1. Hello, listening friends, and welcome once again to this broadcast.
2. We are so glad that you are joining us for this series of messages from the book of Joshua.
3. In this series, we are learning how to follow the call of God in our lives.
4. And that sometimes causes us to ask the question, “You want me to do what?”
5. Let’s quickly review the answers that we have learned so far.
6. Answer number one,
7. step up to God’s call in your life.
8. Answer number two
9. is going into the enemy’s territories to share Christ.
10. Answer number three
11. is to cross the river of impossibility in your life with God’s supernatural help.
12. Answer number four is yielding to God’s plan.
13. Answer number five is to stay with God’s program by completely trusting Him.
14. Answer number six is to learn from your mistakes.
15. And today we will discover answer number seven, which is, know how to pray.
16. We will discover that had Joshua prayed for discernment, he and his people would not have been deceived by the Gibeonites.
17. And to get ready for answer number seven, I want you to turn in your Bibles to Joshua chapter 9.
18. For today we will see the seventh answer to the question to God, “You want me to do what?”
19. And the answer is, know how to pray for discernment.
20. Had Joshua and the other leaders prayed for discernment and wisdom,
21. had they asked God for insight,
22. had they gone to God for direction,
23. they would not have been deceived by the Gibeonites.
24. Let me tell you the story now.
25. The people of God had just renewed their covenant with God at Mount Ebal,
26. and they were returning to their camp in Gilgal.
27. They had been celebrating their victory over the city of Ai.
28. They were spiritually high on the victory.
29. My listening friend, I want to give you a warning.
30. Always watch out for the times immediately after spiritual victory and great blessings.
31. Those are Satan’s opportune times for deceptive attack.
32. Whenever you think that you have achieved great success, watch out.
33. That is the time when you are most vulnerable to Satan’s attack.
34. So the people of God celebrated their victory.
35. They rededicated themselves to God.
36. They rededicated themselves to be the people of God.
37. And when you commit yourself to doing God’s work and witnessing for Christ,
38. do not be surprised at the opposition and the deceptions that you will face.
39. The Bible said that when Jesus began His messianic ministry of healing, preaching, and casting out demons,
40. there were three groups of people who normally are at war with each other, yet they got united against Him;
41. the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Herodians.
42. When you become serious about exercising your Christian ministry,
43. when you become serious about claiming your environment for Christ,
44. when you become serious about being a missionary in your mission field where you are,
45. that is the time when plots against you will begin to take place.
46. This is the time when Satan will work overtime to cause you to stumble.
47. This is the time when others will try to discourage you.
48. And that is why you must know how to pray against deception and deceivers.
49. In the book of Joshua, we learn that the neighboring Gibeonites grew fearful of God’s people.
50. They had heard of Joshua’s great victories and they knew they could not defeat him through warfare.
51. So the Gibeonites tried to scheme against God’s people.
52. They disguised themselves as travelers from distant land.
53. They wore dirty and worn out clothes and sandals.
54. And they carried moldy bread and patched wineskins.
55. They pretended to be peaceful travelers seeking a covenant with God’s people.
56. They said to Joshua and his people, “We have come a long way. Make covenant with us.”
57. Some of you, my listening friends, may be probably asking, “Why did they have to go to all this trouble of creating this elaborate scheme?”
58. Because the Gibeonites knew the Bible.
59. They knew that Deuteronomy chapter 20 verse 10-15 instructed the Israelites to destroy the Canaanites,
60. but they are to make covenant with people from distant cities.
61. My listening friends, the people who are the most deceptive are those who can quote the Bible as well as you can.
62. At that point, had Joshua and the leaders had gone to God for help when the Gibeonites appeared,
63. if Joshua and God’s people had sought God’s counsel, wisdom, and discernment,
64. then God would have shown His people that these visitors were deceivers.
65. Let me give you an illustration of how deception can work.
66. There’s a story that is told about a well-known British art critic.
67. He one day took his daughter to the beach.
68. But he was unable to persuade her to join him in the chilly water of the English coast.
69. So the father built a fire,
70. and heated a kettle of water,
71. and with great flair, he poured the steaming water into the ocean.
72. At that point, the little girl ran gleefully into the water without any hesitation.
73. Now the father’s trick may have been harmless, but that’s how we often are deceived by others.
74. The deceivers mix a small amount of truth into an ocean of falsehood, and people wade into it.
75. They are not suspecting that they have been lured away from their mission of being ambassadors for Jesus Christ.
76. Now, my listening friends, Joshua had his suspicion about the Gibeonites.
77. But by not asking the Lord for discernment and wisdom, he did not follow correctly on his suspicions.
78. The book of James, chapter 4 says,
79. “You have not because you ask not.”
80. In James chapter 1 verse 5,
81. “If you lack wisdom ask God, and He will give it to you.”
82. My friend, I can tell you about the many times that I have failed to ask for discernment and wisdom and made mistakes in my life.
83. The greatest danger for a child of God is summarized in the following words:
84. “I can handle this.”
85. “I can handle this drink.”
86. “I can handle this wrong relationship.”
87. “I can handle this shady business deal.”
88. “I can handle this close friendship with ungodly.”
89. Listen to what F. B. Meyer once said.
F. B. Meyer曾经说过：
90. “Christians are tempted more by the wiles of Satan than by his open assault;
91. more by the deceitfulness of sin than by its declared war.”
92. Only prayer will keep you alert to the subtle deception of sin and Satan.
93. Only prayer will give you discernment against flattering words.
94. Only prayer will guard you against the scheming of the ungodly.
95. And that is why Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father, deliver us from the evil one.”
96. When you embark on following God’s plan for your life,
97. when you embark on living for Christ,
98. when you embark on being an ambassador for Christ,
99. you must lean on God’s wisdom and the power in prayer.
100. Otherwise, you will risk many failures.
101. When you enter into a business relationship or a marriage or a ministry,
102. you must consult your heavenly Father.
103. Otherwise, you will risk being deceived by the enemy.
104. And I want to end this message today by sharing with you how to deal with the aftermath of deception.
105. After God’s people discovered the enemy had deceived them, they wanted revenge.
106. The people felt that because the peace covenant was created under deception, the enemy did not deserve to live.
107. But the leaders acted with integrity and kept their word to the Gibeonites that they would live in peace.
108. Even though the leaders of God’s people were humiliated,
109. they did not want to bring disgrace upon God and His people by breaking the peace covenant.
110. Of course, that does not mean that the enemy was not punished for their deception,
111. but the covenant was not broken.
112. Joshua and the leaders knew their testimony was more important than revenge.
113. The Bible teaches us that, after sin and failure, repentance must take place.
114. After sin and failure take place, acceptance of the consequences of sin is a greater testimony than words.
115. Someone may be listening today who had fallen into sin as a result of another person’s deception.
116. There may be someone who’s listening today who may be suffering gravely as a result of past failure.
117. My listening friend, I want to tell you, it does not honor God for you to stay in your failure or become bitter toward the deceiver.
118. It does not honor God for you to live in regret or give up your passion for Christ.
119. When you ask God for forgiveness, you will persevere.
120. God can bring triumph out of tragedy.
121. God can bring joy out of sorrow.
122. God can bring hope out of despair.
123. God can bring light out of darkness.
124. And God can bring gladness out of sadness.
125. I pray that you will always seek discernment and wisdom from God so that you may conquer deception.
126. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.