Summary: Joshua #5
As I am in the process of getting to know each of you, I am aware of the many difficulties some of you have faced and are facing. Some of these crisis situations you have had to deal with are extremely difficult situations. Some of you have faced the difficulty of dealing with a tragic death.
And you are still feeling the pain and anguish from that.
For some of you, the crisis is not necessarily a tragic death.
It may be a debilitating illness,
it may be a lack of finances,
it may be the loss of a job,
it may be the difficult task of making a heart rending decision
There is no doubt...we have faced, we are facing today, and we will face in the future...crisis situations in our lives.
These crises will leave us either stronger or weaker.
Satan would like to use these crises to make us stop trusting God. He wants us to throw in the towel and say, "The Christian life just isn’t worth it! I can’t live it! I’m going to just quit trying!" Satan uses our old sin nature to feed our thoughts.
But God takes these crises (these trials) that we face and wants us to understand that He is still in control. He wants us to trust Him and to rest in Him. And when we do that, we’ll grow stronger in Him. That’s God’s desire for us.
So, you can see, can’t you, that there’s a battle going on. Every time we face a crisis, there’s a battle. Going through that crisis (that trial) will make us either weaker or stronger. We will not be the same as when we went in.
The people of Israel faced some crisis situations. One such crisis situation was soon after they crossed the Jordan River in anticipation of conquering the Promised Land, the Land God had promised to them. Whether or not they could take the city of Jericho would determine the success or failure of their campaign.
If victorious, the whole Promised Land would be opened up to them.
If defeated, the kings of the area would unite to destroy them.
What happened? Well, we know, don’t we that they won, right? I mean "Joshua fit the battle of Jericho....and the walls came a tumblin’ down!" Right?
How did they do it? I mean, these walls were thick! Outer wall was 6 ft thick, followed by a space of 15 ft and then an inner wall 12 ft thick! What was the weapon they used? Was it a battering ram? Was it some sort of bomb? What did they use? Do you want to know what weapon they used?
FAITH!!! It says so in Hebrews 11:30 "By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days." BY FAITH!
And you know what? That’s also our most effective weapon we have in facing the enemy.
Ephesians 6:16 "...take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one."
Faith is the ultimate weapon. It is a most devastating weapon.
Now, if faith is the most effective weapon we have, and it was by faith that the people of Israel conquered Jericho, it would do us well to learn something of what this faith is like so that we can use it in the battles and crises we face.
You see, the Promised Land is described as "the rest" in the N.T. What is meant by "the rest" anyway?
"The rest" for us as N.T. believers is the spirit-filled, abundant Christian life...a life of satisfaction & contentment. We are actually exhorted to "enter the rest" (Hebrews 4:11).
In order for us to enter that rest, there are going to be walls, brick walls, we will face...
...walls of sorrow,
...walls of sickness,
...walls of frustrations,
...walls of discouragements,
...walls of set backs of one kind and another.
But God says that we can have peace, we can have victory, and we can have rest...even in these difficult situations.
But it’s going to take faith. It’s going to take victorious faith. What is this faith like?
How will we recognize this kind of faith?
What are the characteristics of this victorious faith?
Let’s find out in Joshua 6.
Please turn with me to Joshua 6 and let us look first of all at the first 2 verses where we see that the first characteristic of victorious faith is that it...
I. RELIES TOTALLY ON THE POWER OF GOD (6:1-2)
Look at verse 2 again: "See..." See what? What you would have seen was a brick wall. What does God ask them to see?
He wants them to see the power of God. He wants His people see with the eyes of faith. He wants His people to have faith in His power.