Life-Lesson: God leads His people to situations that are way over our heads and way beyond our means in order to teach us faith and obedience.
Hebrews 11:6 teaches us that the only way to please God is to exercise faith.
1 Cor. 16:13 In order for this generation to move forward with God, they would need to be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, and be strong.
7 Observations of Faith and Obedience (Joshua 3-5)
1. God commanded them to cross – at the worst possible time (3:1-17).
· The normally narrow river flooded its banks so that it filled the depression valley that was 150 feet deep and as much as a mile wide.
· Did it make sense to them? Probably not – God’s ways are mysterious. But He knows what He’s doing, and He knows what is best. That’s why God often asks us to obey at the worst possible times.
When we cannot trace God’s hand we can trust God’s heart. – Charles Spurgeon
God marked out the path ahead of them – right through an impossibility.
You do not test the resources of God till you try the impossible. – F. B. Meyer
2. God commanded them to camp – and contemplate the impossible (3:1-2).
· For three days they looked and thought, “This is the worst possible time to cross.”
· This was way over their heads and way beyond their means. They were in a crisis once again because God had led them into the crisis. He had created it, just as He did for their parents at the Red Sea.
Don’t evaluate your situation until you have heard from Jesus. He is Truth.
- H. Blackaby
When God invites you to join Him in His work, He has a God-sized assignment for you. You will quickly realize you cannot do what He is asking on your own. If God doesn’t help you, you will fail. - Blackaby
3. He commanded their leaders to go first and stay in harm’s way – to demonstrate their faith (3:3-8,12-17).
Were they anxious as they stood there? They knew that their lives were in His hands.
The spiritual shepherds were to be men of faith, and that meant they went in the water first. They did not wait for a woman of faith to go first. They put themselves on the line.
4. He commanded the stones to be stacked – so the children would honor His name (4).
In harm’s way – somewhere upstream a mountain of
water had been piling up.
water had been piling up.
They went out in faith, trusting that God would continue to hold the water back. Once again, they were commanded to control their fear and do what God commanded. That’s the Christian life. – Steve Farrar
5. God commanded the men to take the mark and completely depend on God (5:1-9).
· It was the worst possible time to take the mark.
· They faced the giant of complete vulnerability.
· For several days every man – the entire army – was completely dependent on God to defend their lives.
Joshua didn’t let his fear or inadequacy keep him from moving ahead. He didn’t allow fear to paralyze or stop him. He kept moving in the right direction.
They had to fight off anxious thoughts of fear and worry while they were completely vulnerable. They had to take those fears and worries and cast them on the Lord.
6. God commanded them to trust His provision – even when it took a new form (5:10-12).
· They had learned to depend on God day by day for 40 years.
· If you desire to be used by God, you will more than likely have to face the giant of financial drought. When God stops one financial source, it means that He is going to open up another source that you know nothing about. – Steve Farrar
When God dries up your secure and familiar source, He will provide another.
7. God commanded Joshua to take a knee – and submit to God’s lordship (5:13-15).
· When Joshua realized He was in the presence of His Commander and Captain, he took two knees and got on his face.
· He’s the Captain – you’re not. Get off the throne and acknowledge His lordship. He’s the King, Master, Lord, Captain, and Commander in Chief.
Source used: Battle Ready by Steve Farrar