Believing in what is invisible? Doing what is outside our mental limitations? It takes faith. When we’re told to do something that doesn’t make sense to us and we do it anyway, that’s called a leap of faith. The outcome is assured even though it may seem impossible. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. By faith we believe in God. By faith we believe the Bible to be God’s Word. By faith we obey what God, through His Word, tells us to do. By faith we obey even when something doesn’t make sense to us or we can’t see it. We walk by faith.
We read in the book of Joshua that Joshua was appointed the leader of Israel after Moses had died. He was the one who was going to lead Israel in their conquest of the land of Canaan. Battles were coming. Cities would be destroyed. Land would be won. A big job. A difficult one. A dangerous one. But God promised to be with Israel and give them the victories they needed. Joshua put his faith and trust in God. But his faith and trust in God would soon be tested. By the power of God they miraculously crossed the Jordan river. They then made their way to Jericho. A city they would have to conquer. But it was fortified with a massive wall. Obviously the first thing they would have to do is find a way past the wall. God had the answer for that. Was it dynamite? A crane? Catapult? No. God told Joshua to march around the city once per day for six days and then on the seventh day to march around seven times. Can you imagine what Joshua and the people must have thought when they first heard that? How would you react? Go walk in circles around the city. Don’t touch the wall. Don’t hit the wall. Don’t climb the wall or build a tunnel. Walk in a circle around the wall. And it will fall down. Really? Doesn’t make sense. But by their faith in God they did it. And guess what…the wall did come down! Not by the vibrations. Not by the wind. Not by the strength of men. But by God’s power through the obedience of faith by the people. That took A LOT of faith. Notice what the Hebrews writer said: “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days” (Hebrews 11:30). Joshua led by faith. The people marched by faith. The victory was won by faith.
Someone else found victory that day in Jericho. When spies were sent by Joshua to check Jericho out, a woman by the name of Rahab helped them by hiding them and protecting them from being caught. For her kindness she asked that she and her family be spared. She knew the Lord was giving Israel the victory over Jericho. She wanted to be saved. So the spies made the promise. And when Jericho was defeated, Rahab and her family were taken safely away. Hebrews 11:31 tells us that “By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies.” It took faith for her to hide the spies. It took faith for her to trust their promise. By her faith she and her loved ones were saved.
It takes faith for us to obey God. To believe His Word. To believe and do what He has commanded. For example: It takes faith to be baptized into water for the forgiveness of sins. It’s just water. How could water wash away my sins? By God’s power. By my faith in His Word. We may not fully comprehend it but we do it because God said so. Our faith is in God. We will do whatever He tells us to do. God says we have to be saved from our sins. We believe Him. He has told us what to do. And we do it. He has promised us eternal life. By faith we know it. Walking by faith and not by sight leads to eternal victory. To eternal safety. Joshua had faith and won. Rahab had faith and won. If we have faith we will win too. Let’s walk by faith.