The power of faith
This week, in our continuing discussion on faith, I want to challenge us to believe big; to have great faith so that God will come through in our lives.
An accomplished author wrote: "Faith has been weakened in meaning so that some people use it to mean 'self-confidence'. But in the Bible, true faith is confidence in God or Christ, not in one's self."
What is the impossible mountain that you need God to move today? "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20 NIV.
Today, we look in the book of Joshua, chapter 10, which tells of one of the greatest miracles ever witnessed by man - the sun standing still.
In this account, the children of Israel, led by Joshua, were taking over the land of Canaan. During that time, the Gibeonites came and deceived Joshua and he made an agreement with them swearing not to destroy them. He made a huge mistake. Have you ever been in a situation where you got yourself into a mess and had to ask God to get you out of it? Some of you think that you are running out of time and you have adjusted your expectations to think that God is no bigger than your human efforts. This limits the power that our faith can give. So how do we empower our faith?
1 Your mistakes do not have to determine your faith
God told Joshua to "wipe out all the nations in the Promised Land", but he made a mistake and made a treaty with the Gibeonites. It was a sin. But his sin did not shackle him to his past. He asked God to forgive him. Some of us are shackled to our past, which is holding us back from God's best. Faith, however, understands who God is and gives us the courage to approach Him. Get pass your past and exercise your faith in the character of God.
Ask for God's forgiveness, forgive yourself and forgive others.
2 Sometimes the enemy attacks us because he fears
"The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: 'Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us'."
The five Amorite kings joined forces and decided to attack the Gibeonites because of the treaty with Joshua. These kings did it out of fear. When we join forces with Jesus, the enemy sees us and, out of fear, attacks us.
Even the troubles we face through the eyes of faith. Satan sometimes mounts his greatest attack on those who he fears the most. Sometimes he knows your potential, so he attacks in the most strategic areas to keep you from realising it. Sometimes, however, this is only setting us up for a SUN, STANDSTILL - deliverance in our lives.
TO RECEIVE GOD'S BEST
On receiving the request, Joshua was faced with a number of choices. To receive God's best, he must respond God's way.
Joshua had to respond with integrity and act accordingly: Joshua had made a commitment in God's name with the Gibeonites and he intended to honour it.
We need to understand the value of giving our word and then standing by it. We need to understand the connection between our faith, how we live our lives, and how we act. It opens the way for God to operate unhindered on our behalf. In chapter 10, we see that "Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army ... . 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' ." Joshua 10:7-8 NIV.
Joshua believed God. How much or how far are we willing to go to demonstrate our faith? Joshua's action positioned him for the move of God! After an all-night march, Joshua and the army surprised the five kings by joining the battle. "The Lord threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely ... ." Joshua 10:10-11 NIV.
The battle, however, was not over and Joshua needed more time, more daylight. Joshua, through the Lord, commanded the sun to stand still. "Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: 'Sun, stand still over Gibeon ... '." And God stopped the sun. Joshua used the promise of the Lord as the platform to exercise his faith.
We have to start finding the promise of God and using it as a platform for our faith. The truth is that faith was never designed to be a tranquiliser that we use to tolerate a life we hate. Faith produces that 'I can' spirit. This week, I want to challenge you to start exercising your faith and start praying 'SUN STANDSTILL' prayers to God.
What are the promises that the Lord has made to you? What are the promises you can claim from the Word? When we are in the purposes and the promise of God, God will do the impossible.