Day 10 - Ask for the Impossible

Day 10 - Ask for the Impossible

 SCRIPTURE
6 The men of Gibeon quickly sent messengers to Joshua at his camp in Gilgal. “Don’t abandon your servants now!” they pleaded. “Come at once! Save us! Help us! For all the Amorite kings who live in the hill country have joined forces to attack us.” 7 So Joshua and his entire army, including his best warriors, left Gilgal and set out for Gibeon. 8 “Do not be afraid of them,” the Lord said to Joshua, “for I have given you victory over them. Not a single one of them will be able to stand up to you.” 9 Joshua traveled all night from Gilgal and took the Amorite armies by surprise. 10 The Lord threw them into a panic, and the Israelites slaughtered great numbers of them at Gibeon. Then the Israelites chased the enemy along the road to Beth-horon, killing them all along the way to Azekah and Makkedah. 11 As the Amorites retreated down the road from Beth-horon, the Lord destroyed them with a terrible hailstorm from heaven that continued until they reached Azekah. The hail killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword. 12 On the day the Lord gave the Israelites victory over the Amorites, Joshua prayed to the Lord in front of all the people of Israel. He said,“Let the sun stand still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of Aijalon.” 13 So the sun stood still and the moon stayed in place until the nation of Israel had defeated its enemies. Is this event not recorded in The Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the middle of the sky, and it did not set as on a normal day. 14 There has never been a day like this one before or since, when the Lord answered such a prayer. Surely the Lord fought for Israel that day! (Joshua 10: 6-14, NLT)

DEVOTIONAL
I hate to fly–it terrifies me. As soon as I step foot onto a plane, all I can think of is that I am trapped in a steel tube of death that feels as if it could hurtle to the ground at any moment when it is rocked by the slightest bit of turbulence. However, when I am firmly planted on the ground, looking up at a plane flying smoothly through the sky, I can begin to believe that flying is actually safe and enjoyable. Perspective matters. And so often, when it comes to our prayer lives, our perspectives of the problems and situations we face are overblown, and our perspective of the God to whom we pray, is incredibly miniscule. We need to right-size our perspective of who God is and what He is capable of by asking for the impossible from the God of the Impossible!

In our passage today, Joshua is leading the Israelite people in a battle against five pagan nations that have joined forces against them. The way we see Joshua pray in this passage should be a model for us to begin to pray BIG, seemingly impossible prayers; we must have the correct perspective of the God to whom we pray!

 In verse 8, the Lord promises victory to the Israelites; though the enemy is huge and powerful, God promises Israel will prevail! And, Joshua took the Lord at His Word, because he was well-acquainted with the power and faithfulness of His God! Joshua was with Moses at the parting of the Red Sea, watching as the Lord did the impossible to rescue His people from Pharaoh and his armies. And after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, Joshua led the Israelites to the Promised Land and watched as God caused the walls of Jericho to crumble before them and gave the people of the city into their hands! Joshua KNEW that God kept His promises, so He trusted the Lord to give them victory–He knew He was capable of making the impossible possible. In the same way, we KNOW that NOTHING is impossible with God (Luke 1:37), because of Jesus! Jesus Himself was born out of seemingly impossible circumstances (a virgin birth), lived a sinless life (something impossible for mere men), died and rose again, a feat only possible by the power of God! If we know Christ, His victory over sin and death has given us victory! So, we don’t live or pray from a place of defeat because our perspective changes; we know that our circumstances are not bigger than what our God is capable of! The problems in  your marriage, the financial struggle, the addiction, the cancer diagnosis, the wayward child–none of these things are greater than the God who is fighting for you and who has given you victory in Jesus, and that should change the way you pray! You can pray with confidence and hope because the ultimate victory has already been won! 

God can do much more than we could ever hope to do in our own strength–Joshua and his men could have fought with all their might, but the victory wouldn’t have been theirs without the work of the Lord on their behalf! He threw the enemy into a panic and rained down hail on their army and killed more of the enemy than the Israelites killed with the sword (v. 10-11). The battle really belonged to the Lord, so Joshua and the people of God merely had to trust Him to fight for them and then walk in obedience to whatever He called them to do. That’s what we must do, too–we can’t ask the Lord to move and then sit around waiting on Him, without ever entering into the fight ourselves. We pray and then do the hard work of counseling, or getting out of debt, or undergoing treatment, but do those things knowing that the Lord ultimately decides how the battle is won! 
We see the incredible faith of Joshua in verses 12-14; he prayed for the sun to stand still! Joshua prayed for God to alter the way the entire universe operated in order to accomplish the victory over their enemies! Joshua boldly asked for the impossible, because he knew God was able to accomplish it! So often, we are content to pray small, weak prayers, and we don’t come to God asking for BIG, audacious, and impossible things! We need to be reminded of the correct perspective of our God–He is victorious (and so are we, in Christ!), our battles and their outcomes truly belong to Him, and He is able to do much more than we could ask or imagine! When we pray BIG prayers, we show that we trust God fully, and we see miracles in our midst because He moves!  
ACTION STEP
What do you need God to do in your life during this time of fasting and prayer? What do you want to see God do in our church during these days? How does your perspective of your circumstances or your God need to change? Maybe you need to spend time remembering how God has done the impossible in your life before, in order to remind you of His ability to do it again; consider drawing a timeline of your life thus far and splitting it into quarters. In each quarter, list as many answered prayers and supernatural moves of God from that time period as you can. Spend some time searching Scripture for reminders of the truth of who God is; keep a list on your bathroom mirror or in your Bible or journal of the characteristics of God you see in Scripture (ie; Healer, Deliverer, Promise-keeper, etc.), so your perspective remains grounded in the greatness of God, instead of the overwhelming nature of your circumstances. 

PRAYER TIME
Spend time thanking God for His past faithfulness and asking Him to move now in bigger ways than you can even imagine. Ask Him to help you pray bold, audacious prayers in faith, trusting that He can and will accomplish His will for your good! 
 
Father, you are SO much bigger and greater than I can fully comprehend! Help me to pray BIG, God-sized prayers and trust you to answer them, according to your will! Would you move in power in my life, in my circumstances, and in our church–BLOW UP our perspective of who you are, and shrink our perspectives of the struggles and circumstances we face to be right-sized in comparison with Your greatness and might! You are able! I trust you and will obey whatever you ask me to do. Make the impossible possible. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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