took 3 days to gather all the plunder the Lord had given them.
- Think about that for a few moments. That’s like us going into Wal-Mart and collecting all the merchandise for 3 days straight.
- God is so good, He blesses not only material, but in every way.
- God gave Jehoshaphat peace throughout the land, because those who live by faith in God have peace with God from there enemies.
- Before we go into Why it’s important to have faith, let me first say there are two interpretations to faith.
A. Saving Faith (II Chron 19:4) A man who was accustomed to giving orders and having his own way was traveling to an important meeting. He decided to take a shortcut and found himself thoroughly lost. He asked the first person he saw, a young child, for directions.
“Boy, which way to Dover?” he gruffly asked.
“I don’t know,” the child responded, a little embarrassed.
“Well, then,” the man demanded, “How far to Brighton?”
“I don’t know that either,” the child answered.
“Is there someone around here who can give me directions, then?” the man raised his voice.
“I don’t know,” shrugged the child.
The man’s questions got more angry as the boy kept responding with the same answer. Finally the man lost his temper and shouted, “Well you don’t know much, do you!”
Then for the first time, the boy smiled. Looking up the winding road to a little house where the evening light glowed through the window and where his brothers and sisters played in the yard, the boy said, “No…but I ain’t lost!”
B. Faith For The Impossible. (Our Text)
- This morning we are going to look at Faith for the victory and see why it’s important to have faith in God.
Point 1: Living A Life Of Faith Pleases God
Heb 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Heb 10:38 also says, “But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.”
- God expects us to live a life of faith in Him. It pleases Him, when the created trust the creator for everything.
One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms, calling to his son, “Jump! I’ll catch you.” He knew the boy had to jump to save his life. All the boy could see, however, was flame, smoke, and blackness. As can be imagined, he was afraid to leave the roof. His father kept yelling: “Jump! I will catch you.” But the boy protested, “Daddy, I can’t see you.” The father replied, “But I can see you and that’s all that matters.
- We may not be able to see God, but He sees us and that’s all that matters.
- Faith in God please Him, because it gives God the opportunity to save us from our failures and shortcomings.
- Whether God delivers or not, we need to respond in Faith to Him and trust Him for the outcome.
Always have faith in God, never place it in anything else.
In April 1988 the evening news reported on a photographer who was a skydiver. He had jumped from a plane along with numerous other skydivers and filmed the group as they fell and opened their parachutes. On the film shown on the telecast, as the final skydiver opened his chute, the picture went berserk. The announcer reported that the cameraman had fallen to his death, having jumped out of the plane without his parachute. It wasn’t until he reached for the absent ripcord that he realized he was free falling without a parachute. Until that point, the jump probably seemed exciting and fun. But tragically, he had acted with thoughtless haste and deadly foolishness. Nothing could save him, for his faith was in a parachute never buckled on. Faith in anything but an all-sufficient God can be just as tragic spiritually. Only with faith in Jesus Christ dare we step into the dangerous excitement of life.
Point 2: Living A Life Of Faith Produces Righteousness
Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.”
- Abel offered his offering to God by faith with a heart that desired to please God, and was commended a righteous man.
- Meaning we draw closer to God, instead of drawing closer to self help techniques.
- It produces a closer walk with God.
- There is a difference between God and man.
- That difference being: God is Spirit and those that worship Him, must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
- We are carnal minded, meaning we live life through our senses. Touch, feel, emotions and logic.
- We want things explained and we tend to want proof first before we believe.
- But when we live by faith, there are some things that can’t be explained.
- Noah was 600 years old when commissioned to build the ark.
- Moses was 80 years old when called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
- We need to stop thinking only in the natural and start thinking and living by faith.
- The Bible says we can’t fail, if we trust in God.
Point 3: Living A Life Of Faith Will Guide Us In God’s Direction
Hebrews 11:8 says, “By Faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.”
- Living by faith will guide us in God’s direction. God will show us and tell us where to go.
- It will keep life exciting not dule and boring.
- God will guide us when we step out in Faith. God is looking for a people to respond to His calling and launch out in Faith.
Evangelist Paul Rader had many a talk with a banker in New York. The banker would reply that he was too busy for religion. Time passed and the banker, seriously overworked, was sent to a sanatorium for complete rest. One day God spoke to Paul Rader; the message was clear: "Go and speak to ..." Rader obeyed, catching a train and going with all speed to the sumptuous sanatorium.
Arriving at the facility, Rader saw the banker standing in the doorway. "Oh, Rader," said the banker, "I am so glad to see you." "I received your telegram," said Rader. "That’s impossible," said the banker. "I wrote a telegram begging you to come, but I tore it up. I didn’t sent it." "That may be," said Rader, "but your message came by way of Heaven."
Paul Rader found his friend under deep conviction of sin and he pointed him to Christ as a perfect Saviour. That man accepted Christ and his heart was filled with joy. "Rader," he said, "did you ever see the sky so blue or the grass so green?" Rader replied, "Sometimes we sing" ’Heaven above is softer blue, Earth around is sweeter green; Something lives in every hue Christ-less eyes have never seen.’" Suddenly the banker leaned against Paul Rader and fell into his arms, dead.
Point 4: Living A Life Of Faith Keeps Us From Complacency
Hebrews 11:24 says, “By Faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the
son of Pharaoh’s daughter.”
- Complacency is a curse that saps energy, dulls attitudes, and causes a drain on the brain. The first symptom is satisfaction with things as they are.
- The second is rejection of things as they might be.
- "Good enough" becomes today’s watchword and tomorrow’s standard.
- Complacency makes people fear the unknown, mistrust the untried, and abhor the new. Like water, complacent people follow the easiest course -- downhill.
- They draw false strength from looking back.
- Moses desired not to live the life of complacency but rather chose the road God had for him.
- Why would anyone give up riches and comfortableness?
Point 5: Living A Life Of Faith Moves The Hand Of God
Hebrews 11:29-31 says, “By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell after the people had marched around them for seven days. By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.”
- The Israelites believed God for the impossible. And because they did, it moved the hand of God in there situation.
- God responds to our faith not emotion.
- God is not moved by our anger or our tears, but responds to our faith.
- I mentioned earlier that if we were absolutely convinced that nothing was impossible with God, what would we ask for?
- What would you do for the Kingdom of God?
- The Israelites believed God was going to give them the Promise Land, but they had to operate in faith to get it.
A defendant was on trial for murder in Oklahoma. There was strong evidence indicating guilt, but there was no corpse. In the defense’s closing statement the lawyer, knowing that his client would probably be convicted, resorted to a trick. "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I have a surprise for you all," the lawyer said as he looked at his watch. "Within one minute, the person presumed dead in this case will walk into this courtroom." He looked toward the courtroom door. The jurors, somewhat stunned, all looked on eagerly. A minute passed. Nothing happened. Finally the lawyer said, "Actually, I made up the previous statement. But you all looked on with anticipation. I, therefore, put it to you that there is reasonable doubt in this case as to whether anyone was killed and insist that you return a verdict of not guilty." The jury, clearly confused, retired to deliberate. A few minutes later, the jury returned and pronounced a verdict of guilty. "But how?" inquired the lawyer. "You must have had some doubt; I saw all of you stare at the door." Answered the jury foreman: "Oh, we did look. But your client didn’t."...
- We can use all the techniques that we have to move the hand of God, but the one thing that will move God to action is our faith. The Bible says, Have faith in God!
Point 6: Living A Life Of Faith Produces Perseverance And Character
Hebrews 11:39 says, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.”
- When we read from verse 32 we see men and women who went to the end with God. They were willing to endure hardship, torture and even death, but would not stop having faith in God.
- An example that we are all to familiar with is Noah who built the ark in the midst of persecution.
- It took him 120 years to build the ark, all in the midst of laughing and jeering.
- God desires us to grow in the faith and persevere to the end.
- God wants to produce in us His character. The only way that will happen is to launch out in faith and do what He wants us to do, despite the opposition we may face.
- In the end it will produce character that God wants us to have.
- There aren’t any hard-and-fast rules for getting ahead in the world -- just hard ones.
- You don’t have to lie awake nights to succeed. Just stay awake days.
- There is no poverty that can overtake diligence. -Japanese proverb
- By perseverance the snail reached the Ark. -Spurgeon
- Triumph is just "umph" added to try.
Postage stamps are getting more expensive, but at least they have one attribute that most of us could emulate: they stick to one thing until they get there.
From the diary of John Wesley. . .
Sunday, A.M., May 5 Preached in St. Anne’s. Was asked not to come back anymore.
Sunday, P.M., May 5 Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said "Get out and stay out."
Sunday, A.M., May 12 Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there, either.
Sunday, A.M., May 19 Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.
Sunday, P.M., May 19 Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday, A.M., May 26 Preached in meadow. Chased out of meadow as bull was turned loose during service.
Sunday, A.M., June 2 Preached out at the edge of town. Kicked off the highway.
Sunday, P.M., June 2 Afternoon, preached in a pasture. Ten thousand people came out to hear me.
- To live by faith will produce perseverance and character. Keep going forward despite
obstacles and believe God will help you.
Point 7: Living A Life Of Faith Lets You See Things You Can’t See In The Natural.
II Kings 6:15-17 says, “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. Oh, my lord, what shall we do? The servant asked. Don’t be afraid, the prophet answered. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them. And Elisha prayed, O Lord, open his eyes so he may see. Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”
- The very definition of faith is seeing the impossible.
- Faith is the ability to see things that have not come to pass yet in your life.
- Faith helps you see things others can’t see.
- It’s the Lord that helps us see, if we are willing.
God delights to increase the faith of His children...I say, and say it deliberately--trials, difficulties and sometimes defeat, are the very food of faith...We should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.