A Test Of Faith
Sunday Morning Sermon
March 28, 1999
Fair Avenue Baptist Church
Here is a very familiar story. It is one we learned in Sunday School when we were kids. Probably every kid who spent much time in Sunday School knows this story.
But the truth of this story is that it is a test of faith.
Think about it.
God had already told Joshua to enter the Promised Land and take all the cities for the Lord. So, the armies of Israel went in and cleaned up.
But then they come to Jericho.
And now comes the test of faith.
VERSE TWO - “The Lord said to Joshua.”
God spoke to Joshua about His plan for
Jericho. God says this is what I want you to do and here is how I want you to do it.
VERSE THREE shows us that Joshua was to take all the “men of war” and march around the city one time. And then do that same thing for six days.
And there’s more. The priests are going to walk in front of the Ark of the Covenant and blow their trumpets. (VERSE FOUR)
And then on the seventh day you are to march around the city seven times and then the priests are going to blow the trumpet.
And when you hear the blast of the trumpet, all the people are going to shout with a great shout,
and the walls of the city shall fall flat down.
God told Joshua His plan and in VERSE SIX Joshua put it into action.
They did what God told them to do and the walls fell flat down.
It was a test of faith.
I want to make several observations about this story and also make some comparisons.
1. THIS PLAN DID NOT MAKE SENSE
I can hear the people say, “Joshua, are you sure?”
This plan does not make sense.
March around the city?
Blowing seven trumpets?
Joshua, we don’t see it.
This plan that God gave to you doesn’t make any sense.
It surely can’t work.
But, wait a minute.
It was God’s plan,
Given to God’s man,
It was a test of faith for God’s people.
We are in the early stages of a new ministry for our church called VISION UNLIMITED.
It’s is God’s plan,
Taken from God’s Book,
Given to God’s people,
It is a test of faith for us.
Malachi 3:8 teaches us about tithes AND offerings.
God’s plan includes offerings,
God’s plan includes sacrificial giving,
And it has been given to God’s people.
And the truth is that it doesn’t always make sense.
You bring home 100%,
Give God 10%,
And live on 90%.
Or give God 15% and live on 85%.
Or give God 20% and live on 80%.
It doesn’t make sense.
It can’t work that way.
And that the way the average Christian
I can’t tithe.
I can’t give to missions.
I can’t give to VISION UNLIMITED.
I can’t make it on 100%,
how does God expect me to make it on 90 or 85%?
We do it the same way the children of Israel did it at Jericho - we just do it and let God work it out.
“Okay, Joshua, the walls are going to fall flat down. That’s great. How?”
“March around the city seven times.”
“March around the city once a day and don’t make any noise. Do that for six days and on the seventh day march around the city seven times.”
“Are you kidding? That doesn’t make any sense. That can’t work.”
And tithing and giving offerings doesn’t
always make sense.
And at first neither will VISION UNLIMITED.
You give your 10% tithe,
Maybe another 4-5% to missions,
And now you want to add VISION
My granddad used to say, “Can’t do it.” But, more often than not, he’d do it.
1. This plan did not make sense.
2. THIS PLAN TOOK FAITH
Imagine you are a soldier,
Battle-tested and proven,
You’re ready to charge Jericho,
You’re ready to fight and take the city.
But God has another plan,
A plan that includes faith,
A test of faith.
“Lord, we’re fighters,
We’re ready to fight,
and now you want us to march.”
“THAT’S NOT THE WAY WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT BEFORE.”
“March around the city. Lord, are You sure?”
“Hey, Bro. Joshua, are you sure you heard the Lord right?”
Preacher, I don’t understand VISION
We’ve never done it that way before.
We’ve always just borrowed the money to build and made the payments. Isn’t that the way you’re supposed to do it?
We’ve never given by faith to a Building
I understand Faith Promise Missions Giving a little,
but this VISION UNLIMITED I don’t
Ladies and gentlemen, VISION UNLIMITED is not something you can reason out.
It is a ministry of faith.
It took faith for Joshua and his army to march around Jericho.
It’s didn’t make sense.
It required faith.
And so does VISION UNLIMITED.
IT IS A TEST OF FAITH.
It is really just a matter of asking ourselves, “How much do I trust God?”
1. This plan did not make sense.
2. This plan took faith
3. THIS PLAN BROUGHT VICTORY
No, marching around the city didn’t make sense.
Yes, it took a lot of faith.
But, it brought about victory.
Because it was God’s plan,
Done God’s way,
By God’s people,
And brought about God’s results and victory.
Tithing is God’s plan,
Offerings are part of God’s plan,
And when done by God’s people,
It will always bring blessings.
If Joshua and his army had not followed God’s plan, they would not have had the victory.
The truth is that this was the only plan that would bring victory.
Now, let’s think about us.
The child of God who never learns to obey and follow God’s plan of giving will never have the victory or God’s abundant blessings.
VISION UNLIMITED may not make sense at first, and neither did marching around Jericho.
VISION UNLIMITED definitely requires faith and so did marching seven times around the city of Jericho.
But only through VISION UNLIMITED will we have the victory.
Will we pass the test of faith?