Faith Grows With Discipline

All of us have been given a measure of faith. The challenge comes, however, in those moments of difficulty, pain, or anguish, to trust Him and His presence as we move through those situations and circumstances. These are the times when our faith truly grows.

A growing faith is shaped, or disciplined by God. Consider that Moses was called into service when he was 80 years old, and he died when he was 120 years old (Deuteronomy 34:7). Of the people that he ministered to who were in the wilderness, many of them passed on because they heard the truth but chose not to follow it (Joshua 2:8-11, 5:4-7). It is one thing to hear God’s truth, but it is another thing to see the evidence of faith in action and to be obedient to Him and His Word. A person of faith must be a person of obedience to God. A lack of obedience will always be lacking in its effort of service for the Lord.

Hebrews 11:29-30
By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though they were on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to do this, they were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being encircled for seven days.

Joshua 6:1
Now Jericho was strongly fortified because of the Israelites–no one leaving or entering.

Are the people fearful of Israel, or are they fearful of Israel’s God (Joshua 2:8-11)? God’s power was evident in how He used the battle of Jericho. Jericho was a symbol of military power for Canaan, and it was seen as invincible. It’s walls were 25 feet high and 20 feet wide. God would demonstrate in this battle that He could protect Israel, for they had nothing to protect themselves from the Jericho army. If Jericho’s army came out, Israel had nowhere to go. Israel alone could not break down the walls of Jericho. God protected Israel by having the gate shut.

Faith requires believing in God before something occurs.

Joshua 6:2
The LORD said to Joshua, “Look, I have handed Jericho, its king, and its fighting men over to you.

While it has not happened, God is speaking to Joshua in past tense.

Hebrews 11:1-2
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by it our ancestors were approved.

Faith allows God to change the plans (Jeremiah 29:11). God will ask us to do something in action to support our faith. It requires obedience to Him, though, for a lack of obedience will not counteract our level of faith in Him. He will not respond to us in our disobedience.

Joshua 6:3-9

March around the city with all the men of war, circling the city one time. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry seven ram’s-horn trumpets in front of the ark. But on the seventh day, march around the city seven times, while the priests blow the trumpets. 5 When there is a prolonged blast of the horn and you hear its sound, have all the people give a mighty shout. Then the city wall will collapse, and the people will advance, each man straight ahead.” 6 So Joshua son of Nun summoned the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and have seven priests carry seven trumpets in front of the ark of the LORD.” 7 He said to the people, “Move forward, march around the city, and have the armed troops go ahead of the ark of the LORD.” 8 After Joshua had spoken to the people, seven priests carrying seven trumpets before the LORD moved forward and blew the trumpets; the ark of the LORD’s covenant followed them. 9 While the trumpets were blowing, the armed troops went in front of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard went behind the ark.

Joshua certainly had battle plans when they went up to Jericho, but he had to be flexible enough to follow God’s plan. It was either be obedient to God, or satisfy his own understanding. Certainly the people under Joshua must have questioned this strategy! Yet, God said to march around the city quietly.

Joshua 6:10
But Joshua had commanded the people: “Do not shout or let your voice be heard. Don’t let one word come out of your mouth until the time I say, ‘Shout!’ Then you are to shout.”

Joshua’s command to remain silent is a reminder that we need to hear God and be able to respond to Him. People of faith have to listen to what God is saying. Faith is always in action and is not sitting still. It requires listening to what God would have you to do and acting upon it. You should want it, desire it, and do it. God wants to find people who are faithful to Him.

Luke 18:8
“I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on Earth?”

Faith doesn’t get caught up in worldly wealth. Faith in the Lord is believing in God’s provision for our lives. God will provide.

Joshua 6:15-24

15 Early on the seventh day, they started at dawn and marched around the city seven times in the same way. That was the only day they marched around the city seven times. 16 After the seventh time, the priests blew the trumpets, and Joshua said to the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city. 17 But the city and everything in it are set apart to the LORD for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute and everyone with her in the house will live, because she hid the men we sent. 18 But keep yourselves from the things set apart, or you will be set apart for destruction. If you take any of those things, you will set apart the camp of Israel for destruction and bring disaster on it. 19 For all the silver and gold, and the articles of bronze and iron, are dedicated to the LORD and must go into the LORD’s treasury.” 20 So the people shouted, and the trumpets sounded. When they heard the blast of the trumpet, the people gave a great shout, and the wall collapsed. The people advanced into the city, each man straight ahead, and they captured the city. 21 They completely destroyed everything in the city with the sword—every man and woman, both young and old, and every ox, sheep, and donkey. 22 Joshua said to the two men who had scouted the land, “Go to the prostitute’s house and bring the woman out of there, and all who are with her, just as you promised her.” 23 So the young men who had scouted went in and brought out Rahab and her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and settled them outside the camp of Israel. 24 They burned up the city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the LORD’s house.

The focus here is on God, not the riches of the world. Trusting, living, and obeying God reflects that you trust in Him, and He will provide for you.

Matthew 10:9-10; Mark 6:8
Philippians 4:19
Psalm 23:1, 84:11
Proverbs 11:24
2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34

In order to live as a person of faith, we need the assistance of God to train us, discipline us, and shape us in this area, for it is how we grow as we learn to serve Him in our obedience to His Word. If we learn the importance of surrendering our lives to Him, we will genuinely see how He will work through us and strengthen our faith in Him. He will meet your needs as we trust in Him and live by faith.

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