Faith: the substance of the things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
What a statement! What a challenge!
I was reading today, or *listening to, the story of Joshua and how he led the army of Israelites against a mighty foe. He vanquished them in their homes and whilst running down the rag-tag survivors he did an audacious thing: he commanded the sun and moon to stop in their tracks and they obeyed!
9 After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise.
12 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.”
13 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.
14 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 for Israel!
Surely the Lord is on our side! My fellow travelers I tell you, when I read this my heart jumped and that well of water, the Holy Ghost, stirred deep within. I want that kind of faith! This man not only commanded the sun and moon to stop, he had the holy boldness to tell them where! Now you’re talking about faith. Verse 14 clinches the deal for me, “There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being.” My God!
I can just imagine our great God getting off His throne, hand on knee, peering down at this bold son of His. Can’t you just see Him shake His head and say, “I’ve got to honor this faith.”?
Joshua did not even think twice about commanding the elements and knew (not hoped, not wished but knew!) that God would back his play. This was some man of God. Never before or since has such a thing occurred.
Joshua’s spiritual father, Moses, had a similar miracle performed for him but the miracle of the Red Sea was prompted by God (Exodus 14: 15-21). Joshua needed no prompting – he knew God so well, knew that his God, the mighty God, the Only God, was right there with him and his kindred that he simply spoke and it was so.
This man stayed in the presence of the Lord and meditated on his word day and night. (Joshua 1:8) Imagine how much more he could have done with the power of God residing in him instead of on him.
This was the time before God poured out His spirit on the land, the time before his sons and daughters would prophesy and old men would dream dreams and have visions. Where are the miracles children of God? Where is our holy boldness? Where is our faith?
I’ll tell you where, they took a back seat to our jobs, our friends, our spouses, our hobbies and past times and yes, our ‘work for the Lord’.
We’ve given up our relationship with God for a late night date with cable television and the latest mega-fest conference. We’ve traded such great a faith for a shout and a dance. We’ve settled for a taste of the anointing instead of a full bodied love affair with the Lord.
Jesus said, “…I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these…” (John 14:12).
The disciples took his word to heart for surely it was Peter whose shadow could heal, Philip was taken up by the spirit and transplanted from one place to another in order to share the gospel with a eunuch, Paul survived immeasurable beatings and hardships to spread the good news and was taken to the seventh heaven, John received the revelation of all revelations and all received the in-filling of the Holy Ghost – the very spirit of God.
And yet I still hear the master ask, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25)
* I recommend Zondervan’s Inspired by… The Bible Experience to all believers. There is no audio bible I know that brings the bible to life in such a way as this version does. My personal favorites are the readings of Jesus Christ by Blair Underwood and the beloved disciple, John by Levar Burton. You will not be disappointed.
Ref Source: All scriptures are from the New International Version Bible.