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May 2, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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Continuing our “Taking Ground” series, this past weekend Pastor Chris Baselice from our Plantation campus shared a powerful word from Joshua 10. In this message, we saw a wild and miraculous scene as God made the sun stand still in order to help the Israelites take ground, and we learned why the devil will often attack us by going after the people we love.
Watch the video below to see a few highlights from the teaching and share it with your friends via social media. To watch the message in its entirety, click here.
Your Past Defeats Don’t Disqualify You from Future Victories (Joshua 10:1–9): Here, we see kings from various surrounding areas all come together to attack the Gibeonites, who had made peace with the people of Israel. And that illustrates such an important principle for us to be aware of as believers: You have to expect resistance when you make the decision to align yourself with God. And that resistance may come from strangers who harbor hostility towards Christians, but it may also come from our neighbors, friends, coworkers, and even our family members or those closest to us.
And so, what happens in this story is that the Gibeonites, who are being attacked on all sides by neighboring kings, send word to Joshua asking for him to get all of his army together to defend the them and honor the oath they made. And God reassured Joshua that the victory was theirs for He was with them. You see, God is still fighting for them, even after they had failed in seeking God’s wisdom in regards to the Gibeonites to begin with, even after they had suffered the consequences for past mistakes. No mistake is final for God’s children, no error to egregious for His grace.
God knew where the Israelites would fail before they entered the Promised Land; He knew all the times they’d come up short, turn away, fall into idolatry, and disobey Him, and yet He still chose them, still used them, still called them to press on. The same is true for us. Don’t be so discouraged by past failures that you miss out on future glory, because God is not done with you yet! Repent and trust that He is faithful, that He has a plan and purpose for you, and that He is with you wherever you go.
Even Though the Victory Is the Lord’s, the Battle Is Still Ours to Fight (Joshua 10:10–11): The victory is always the Lord’s, for He is the One who calls us to it, He is the One who equips for it, and He is the One who enables us to achieve it. But we still have to show up and allow Him to work in and through us; we still have to be willing vessels. That’s the balance we see throughout Scripture: the sovereignty of God with the responsibility of mankind.
It’s a privilege for us to be part of the story, where we get to be used by God to take ground for His kingdom and help usher people into a relationship with Jesus.
Our Greatest Weapon in Taking Ground Is a Bended Knee (Joshua 10:12–15): In order to complete the victory, the Lord extended the day. You see, if night had come, the enemy would have been able to escape, to slip away in the dark. So, God intervened in this battle to ensure the victory against these wicked enemies. This is still something we see today! Our Lord still intervenes in our battles; He still shows up and performs miracles on our behalf to complete the victory in us.
It was a supernatural victory by an all-powerful God, a God who answered an audacious, seemingly crazy prayer. Have you ever prayed a prayer like that? “God I know this is going to sound crazy, but make the sun stand still.” If you haven’t, why not? Consider what James said in James 4:2 (NIV): “You desire but do not have . . . You do not have because you do not ask God.”
We Must Be Ruthless in Killing False Kings (Joshua 10:16–28): After the defeat of the armies, the five kings hid in a cave. So Joshua trapped them with a large stone and sent troops to take out the rest of the armies. He didn’t let them escape to fortified cities. A few made it back, though, but none spoke negatively of Israel or the God of Israel. Why was Joshua so relentless in taking out the enemy and the kings of these nations? Because wickedness must be eliminated; darkness mustn’t prevail. We need to put our foot on the neck of the sin, idolatry, and wickedness that seeks to keep us ensnared. We must never leave in the caves of our heart the things that must be put to death, because if we do it will gain strength again and come back even more viciously to bring us to our knees. So, we must eradicate it.
Quote to Remember: : You have to expect resistance when you make a decision to align yourself with God.—Chris Baselice
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
As you think about this weekend’s teaching, here are a few questions to reflect on and consider on your own, with your family, or in your group.
1. How have you dealt with opposition in your life as a believer?
2. Why is it that fulfilling the calling God has placed on your life and encountering opposition so often go hand-in-hand?
3. How have you seen the Lord win battles in your life?
4. What prevents you from praying for miracles and “crazy” things?
5. Why is it dangerous to leave false kings alive in our hearts?
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Join us on Wednesday for a powerful and refreshing time of worship and heartfelt prayer as we reflect on God’s goodness and experience His presence together.
Then on the weekend, Pastor Doug explores Joshua 11–21 and we see how God was so faithful to keep His promises.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.