29 January, 2013

Faith is the Key

Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.”~ Joshua 6:1, 2 
Can you put yourself in this story? Just imagine that you are Joshua. Picture yourself looking around at your surroundings. Can you see the great city stretched out before you, and it is shut up tight just as the Captain of the Host had told you. You glance down at the ground and see your sandals which you had taken off because this ground has been made holy because the Holy One Himself stands before you. 
You see, the test of faith often comes down to what we choose to see. The question is, will we see only the closed gates, the closed hearts and the high walls? Or... this time will we take God at His word and see the city as OUR city through the lens of God’s promise? I happen to think that more times than not, we read this story of Jericho simply as a matter of fact, and we don't stop to consider the faith element that was required. It's that exact same type of faith that is required in our lives to accomplish the will of God. We've heard such a "cotton candy" version of Christianity that portrays our God as a Sugar Daddy in the sky who waives all requirements out of love. But that is not the God of the Bible. What He says, He means, and that means that there are conditions which we must meet in order to receive His blessings and promises. I'm not talking about a works based faith, rather, I am talking about a God of His Word. When He says that IF we... THEN He..., that is exactly what He means.  If Joshua had the mindset that so many have today, He might have decided to sleep in one day and not walk around the city. He might have decided to go fishing... or he might have decided that they really did not need to walk 7 times around the city.... only have good intentions because, "God knows my heart."  That is the kind of foolishness that so many try pass off to cover this disobedience now days. But God expects... He DEMANDS obedience to His Word. That's why faith is so important to us. Because it is what we see through the eyes of faith that pushes us to go on when we feel like quitting. Faith is far more than an optional, emotional thing that we can have or not have. The Word tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith is the key, for God loves to delight in people whose eyes have been opened to see through the eyes of faith and do not waiver. 

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