Joshua-Wayne Barber/Part 12 | John Ankerberg Show

Joshua-Wayne Barber/Part 12

By: Dr. Wayne Barber
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By: Dr. Wayne Barber; ©2004
When He is living His life through us as cleansed vessels, then that begins to affect the world around us. It affects the home, it affects the neighborhood, it affects the church, it affects the world.

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Walking in the will of God (Joshua 8a)

Turn to Joshua 8. We’re going to talk tonight about walking in the will of God. I hope you’re learning—we’ve seen this in Galatians, Philippians, and we’re seeing it in Joshua—that when we obey the Lord Jesus Christ, He makes it so simple: Just surrender to Him. And we are willing to deal with sin in our life and not leave it unconfessed on a daily basis. We are then possessing the life that God has within us. It’s no longer us, but Christ living His life in us. When He is living His life through us as cleansed vessels, then that begins to affect the world around us. It affects the home, it affects the neighborhood, it affects the church, it affects the world.

Well, our willingness to surrender to the will and word of Christ directly affects others. I don’t think anybody would argue with that, because we are conduits God wants to work through. But however, we saw last time that the reverse is also true. Last week we looked at how sin, and particularly unconfessed sin in the life of a believer, affects the whole body of Christ, just as it affected the whole nation of Israel. See, unconfessed sin, it’s a new perspective if you look at it this way, is a betrayal of our covenant with God. It doesn’t just affect us, it affects people around us.

Joshua and the men of battle were headed up to Ai. But they didn’t realize that they were moving up there to take this next city, as they possessed the land, they didn’t realize that there had been a man in the camp that had sinned. You see, Joshua had been told by the spies to take just a few of the men up to the city, because they said it was a piece of cake. And they only took a few soldiers up there. But Joshua didn’t know, nor did anyone know, that there had been sin in the shadows, and Achan had taken the spoils of war that God had forbidden in chapter 6.

Achan’s unconfessed sin had broken the covenant that Israel had with God. And as a result, his sin caused all of Israel, two and a half million people to be defeated miserably when they came against the city of Ai. Since Israel was in covenant with God, they were in covenant with each other. One person’s sin affected others. In other words, anyone who sinned affected other people that were in that covenant: in covenant with God and in covenant with each other.

We saw last week, as review a bit, in Romans that Paul says this very clearly, “We are members one of another.” Unconfessed sin is a breach of a covenant that is among believers just as it was in Israel. But it’s also, not only a betrayal of covenant, it’s a burden to the community of God. The warriors of Israel that went up, only 3,000 of them, were so humiliated that when they turned their backs on the people, they literally lost their ability to trust God. They felt like God has deserted them. You see, Joshua, when he found out about all this, rent his clothes and cried out to God and God told him what was wrong.

You know sometimes we carelessly say, “I’ve done it and I know you have done it too,” and to justify our sin, we simply say; “Well, what they don’t know won’t hurt them.” Well, Joshua didn’t know and it certainly did hurt him. Israel didn’t know, and it affected the whole nation.

God ordered Joshua to march the tribes by as they cast the lots. And as we shared last time, we don’t understand that fully that they would cast the lots. But God was always faithful to make sure it came out right. Almost like throwing dice, but it wasn’t exactly that, but in our minds. The tribe of Judah was indicated and then the families in the tribe were marked as the lots were cast and finally it came down to a family and a household, and finally Achan was identified as the culprit. And I said last time, and I will say this time, I’ve always wondered if he would have gone and confessed his sin, if it would have been so difficult on him. But because he didn’t, he waited it out, just to see if he could get away with it. And God finally pinpointed him right down to the man.

Well, his family, all of his possessions, the spoil he had taken, were all done away with. The family was stoned to death, and then all of them, plus the spoils of war were burned. And it’s a picture to us, in the new covenant, of completely forsaking sin in our lives. If we would deal—and I said this last time—if we would deal with the hidden sins in our lives like David when he prayed, “Oh God, You have searched me, search me again.” If we would deal with those sins before God and have them cleansed by His blood, and rise to walk in obedience to Him, it would blow us away what God would do in our lives and through our lives to touch other people. Once sin is dealt with it is then that we can experience God again.

Israel, having dealt with the sin in the camp, is now ready to participate in the will of God. Joshua had acted on the advice of the spies in chapter 7. He had listened to the wrong orders. But now God speaks and He’s very clear when He speaks, and He gives Him the specifics of what he is supposed to do. That’s a good caution to all of us. Be careful who you are listening to. Make sure you’re hearing from God and His word when you make the moves and decisions in your life.

I found this illustration: Some years ago a passenger train was rushing into New York as another train was emerging. There was a head-on collision. Fifty lives were lost. An engineer was pinned under his engine, frightfully injured, tears running down his cheeks. In his dying agony he held a piece of yellow paper crushed in his hand. And he said, “Take this. This will show you that someone gave me the wrong orders,” and then he died.

I tell you, it’s devastating when we listen to men and we don’t listen to God. I don’t know how many times people have come to me and said, “Wayne, how can I know the will of God?” The simplest answer, there are other answers, certainly, but the simplest answer I can give them is we need to be totally open to do whatever it is that God wants and to make certain there’s no unconfessed sin in our life so that what we are hearing is the right orders. God doesn’t hide His will in a closet. And once we deal with sin, now we’re free to hear from Him and walk in the clarity of His will in our lives.

God’s will is always accompanied by His presence

Three things I want us to learn about WALKING IN THE WILL OF GOD.

First of all is this, God’s will is always accompanied by His presence. Now, you’ve got to imagine when these soldiers, 3,000 of them, went up to Ai and all of a sudden they were charged by the people inside the city, inside the gates and they turned their backs and ran. You have to kind of imagine how alone they must have felt. Has God deserted them? They’re out there on their own, and they’re running for their lives.

There are two Greek words for the word “will” that we need to understand. The first word is a very weak word. It’s the word boule. Boule is the word which simply means a wish. It’s a much weaker word. God wishes that none should perish. It a difference in what the other word is. The stronger word, and the word we are dealing with tonight, is the word thelema. Thelema is the word that mean, God not only intends for something to happen, but He Himself gets involved with it to make certain that it takes place. When God’s will, thelema, is our priority, you can expect something. Once you’ve dealt with unconfessed sin in your life, and once you’ve come before Him, then His will is given to you. You can expect His divine presence and intervention in your life.

God tells Joshua in 8:1, “Do not fear or be dismayed.” Now, that ought to sound familiar to you because we saw it back in chapter 1. The word fear is the word that means to tremble in fear. It has the meaning to dread with terror, expecting the worst in your mind. The word dismayed means to fall apart. Just simply to fall to pieces. And Joshua had heard these very words, “Do not fear or be dismayed,” spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy 1:21, “See the Lord has placed the land before you. Go up take possession as the Lord the God of your fathers has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” When Moses was turning the reins of leadership over to Joshua, he said to him, in Deuteronomy 31:8, “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Then the same words when Joshua was given the reins and Moses had died. God spoke to Joshua in chapter 1:9, “Have I not commanded you, be strong and courageous. Do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord, your God [and this is so beautiful] is with you wherever you go.” Now at this critical time in Joshua’s life, God is simply saying, “I’m willing to lead, if you’re willing to listen. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Now, I don’t know how to get this across, but it hit me so hard when I was studying. When I’m open to God and I say, “Yes, Lord! Yes Lord!” And I’ve dealt with sin in my life and my life is cleansed, and I’m in a pure spot and a pure position with God, at that moment God’s assured presence dismisses all fear in my life. It’s never been any different. When He’s caused us to make moves that are very difficult for my family, to be stretched outside of our comfort, once we had known it was God’s will, and that God had said yes, you go. The fear is dismissed because He is with us. When you’re listening to the sound of a wrong voice, when you’re hearing advice of men and not hearing from God, you end up like these men, running in fear and running dismayed. But when we hear from God, in His will, the fear is dismissed.

In Joshua 7 the whole attack on Ai was on the advice of the spies. That was not good, and that was not really becoming of Joshua. Joshua usually didn’t do that. God had not spoken. It is only when we have deal with unconfessed sin in our lives that we truly want God’s direction. That’s the only time I’ve ever really wanted it, is when I’ve dealt with my sin and I’ve seen the fear and the dismay. Oh God I have to hear from you. It’s only then, when we do hear, that the fear is removed.

Once we hear from God and once we obey Him, He joins us in whatever it is that He has told us; the power of God’s will in the life of a believer who is surrendered to do whatever God says. Israel could now enjoy the victory that God had given to them. In verse 1 again, “Now the Lord said to Joshua, do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise and go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.”

What is God saying to you and your walk with God right now? What’s His will that’s beginning to become clear? Perhaps you’ve asked this person and that person. You’ve been confused so many times in your life. But you’ve finally come and dealt with the sin in your life and you’ve said, “God I just need to hear from you.” It’s beginning to become clear. I promise you, when you grow weary of listening to men, it will be then that you’ll be desperate to hear the word and the will of God. And when you hear it, with it comes the assurance of His presence. And with that all fear is dismissed. No matter what He tells us to do, all fear is dismissed, when we know He has told us to do it. For wherever He sends us, He goes with us. We’re never alone. He’s with us. Do not fear or be dismayed.

God’s will is not always predictable

So God’s will is always accompanied by His presence. But the second thing we learn about this as we enter into this story is that God’s will is not always predictable. That’s why it makes no sense to sit in a group and share everybody’s ignorance and ask God to bless it about what God’s doing. We don’t know what He’s going to do each time. Even though God is the same yesterday, today and forever, His ways are not our ways. He doesn’t always do and work the same way as He has before. You see, He didn’t give us a map, He gave us the guide. The key to the Christian life is to stay as close to the guide as we possibly can because things change in our life, and God never works the same way the second time. He’ll continue to lead us and get us to hear from Him and to trust Him.

I bass fished for years of my life and I’m learning to trout fish. By the way, I have great respect for those of you who trout fish, because you’ve got a lot to teach me. But bass fishing is also a lot of fun. We would go down to Florida and we’d go down to these huge lakes, and I mean this is 10, 12, 14 pound bass. We would go down and try and catch them ourselves. But one year we saved up enough money to get a guide. Hotdog! Now we are going to do it right. We got in the boat, we had our big tackle boxes, had all of our stuff and we got out onto the lake and the guide said, “You want to do it my way or do you want to do it your way?” Well, we said, hey, we know how to fish. We had our bass master patches on. We know how to do this. And so we pulled out our artificial worms and put our little weights on it and we started throwing. One of us was throwing a rattle trap. One was throwing another bait. We were enjoying ourselves catching fish three and four pounds.

That’s a minnow in Florida; three or four pounds, you mean you’d tell somebody you caught one that little?! And finally the guide said, “Do you want to do it my way and catch some big fish?” By this time we’re desperate. You see, when you’ve tried your way for a while and you’ve gone on the advice of others, you get to that point. Yeah! We’d like to know what your way is.

He handed each of us a cane pole. A cane pole! And we go back in the shallows of a cove on this lake in Florida and we throw it out with a little bobber and we started catching shiners. Shiner is a huge bait fish out 12-13 inches long. And I’m thinking is this what we paid a guide for? At least we were catching four pound bass. We got about 10 or 12 of these shiners and he put them in his deep well and we got back into the water and we came up to this area and he said, “Now, listen, I’m going to hook them up for you. And it’s going to have a bobber on here, a big old cork like thing,” and he says, “It’s so huge it’s going to take a big fish to pull it under, but when it goes under don’t you do what you’ve always done. Don’t you jerk. You start counting at least to 25, because these are 12-13 inch shiners, and the bass is turning that thing in his mouth and you’ve got to understand you don’t fish the same way you’ve always done it before.”

Well, I took that thing and threw it out. When that bobber hit the water, and the weight and everything hit the water the bait and everything just kept on going. It never stopped. The bass took it as it hit the water. And, I mean, as he went the line was just streaming off my reel. And I’m a bass fisherman, you jerk! “Don’t you jerk, Wayne, don’t you jerk!” You count to 25. I was going 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 11. I was skipping every number I could think of. I finally got to 25. Now, he says, “Crank it down, let it get tight.” So I cranked it down a little bit. “Now, give it everything you’ve got.” And when I did that my rod went this way. It was the smallest fish we caught that trip. After we went the way of the guide the smallest was seven and a half pound. We had 63 pounds of fish in about seven or eight fish. And I’m talking about huge fish.

I learned one thing: I can do it my way, or I can get in touch with the guide and do it his way. That’s exactly what we’re seeing happening here. In Joshua they went up on man’s advice: “Oh! Don’t take but 3,000. You don’t need any more. It’s a little bitty place. Don’t worry about it.” They were miserably defeated. Now God said, I’m ready to tell you, if you’re ready to listen. Verse 2 we see something that He choose to do at Ai that he did not do in Jericho, and I want to make sure we see this. He says in verse 2, “You shall do to Ai, and it’s king just as you did to Jericho and it’s king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle and its plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city, behind it.”

Now wait a minute. In Jericho they couldn’t take the spoils of war. It was under a ban. God put it under that. But in Ai He says take the spoils and take the cattle. You know, I thought about this as I was studying. If Achan of chapter 7, had just trusted God and just rested in Him over in Ai, he could have had anything he wanted, but because he took it in Jericho that hard-headed self-will, he lost his life and everything.

Well, God’s ways are not our ways. Why did He tell them not to take it in Jericho and why did He tell them to take it in Ai? I don’t know. That’s why it’s so important that you can’t just go on what you think. You’ve got to be in touch with the guide. The guide has got to have the lead. The battle plan for Ai was so much different from that of Jericho. Jericho they walked around the city one time each day for six days and seven times on the seventh day. Not this time. Ai was nothing like the city of Jericho. It was a small city but a fortified one. In chapter 7 the spies told Joshua to only send 3,000 troops to Ai as we said. What that means is, the city of Ai probably didn’t have more than about 1,000 soldiers. Why would you say that, Wayne? Because if you’re a military man, you’re not going to take the same amount of soldiers that they have. You’re going to at least try and double it or go beyond that. So we’re guessing, but somewhere around 1,000 soldiers probably is all they had in that little outpost.

The actual city of Ai is not the city most people today think it is. It is probably the city where Abraham went, but this is not the same Ai. As we said, Ai was a fortified city. Verse 5 of chapter 7 refers to the gate of the city. Why is that important? Well, in 8:4 it mentions the word city, but the Hebrew word for city means a fortified city. A city with walls; a city that has been protected. And, of course, if you’re going to have walls, and it’s fortified, you’re going to have a gate. There’s another Hebrew word for a town or village, but it had no gate, it had no walls, and was open to whatever. But this was a fortified city. It was like a military outpost that stood in the way of Israel as they are moving in to take the land that God had given to them.

It sat on a hill. In verse 1, “go up to Ai.” In chapter 7 when the Israelites ran from the people of Ai, they ran downhill from the city. Now the plan that God has for Ai is an awesome plan. Joshua at night chose 30,000 men to set up an ambush for the city. Verse 3, “So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night. He commanded them saying, ‘See, you are going to ambush the city from behind it. Do not go very far from the city but all of you be ready.’” So he tells them, 30,000 men, to go behind the city and hide.

Now, imagine this, now think with me for a second. It would take quite an area for a city that sits on a hill not to be able to see 30,000 people. There’s an arroyo of sorts, they called them wadis, that was big enough and hidden enough from where this city is supposed to have been that you could hide 30,000 men at one time and nobody of the city would be able to see.

Well, the second part of the equation now that we’ve got 30,000 hidden over here in an arroyo behind, or a wadi behind the city—the second part of the equation was in verse 5. Joshua would take the rest of the men with him, and approach the city where everybody in Ai could see them. And they are going to draw the people out of the city. Verse 5, “Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us, as at the first, we will flee before them. They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ‘They’re fleeing before us just as at the first.’ So we will flee before them.”

Now some people say Joshua was just a smart man. I think God had already given him the discernment to know that now that they’ve already had this one defeat, that these people in Ai, as small as they are, are going to be a little cocky and arrogant, and they’re going to take the same tactic when they see Joshua and that group of men with him. They are going to chase after them. They would be so arrogant they would leave the city unguarded.

When those who were hiding behind the city in that wadi, when they saw the soldiers of the city flee it and chase after Israel, then they were to charge the city and set it on fire. Verse 7, “And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the Lord, your God, will deliver it into your hands. Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it according to the word of the Lord. See, I have commanded you.” Verse 9 says, “So Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people.”

So, so far we have two groups. 30,000 hidden over here behind the city and onto the western side of the city, or actually across from the gate of the city; we have Joshua and his men that are camped out in plain view of all the people of Ai. There will be one more group; verses 10-13 tells us about them. “Now Joshua rose early in the morning and mustered the people, and he went up with the elders of Israel before the people of Ai. Then all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near and arrived in front of the city, and camped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai.” Kind of like a saddle. And he’s over here on one hill and they’re over here on the other hill. You can see him very, very clearly. “And he took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city.” Now this is something new. “So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north side of the city, and its rear guard on the west side of the city, and Joshua spent that night in the midst of the valley.”

Now Joshua took 5,000 of these troops and he moved them around so the people of Ai couldn’t see them, into another wadi on the other side. It’s beautiful if you see it on a map, on a topographical map, you see what I’m saying. So when the men of Ai came out to chase after Israel, these 5,000 were a rear guard. They came in behind them while 30,000 came into the city and set the city on fire. Had them surrounded. Oh, the men of Ai could see where Joshua were; they couldn’t see 30,000 and 5,000.

Verses 14-17 tells the story: “It came about when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plane. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. And all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city.” Verse 17, “So not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who had not gone out after Israel, and they left the city unguarded and pursued Israel.”

Somehow Bethel, which was about three miles there to the west, got brought into this picture. Nobody seems to know exactly how. One of the thoughts that I had when I was studying it is that, since the text says they left “the” city singular, that the people of Bethel had come over to help Ai make a stand against Israel and they all emptied the city chasing after Joshua and his men.

Whatever, the whole strategy is so different from Jericho. I mean, God says, “I’m ready to lead if you’re ready to listen.” “Okay, God you want us to march around one time each day for six days?” No, let us be quiet and listen. He’s got a total different plan with the city of Ai. God’s ways are just not man’s ways. When we walk in God’s will, we stay close to the guide because only the guide has the plan. And if we’re not going to hear from Him, and we’re not going to walk in His will, then we’re going to learn the defeat that Israel had learned by doing it man’s way. His ways are not our ways.

I love that little bracelet, “what would Jesus do?” But I want to caution you about that little bracelet; because you see what Jesus would have done on this earth would have been to ask His Father, and whatever His Father said, He would have done. Be real careful when you always think you know what Jesus would do. The key is, get in touch with Him, and just let Jesus be Jesus, because His ways are not our ways.

God’s will is divinely powerful

God’s will is always accompanied by His presence. “Do not fear or be dismayed, I am with you.” And when you say yes to Him, you have that assurance that He’s involved in His will that He intends to see carried through. But not only that, God’s will is never predictable. I wished it was. I wished we could figure Him out, but we cannot. Every battle’s different. Every day is going to be somewhat different. There are principles that are the same but God’s ways and our ways are not the same. But finally, God’s will is divinely powerful. Man, when they did what God told them to do, they had complete victory. Israel has been given a second chance. I don’t know if it encourages you or not, but it encourages me. Just because they failed, did not mean God kicked them out or would not continue to let them experience Him in the days ahead.

The victory that God gives here is a divine victory. Verse 18, “Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand towards Ai, for I will give it into your hands.’ So Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city.” A lot of discussion about what this javelin is. There’s another word for a long spear they would use in war; it’s not that word. It’s not the word for the shield that was usually with it. The best thing that they can come up with as to why they call it a javelin, translated that way, is because it was a shorter spear. It’s also been suggested, and perhaps has some merit to it, that there was some sort of flag attached to it because he was on a hill over here, the 30,000 had to be able to see him when he would raise it up, and the 5,000. I mean, everybody had to be able to see him in the midst of it.

Verse 19, “The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it and they quickly set the city on fire. When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city extended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers. When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai. The others came out from the city to encounter them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side; and they slew them until no one was left of those that survived or escaped. But they took alive the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua.”

“Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field of the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000—all the people of Ai.” A total victory! Verse 26, “For Joshua did not withdraw his hand with which he stretched out the javelin until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. Israel took only the cattle and the spoil of the city as plunder for themselves, according to the word of the Lord which He had commanded Joshua. So Joshua burned Ai and it made it a heap forever, a desolation until this day. He hanged the King of Ai on a tree until evening; and at sunset Joshua gave command and they took his body down from the tree and throw it at the entrance of the city gate, and raised over it a great heap of stones that stands to this day.”

A complete, total victory, into the land that God has said was already theirs. But how did they get that victory? They had seen defeat with only 3,000 when they went up against them. Why? Because of sin in the camp. But once they dealt with the sin in the camp and once they came before God, God gave clear instructions and with it He showed them that His will involved His presence. That He was going to go with them. And that His will was going to be different that before, it’s unpredictable. But that in doing His will it was very, very powerful. As a result, they experienced His power.

You know, these chapters are interesting as you take them one at a time and you just see what God wants to tell us as a church. One of the reasons I study through a book is so that we can learn the message God wants for us through the book of Joshua. What’s He teaching us? I think one of the things that is so clear to me it’s amazing what God wants to do with us if we’ll just obey Him. And when He does it for us and when He does it through us, it’s always for the benefit of other people.

The most incredible illustration: In a conversation with Professor S.F.B. Morse—remember him, Morse Code—the inventor of the telegraph. The Reverend George W. Hervey asked this question: “Professor Morse, when you were making your experiments yonder in the room at the University, did you ever come to a stand, in other words a stopping place, not knowing what to do next?” And he said, “Oh yes, more than once.” “And at such times,” the reverend said, “what did you do next?” “I may answer you in confidence sir,” said the professor, “but the matter of which the public known nothing. I prayed, and I prayed, for more light.” “And the light generally came?” the preacher said. “Yes, and may I tell you that when flattering honors come to me from America and Europe on account of the invention which bears my name, I never felt I deserved them. I have made a valuable application of electricity, not because I was superior to other men, but solely because God who meant it for mankind must reveal it to someone and was pleased to reveal it to me.” In view of these facts, this article said, it is not surprising that the inventor’s first message on his newly invented telegraph, was “What hath God wrought?”

By the way, you’ll never hear that in the schools of our land today. God moved upon a man and blessed everybody because he was willing to trust Him. It’s the same way in everything. When God moves upon Wayne, it’s not for Wayne’s sole benefit. It’s for the benefit of others. Why? Because we’re in a covenant with God, and when we obey God it affects others. When we disobey, it affects others. So if we’ll take the whole equation and turn it around, if we’ll just say yes to God and walk in the clearly revealed will of God, then He’ll take us as vessels and do through us what we could never do in ourselves. It will be unpredictable. It will be powerful in a spiritual way. But not only that, it will always involve His magnificent presence in the midst of it all.

Here’s my point to you tonight: Are you allowing God to reveal His will in your life? Are you willing to do whatever He tells you to do? Have you dealt with unconfessed sin that’s in your life? Have you dealt with it? Do you ask Him every day like the psalmist, “Search me, oh God; thou hast already searched me, search me again.” Why? Because I want to be a vessel that’s pure. I want to be a vessel that can hear with clarity what God is saying to me, and I want to be about that which He has intended for my life. Where are you in your Christian walk with God tonight? Are you willing to let God be God in your life for the benefit of others that are out there?

Read Part 13

Dr. Wayne Barber

Dr. Wayne Barber

Wayne has taught the message of “Living Grace” around the world. He is president, founder, and principal speaker of Living Grace Ministries and Senior Pastor of Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He learned to exegete Scripture by studying for 10 years with Spiros Zodhiates, one of the leading Greek scholars.
Dr. Wayne Barber

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Thank you so much for posting Wayne’s messages. So amazing to sit under his teaching even after he is gone. I mourn his death, because I know I can learn so much from his studies. God bless.

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