Off The Wall
Pastor Richard Hall
Midland SDA Church
March 17, 2018
A. My wife Patricia is a teacher. A few years ago she was asked to serve on a summer curriculum committee for the NAD. She served for five years in a row. Each summer the committee met in a different city. Her committee wrote curriculum for language.
The committee met for three weeks each summer. There were other teachers that worked on math, PE, etc.
The assistant education director for the NAD was Erma Lee.
She would assign the devotional talk each morning to the various teacher groups. One morning Erma Lee announced: tomorrow – Pat’s group - will be leading out for the devotional. “I’m sure that whatever they come up with will be ‘OFF The Wall’.”
So the group decided to name their talk: Off the Wall.
B. I believe that God is calling for us to trust Him so much, to have such a strong faith in Him – that it is considered radical –Off the Wall – in the eyes of the common man.
II. OFF THE WALL
A. Romans 1:16,17 – read it.
Paul is talking about radical faith. He says: I am not ashamed of the Gospel! I am proud to be a Christian! If you knew what I know – you would be too.
Every Christian – testify – how God is working in your life.
St. Francis of Assisi – Preach the Gospel – if necessary, use words.
Vs. 16 – Paul says: it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes.
Vs. 17 - therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith.
“The just shall live by faith.”
Not – we could, we should, would, ought to – my Bible says: we shall live by faith…not just a puny – milk-toast/washed out impotent faith.
A faith that is power packed.
Dunamis – Greek – power – dynamite.
God wants to give us the kind of faith that will do great things for Him – powerful things – even – off the wall things.
He wants us to have an audacious faith. Our faith should be so exceptional that the common man would consider it radical – beyond what is expected. When people meet us – they should soon see – he/she has been in the presence of Jesus! That should make them want what we are experiencing!
COL 146 – “You need not go to the ends of the earth for wisdom, for God is near. It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you. We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul. He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him. He longs to give you understanding in temporal as well as in spiritual matters. He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. Put your talents into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you.”
III. Joshua’s Faith:
A. Joshua had this kind of faith. Joshua 1 – Moses is dead. God tells Joshua – I choose you to lead my people.
Vss, 1,2 – his marching orders – read it.
Go over the Jordan – you can do it.
Vs 5 – I will be with you.
Vss 6,7,9,18 – Be strong
B. God’s people had been wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years. It was time to inherit Canaan land. They were coming to the end of their journey.
The thought was a little scary. Satan will do anything to put doubts in our minds when God tells us to do something.
I’m sure Satan put doubt into the minds Joshua and his other leaders.
Three problems came to mind!
Problem Number One: There were giants in the land.
If you hit the rewind button – go back forty years – Moses and the children of Israel were standing on the border to Canaan. Twelve spies were sent .
The report came back – giants are in the land. We look like grasshoppers compared to them.
Joshua and Caleb – we can do it!
Now – forty years later – here they are again – on the border to Canaan.
They were ready to cross the Jordan – but it was not without trepidation!
Satan must have been whispering in their ears: as soon as you cross the river you will be wiped out.
Are you facing any giants in your life?
· Marriage in trouble
· Financial despair
· Retirement fund – big goose egg
· The Big C – Cancer
It is never good news when you hear the word cancer and your name in the same sentence.
Whatever face your personal giant has – God is there! We must live by faith and not by sight!
Joshua decided to send two spies into the land to check it out. Rahab – the harlot – hid them – helped the escape through her window with a scarlet rope – letting them down the wall. She had faith – and because of it – her whole family was saved when destruction came.
The two spies came back and testified: We can do it. They knew: When God asks us to do something – He also empowers us – He never hangs us out to dry.
Second Problem: How are we going to cross the Jordan River? No boat, no barge, no bridge.
Against the odds – it seemed impossible. The logistics would be a nightmare. How are we going to get the Ark of the Covenant across? How can we safely get our children and babies across? The task seemed beyond human resources.
And not only that: It was Spring time – which meant that the river was in flooding condition – overflowing the banks.
But God said: Trust Me – by faith – step into the water.
God says the same thing to us today!
Trust Me! Step into the water! Step by step He promises to lead us. We can’t the end result ahead of time – but He can!
Joshua had seen the handiwork of God before. He was inclined to obey – he wanted to be found faithful. So he said:
I’m not sure how this is going to work out – but here we go.
Like a scene out of the old b/w TV program from years ago – Wagon Train. With the wagon master at the front sitting on his horse – motioning with is arm – wagons ho!
I can picture Joshua at the front with his hand motioning forward – wagons ho! That great caravan of God’s people began to move toward the river.
Joshua 3:14-17 – The Clear Word
“So the people made their way toward the river, with the priests and the ark of the Lord leading the way. It was the time of the year when spring rains and melting snow from the mountains caused rivers to overflow. But though the Jordan was at flood stage, as soon as the priests touched the water with their feet, the river parted. The water coming down piled up in a great heap, backing up beginning at the village of Adam in the vicinity of Zarethan. The water normally flowing into the Dead Sea was completely cut off, leaving a twenty-mile wide strip for the children of Israel to cross over. So the people crossed over the Jordan on dry ground not far from the city of Jericho. The priests with the Ark remained in the middle of the river until all the tribes had crossed.”
God did something totally “Off the Wall”. He dried up a twenty- mile stretch of the Jordan River during a time of flood.
What more evidence do we need before we believe that we serve a BIG, BIG, GOD ?
Problem Number Three: Jericho was a fortified city. The walls were tall and thick. The people inside had provisions of food and water to last for years.
Illustration: Masada – 70-72 AD
King Herod’s winter vacation resort! 960 Jewish Zealots escaped Jerusalem when it was destroyed by the Roman army in 70 AD. They went to Masada.
Describe it! It took the Roman Army two years – to build an earthen ramp to the top. When they broke through they found that everyone had committed suicide.
Jericho could last for years! How could God’s people ever live in Canaan right at the enemy’s door? It wouldn’t be safe.
Joshua didn’t know it, but God was prepared to do something that was so “off the wall” that it would go down in history as phenomenal.
Here is the key to complete victory in your walk with God!
Radical faith + complete obedience opens the door for God to do incredible things.
Joshua 6:1-3 – read it.
God says – march around the city once a day for six days – then seven times on the seventh day.
Vss 4 ,5 – read it.
Shout – blow the rams horn trumpets – and see the hand of God at work.
Joshua 6:20 – read it.
Like the song says: Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and the walls came tumbling down.
Hebrews 11:30 – By faith the walls of Jericho fell down.
The Lord works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform.
A. Now Joshua could see for himself the handiwork of God. He had faith – the kind of faith that resulted in God giving complete victory to His children.
Radical faith + complete obedience opens the door for God to do ‘off the wall’ stuff on our behalf.
Soon – The Lord is going to do something else that is: “Off The Wall’.
I Thess. 4:16 – read it. Voice and Trump of God
I pray that we will all be found faithful!
C. Read “Off The Wall” poem