Summary: A lesson on walking in faith.
This morning I would like to speak to you about taking steps of faith. One of the more difficult aspects of the Christian life can be those times of taking steps of faith. It is important to note, however, that many of God’s greatest blessings accompany great steps of faith.
Today we are going to be looking at the 3rd chapter of Joshua to dissect a great step of faith.
Joshua 3:1-4 (NLT)
Early the next morning Joshua and all the Israelites left Acacia and arrived at the banks of the Jordan River, where they camped before crossing. Three days later, the Israelite leaders went through the camp giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before; they will guide you. Stay about a half mile behind them, keeping a clear distance between you and the Ark. Make sure you don’t come any closer.”
Jeremiah 1:5 (NKJV)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
“…For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope…”
Because God has mapped out your life, He knows the lay of the land. He knows the hills, valleys, twists and turns. In fact He sees what you don’t.
In my earlier days I worked as a Police Officer in metropolitan Fort Worth, Texas. It was not uncommon to have suspects try to flee from us. As you can imagine, a high speed pursuit in a crowded city can be a very dangerous proposition. To help make things safer for everyone, the city of Fort Worth utilized a helicopter patrol. One of the functions of this patrol was to become the eyes for the cars on the ground. If a chase initiated, the helicopter would take over the calling of the chase. The helicopter would warn of turns, intersections, pedestrians and other potential hazards that could not be seen from the ground. Because the helicopter could see more, we learned to trust the instructions given by its crew.
Just as with the Ark of the covenant being in front of the people of Israel, God leads the way for us – Hebrews 12:2a
Hebrews 12:2a (CEV)
We must keep our eyes on Jesus, who leads us and makes our faith complete…
If Jesus is in the lead, then he is blazing the trail we are taking. Never are we wandering aimlessly.
Joshua 3:5 (NLT)
Then Joshua told the people, “Purify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do great wonders among you.”
Let’s talk about the Importance of Purity. When it comes to purity we need to be Dealing with sin…not just recognizing it – Psalm 32:3-5
Psalm 32:3-5 (NLT)
When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Sin is a barrier to clear communication. We cannot clearly communicate with God if sin is in the way. We also cannot expect the fullness of God’s glory to be made known to us, if we cloud the picture with sin.
Do you expect the miraculous? Does your life have a pattern of God’s miraculous provisions tied to it? When we live a life of purity, we come to see God work in marvelous ways. The pure expect the miraculous – James 5:16b
James 5:16b (NLT)
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results
Joshua 3:8 (NLT)
Give these instructions to the priests who are carrying the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop.’
God is in the business of giving clear Instruction. His will is not a guessing game. God wants you to know what He expects of you.
Psalm 19:8 (NLT)
The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear, giving insight to life.