Jesus Church
The Thread of Life – Part 11 (Faith)
August 1, 2021

The Thread of Life – Part 11 (Faith)

August 1, 2021

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Catch up on our series HERE

 

The Thread of Life – 31 Stories that point to Jesus

Part 11

 

Welcome to Jesus Church – Here and Online

We are in a series going through the Bible – Why are we doing that

  • As disciples of Jesus… we follow in what Jesus did
    • Jesus knew the Bible of His day very well
    • He quoted it, memorized it, interpreted it, taught it
  • And so we think its very important to do the same
    • Many Christians spend whole lives following the bible
    • And they’ve never even gone thru the whole thing
  • And if you are new – Love for u to follow along with my notes
    • Either scan the QR code with ur iphone camera
    • Or go to sermons.church and type in Jesus Church
    • Everything I’m reading up here… you will have on your phone
      • Just don’t judge me for typos

Last week we looked through the beginning of Joshua

  • A man who had some huge shoes to fill when Moses dies
    • Right away God tells Joshua 4x: Be “Strong & Courageous”
    • His 1st task was to tell all of Israel: The way to defeat ur enemy
    • To destroy this fortified city of giants… yell really loud
  • Which would have been frustrating – He probably had ideas
    • Remember he scouted out the city 40 years earlier
    • This was his moment to shine…
    • But really – It was God’s moment to shine
  • God was teaching them as he teaches us – One victory is His alone
    • Not to focus on our smallness compared to our problems
    • But God’s bigness compared to our problems
      • A change in situation won’t defeat your enemy
      • A change in who controls that situation will

TAG: But notice God still worked w/ Israel… they still had 2 yell (theme)

We are gonna stay with Joshua 1 more week

I just really love Joshua – So many stories that point to Jesus

Joshua 10:7-14 NIV (Context: Just defeated to armies… feeling real good)

So Joshua marched up from Gilgal with his entire army, including all the best fighting men. 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.” After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise. The LORD threw them into confusion before Israel, so Joshua and the Israelites defeated them completely at Gibeon. Israel pursued them along the road going up to Beth Horon and cut them down all the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 

As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them, and more of them died from the hail than were killed by the swords of the Israelites.

  • Isn’t it funny how u can do all you can do and God can still do more
    • But also understand God worked with His people (Theme)
    • Didn’t need them… he wanted them

On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:

“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on its enemies,

as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting 4 Israel

[PRAY]

This story stands by itself as an amazing miracle

Refreshing to know that even nature obeys God

  • And some will check out b/c this story is a scientific impossibility
    • If the sun were to stop… that means the earth stopped spinning

Google Search

If the Earth stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere would still be in motion with the Earth’s original 1100 mile per hour rotation speed at the equator. … This means rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, your pet dog, and so on, would be swept away into the atmosphere.

But the laws of science obey God, not the other way around

  • Also nice to see a non-perfect prayer accepted by a perfect God
    • Because the Earth was what stopped, not the sun
    • But God knew what he meant
  • But these aren’t the things that change my life
    • So many times we miss the message b/c we fail to find context

Example – Lion King, just the last 5 minutes

  • 2 Lions fight and Simba becomes King…
    • Great, but you miss the significance
    • The significance of this lion place as king… justice being served
  • So I want to take a look at the context of a miracle
    • B/C I believe we will find truth about God
    • And the truth will change our lives forever.

So first lets look at the Background

This is the 3rd miracle in Book of Joshua

  • Crossing of Jordan & Jericho were last week
    • By Ch 10 – Word is getting out about Israel and Joshua
    • When you find a way to take down the wall of Jericho
      • People are gonna know your name

So next up are the Gibeonites – and they see the writing on the wall

  • Example: Wrestled 1 year in school… Had a friend Jon who was the best
    • And it wasn’t for me… It was miserable cutting weight
      • You wrestle people around same weight as you
      • Jon was special b/c his legs never grew a birth
      • So he was very light… the hulk from the waste up
    • While others starved themselves to match w/ someone smaller
      • Jon didn’t have to do any of that… ate really good
        • And if Jon got ahold of you… you were gonna lose
        • In fact if you wrestled Jon… you were gonna lose
        • So it was everyones goal… figure a way not to fight Jon

Gibeonites strategy: Figure out a way NOT to fight Joshua and his God

  • Instead of fighting this undefeated heavy weight champion
    • Lets trick them!!!
  • Sometimes your enemy won’t attack you in the way you expect
    • He’ll just deceive you and sneak up on you from behind
    • Gibeonites send out a detachment of men
  • And honestly: This was pretty Smart on their part
    • They go to good will and buy some old clothes, old sandals
    • Prop dept. with old crusty bread
    • Show up where Israelites is so they don’t know who they are

And their whole plan hinges on convincing Joshua they aren’t a threat

  • Ask: Can we be ur water boys as you go to the championship game
    • They said bread was warm when we left home
    • Sandals are warn out and supplies falling apart
  • It’s like they Pull up w/ fake accents and out of state license plates
    • Can we just hang out with you
    • So they made a covenant ratified by the God of Israel
    • And the plan worked – Now they were in covenant
      • One: Obviously Israel can’t defeat them now
      • And: If they get attacked… Israel has to defend them

Bad alliances – Key verse (Sad Verse)

Describes why lots of people are in a current dilemma in life

Joshua 9:14

The men of Israel sampled their provisions, but did not enquire of the Lord.

  • The whole story sounded good on surface… seemed right to them
    • But they didn’t check the orders with headquarters
    • They made an alliance… Cost them dearly
  • This is why Joshua is fighting in Ch. 10
    • They made a new alliance with these con artists
    • And now they are in a battle God never intended them to fight

How many of us have made bad alliance in our lives that looked good in the physical, but we didn’t inquire God about the spiritual

  • It made sense to us… if was convenient… it felt good… exciting…
    • How many of us are in bad alliances right now
    • You’ve signed our name on the dotted line
      • And you’re still making the payments

Illustrate – Ever sat thru a time share presentation…

  • Somehow they convince you… If you don’t buy today/right now
    • Your Kids will have physiological issues
    • Your wife will leave you
    • Your dog will die
  • So here is our special one time offer…
    • Pay 52 weeks for one week on beach in December
  • Or maybe u watched a midnight infomercial? (bow flex)
    • Now that $1000 purchase is your laundry rack
    • That u pay 49.99 each month for… gym membership is only $10

Nothing funny about bad alliances when it hits hard in real life

  • When you make agreement, decision, alliance in your life
    • And years later you’re still paying for it…
    • And if it could happen to Joshua… it can happen to anyone
    • Not a person here who hasn’t made a bad alliance.
  • There are a number of use who are sapped dry spiritually
    • B/C of a bad alliance we’re made right now
    • Financial Alliance – All starts w/ 1 credit card – “SAME AS CASH”
      • Didn’t intend, but didn’t seek the Lord
    • Relational Alliance – 2nd or 3rd marriage
      • Looked good and said right things, didn’t ask God
      • Jesus not center of marriage covenant. Fell apart
    • Addiction Alliance – Alcohol, spending, eating
  • We all have our alliances… some visible and some hidden
    • But we know it’s there – It was never supposed to…
      • Hurt this bad
      • Go that far
      • Cause that in their life
  • Joshua never intended to fight battles for his enemies
    • But he made a bad alliance

It’s against backdrop of a terrible decision – Joshua’s miracle comes

  • Can you see how much more significance there is in this miracle?
    • Joshua is fighting a battle resulted from his direct disobedience
    • Yet God steps in and stops the sun in its course
    • Stops earth from spinning
  • And we need to see that the God we serve…
    • No matter how far you’ve drifted
    • No matter how hard you’ve run
    • No matter how many bad alliances you’ve made
    • No matter how hopeless or dark it feels
  • We serve a God that takes mistake and turns them into miracle
    • Who can make the sun stand still in your life

And maybe you’ve wasted a ton of time in your life

  • You look at commitments u made… think I cant get that time back
    • And God doesn’t rewind, but he can pause
  • Joshua knew that his decisions slowed his progress
    • Battle is being won… but sun about to go down
    • Enemy could regroup and this could go on for a long time
      • But God accelerated Joshua’s victory
      • And God can accelerate a victory in your life as well
        • No matter what alliances you’ve made
  • He can take everything you were supposed to do in last 10 years
    • Catch you up right before your eyes
    • That’s how big our God is
    • Its why no matter what… we never give up on what God said

Maybe you think… we that was the OT – God did crazy things then

  • Jesus did the same thing… disciples on the boat
    • Storm comes and the disciples are paralyzed with fear
    • Jesus steps into their storm… declares authority over situation

Jn 6:21 NIV

Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading.

  • It’s years of battle you brought on yourself redeemed by a God
    • Who will never give up on you or his plan for your life
    • This is the hope God shows us we have in Him

B/C we serve a God powerful enough to fling the stars into the heavens but intimate enough to know the number of hairs on your head

Joshua prays a prayer we’ve all prayed… God get me out of mess I made

  • And God listens… that’s not a prayer for faint of heart – takes faith
    • B/C if this prayer doesn’t work Joshua looks crazy
    • If it doesn’t work… start looking for the real Moses 2.0
  • And what does Joshua do… prays a “God only u can do this” prayer
    • We need “God only u can do this” prayers in our lives
    • Joshua knows this is all his fault
    • Easy to think… I got myself in – I gotta get myself out
  • That might sound noble… it’s most foolish thing u could every think
    • You want to get yourself out of the messes you made
    • Good luck with figuring out sin on your own

Enemy would love to convince u that prayer is off limits to your messes

  • I know you’ve heard the voice… Nope! Can’t go to God w/ this one
    • Joshua does it anyways… and God hits the pause button
    • God pauses the DVR (Remember first time you saw a DVR work)
    • It literally blew my mind

Man asks God for the impossible, and God moves heaven and earth to bring undeserved BUT complete victory

Hebrews 4:16 NIV

Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

  • Marriage not where it should be, no way but divorce
    • Pray a “God only you can do this” prayer
  • Kids aren’t right with the Lord… just getting further away
    • Pray a “God only you can do this” prayer
  • Doctor says there’s no cure or can’t have kids
    • God be my great physician
  • Find it impossible to fight your emotions/cumpulsions/addictions
    • Ask God to make the sun stand still in your life

Pray the impossible prayer and watch God work

And through your situation, whether it’s your mess or just life, as he cleans it up, you will now have a testimony that will give others the strength to pray a “God only you can do this” prayer for their lives as well

3 things to leave with today

  1. God works miracles out of mistakes
  2. God desires to redeem the time in your life (never too late)
  3. God’s work is directly connected with our work
    • Don’t translate this to works are connected to your worth…
      • Your worth is based on Jesus
        • But don’t pray for your marriage… then ignore you wife
        • Don’t pray for financial freedom and go buy a giant TV

Josh 10:11 NIV

There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword

  • Joshua didn’t just throw up a prayer, sit back and check out
    • They were fighting the battle when God came in
    • But God multiplied the results
    • And God wants to take ur mound of faith and turn it into a mtn
      • But it starts with a decision

[PRAY]

 

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