Joshua: If God is For Us

If God is For Us sermon manuscript

Joshua: If God is For Us

Passage: Joshua 10

January 28, 2018

Pastor Ben Marshall

 

This past weekend, Connie and I were able to go to the Grand Canyon. If you’ve never been there, you need to visit. It is incredible. We were there, and honestly, at first it felt like we were still in Michigan. We woke up in the morning to a snowstorm but went to the Grand Canyon anyway. We couldn’t see very much. It was hard to see through the snowstorm and clouds. We were excited to go the Grand Canyon, but we were also excited to have some time to relax and read books. We took advantage of the snowstorm and clouds to sit in the car with the heat on and read for a while. It was actually very relaxing. But all of a sudden, as I was in the middle of a sentence, a bird crowed. I looked up and out the window toward the canyon. The strong winds that had been rocking our car had pushed away the snowstorm and the clouds, and the clouds had released the sun to shine down over the Grand Canyon. Visibility had gone from a couple hundred feet to a few miles. It was the most incredible experience. Standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon makes you feel small and insignificant. It brings to mind the greatness of God. You’re left with this jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring worship of God and the understanding that “Only God could do this…”

 

It is that same understanding that fills the Israelites in their conquest of the Promised Land: “Only God could do this…” When the people didn’t follow the Word of God and when they didn’t ask counsel from God, they lost the battle at Ai and the people from Gibeon deceived them. But, when they followed His Word and His plan, they couldn’t lose. “Only God could do this.” God is far beyond us and our ability to comprehend the whys and the hows of what goes on in this world. When we’re going through hard times, we often don’t understand how we’re going to get through. We don’t see things like God sees them, but, through His Word, we get a glimpse at the way God sees things. Everything is for His glory and His Name. God sees your singleness differently than you do. God sees your marital struggle differently than you do. God sees your doubt differently than you do. God sees your temptation differently than you do. He is not intimidated, surprised, or overwhelmed. He has a plan and He is at work. If God is for us, who could be against us (Romans 8:31)?

 

There is a lot going on in Joshua 10. What are some things we can learn from this text?

First, God is at work in every situation of our lives.

Today, God is at work in your life. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it because we can’t see it; but know this: God is always at work. God is at work in every circumstance and situation of your life. You are never alone and you are never forgotten. God’s plans and ways are higher than our ability to understand. Just because we can’t see it, or it doesn’t feel like it, doesn’t mean God is inactive. Connie and I were sitting in that car, oblivious to the way God was using the wind to push away the clouds. Only when we looked up did we see what God had been doing behind the scenes. God is always at work, even when we don’t see it. Maybe the work God is doing in your life right now is having you be here this morning. God is trying to speak to you, trying to draw you to Himself, but you have been resisting. God wants to be in a relationship with each one of us. Every single one of us needs Jesus Christ¾even more those who have believed or received Him as Lord and Savior.

 

Second, pray with simple confidence in the sovereign plan and power of God.

Joshua’s prayer in verses 12-13 is an incredible depiction of simple confidence that God is in the heavens and does as He pleases. Joshua was following the Word of God and prayed that God would help him and all Israel defeat the enemy as God had spoken to them to do. This wasn’t Joshua praying for what he wanted, but for the purpose and glory of God. Why don’t we pray with this kind of conviction and confidence? The Bible tells us many different times how we can pray with conviction and confidence.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. The delight in the LORD comes first, and then the desires of your heart (because your desires will be the desires of God when you are delighting yourself in Him!).

  • Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. Joshua definitely showed this faith.
  • John 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. Joshua was abiding in the words of God and following His plan. God responded and did what Joshua requested.
  • James 4:2-3 You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.
  • 1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

God hears and responds to the simple prayers of faith from the righteous person following after Him. God doesn’t answer every prayer just as we would or as we want Him to, but we can take confidence in knowing that He hears and responds to His sons and daughters as they abide in Him.