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Crossing the Jordan 6 Joshua 10

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Crossing the Jordan 6 – Faith & Commitment / nv 7/24/05 a.m.

OC:  (Beginning of Service) We have been reminded this week of the reality and working of God, and we are here right now to worship Him. I don’t mean that God wasn’t working the week before, or that God won’t be working in the lives of people in weeks to come. But, this past week we entered into areas that were new, and usually in new circumstances and environments we see His hand more clearly. Youth in Mexico

(Friday morning with Jeremy – The people at that church came through / Evelyn Goodin “There is One that can do more than you…God.”) It is this God we’ve come to worship this morning. If you are visiting with us or here as a member - you are not here by accident – God has worked in your life and brought here today. Today we’re going to focus on the greatest element in the Christian life – Faith. We look back on great moments and see how God has brought us through, and we know that in the future there will be more challenges, more mountains to climb, more struggles, and it is by faith that we must walk. Let us worship today a great and powerful God who deserves it from our heart.

OS: 1 A man fell off a cliff, but managed to grab a tree limb on the way down. The following conversation ensued:
"Is anyone up there?"
"I am here. I am the Lord. Do you believe me?"
"Yes, Lord, I believe. I really believe, but I can’t hang on much longer."
"That’s all right, if you really believe you have nothing to worry about. I will save you. Just let go of the branch."
A moment of pause, then: "Is anyone else up there?"

2 Hebrew 11 6 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.

I.       Faith will determine what we do, and how we go about it. (Risk / Method)

A.     Crossing Jordan and the conquering of the promise land is filled with lessons about faith and the lack of it.

                       1.       Jericho fell by faith (Hebrews 11:30)

                       2.       Lack of faith in God and too much faith in themselves caused the setbacks of Ai, and Gibeon.

B.     Attempt something so big that to succeed God must be in it.

II.    Faith is absolutely necessary if we are going to be the church that God wants us to be.

A.     Without faith we will constantly shrink back from risk due to fear.

B.     Without faith we will fail to consult with God about our direction.

TEXT: Joshua 10

I.       3 Faith is essential because life will never be perfect.

A.     The people of Gibeon had tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them.

                       1.       He failed to inquire of God – remember.

                       2.       There are always consequences. – now they must protect Gibeon.

                       3.       It just can’t be simple.

B.     Life will never be perfect.

                       1.       A Panel of Women debated on what they thought was a perfect man, a guy who was ‘with it’. You would have thought they would have decided upon some actor or athlete even a wealthy tycoon. They decided that the perfect man was MR POTATO HEAD. 4 Reasons: ‘He’s tan, he’s cute, he knows the importance of accessorizing, and if he looks at another girl you can rearrange his face.

                       2.       It’s been said that childhood is when you think your parents are perfect. Adolescence is when you realize they’re not perfect, and you become an adult when you accept them for who they are imperfections and all.   

C.     :2 Corinthians 5 7 We live (walk) by faith, not by sight.

                       1.       If faith were not there we would stay in the same spot because an imperfect world is scary.

                       2.       It is with faith that we face the unknown future with confidence knowing that God will get us through.

II.    4 Faith is essential because we can’t make it on our own.

A.     Look at verse 8, 8 The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them; I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.”

                       1.       Do you think Joshua inquired of the Lord this time?

                       2.       God had already told him He’d be with Him, but he needed reassurance.

B.     Though we struggle to admit it, life is pretty much out of our control.

                       1.       Illustrate – Remote control for TV (you know why we like it)

                       2.       There were three guys talking in the pub. Two of them are talking about the amount of control they have over their wives, while the third remains quiet.
After a while one of the first two turns to the third and says, "Well, what about you, what sort of control do you have over your wife?"
The third fellow says "I’ll tell you. Just the other night my wife came to me on her hands and knees."
The first two guys were amazed. "What happened then?" they asked.
"She said, ’get out from under the bed and fight like a man’."

C.     “Those who live without faith in God, live with out prayer, and thus live by chance”

TS] Life is not perfect – we can’t make it on our own, and…

III. Faith is essential because as God’s people we are often faced with what seems to be impossible.

A.     Joshua and Israel – Jordan, Jericho, and now a group of nations.

                       1.       Moses had a hard enough time just leading these people through the wilderness.

                       2.       Even having the sun stand still is not to big to ask of God.

B.     Without faith we’ll just not try.

                       1.       We need to be like the 84 year old grandmother who fiercely maintained her independence and lived alone in the old family home. Her 4 children lived n the same town, but she rarely called them except in emergencies. It was with some apprehension, therefore, that one of her sons drove to her house one morning in answer to her phone call. When he arrived she said she suspected that there was a burglar in her bedroom closet, since she had heard noises in there the night before. “Why didn’t you call me last night?” he exclaimed. “Well,” she replied, it was late and I hated to bother you, so I just nailed the closet shut and went to bed.” We are inclined to take the easy way out, and that is not always the right way.

IV.   We must be people of faith because Life is not perfect – we can’t make it on our own, and we have big things to accomplish for God.

A.     We have stepped out to be the church God wants us to be.

                       1.       1000’s of people in our area who do not know Christ.

                       2.       We are in the middle of relocating and starting all over as a church.

                       3.       We are on the brink of having an everyday frontline ministry to families through Carpenter’s Kids.

                       4.       In the mist of all this its time for small groups to be planned.

We went to Disneyland a few weeks ago and stood in line together for the 3-D movie, “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience.” I promised my son there was nothing in there that could hurt him when we walked in to sit down, because he was afraid of the dark and unfamiliar theater.

When we sat down, I noticed some round, metal grids on both sides of every chair in front of us… and I figured they must just be little surround sound speakers. Even I was curious about what to expect before the movie began.

An announcer asked everyone to put on the 3-D glasses and the movie made everyone feel as if we had been shrunken along with the whole audience. The problem was that Thomas was starting to believe that what he saw through those glasses was real, instead of believing what I had told him: that it was just a movie, and that nothing would hurt him. But as soon as the movie began, he was immersed in the illusion and started to believe he was really in danger, even though I assured him there was nothing to worry about.

Then, in the middle of the movie, they let out hundreds of rats and mice into the audience… Just a visual effect, right? That’s what I thought until I actually felt them brushing past my legs! That’s what surprised me most… I could feel those mice from the movie. I could feel the wet spray when the giant dog sneezed at the audience. The unpredictable effects were pretty convincing, which I realized even more so when I looked over at my son, legs up, cringing in his seat…

Those little metal grids weren’t surround sound speakers at all. They were pressurized air nozzles that blew on your legs to make you feel the mice brushing your legs as they ran by, and sprayed watery mist when the dog sneezed in 3-D.

It was all illusion. It was a false front. There really was nothing there that could harm us, but we humans happen to be so dependant on our natural senses that we will often times look through those 3-D glasses of the natural world instead of seeing our circumstances through the eyes of faith and we fall prey to our senses and loose faith in the promises of God.

My son may have believed what I said in his head, but he didn’t believe with his heart.   

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