Evangelist’s Reasonable Challenge (Joshua 10:1-15) February 13, 2011
God gave an important present to the Israelites who fought against the city of Ai again after realizing how important small things and faith and deeds of one person are. Not only did the city of Ai collapse, but people of Gibeon, which was a lot great than the city of Ai, came to the Israelites hoping to be with them. This is evangelism. When you are faithful in the small things, evidence and important people come to you as a result (Is.60:1-3, “Arise, shine … Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”). There is something you must do when people come to you like this. You must fight to save, help, and guard them. If you are truly a man of God, you must fight four battles at the very least. First, you must fight to not be deceived by your circumstances (Crossing the Jordan), second, you must fight against Satan who works behind your problems (Collapsing the Walls of Jericho), third, you must fight against yourself (Battle of Ai – fight against trivial things such as scars, neglect, arrogance, and avarice hidden in you), and lastly you must fight the “battle of an evangelist”. Simply put, you must fight for whom you will evangelize, those you already evangelized, and spiritual disciples who have been raised through you.
1. There is something you must consider first. You must understand evangelism correctly. Only after you understand evangelism can you realize how important this battle is.
1) Evangelism is God’s desire (1Ti.2:4), and at the same time, the reason He saved you and must bless you. God will use you to save people like you, and as witnesses (Ac.1:8). It even says in the Bible that there are special blessings reserved for those who relay the Gospel and live to save others. God said He would remember the smallest things you do for them because they are disciples and witnesses, even something as small as serving them a cup of cold water (Mt.10:42), and if there is anything you lost or were persecuted while living for the Lord and the Gospel, you will receive a hundredfold of blessings (Mk.10:29-30).
2) People think evangelism is difficult. But the Bible says otherwise. If you truly follow the Lord, He will make you someone who saves others and the world (Mt.4:19). If you truly believe that He is within you and enjoy the life filled with Him, He will raise you as His witness (Ac.1:8). There are four types of evangelism.
a. Evangelism through message – You must be ready at all times to accurately explain the Lord who has redeemed you and is residing within you no matter who you meet (you can also do it through evangelism tracts).
b. Evangelism through enjoyment – It is knowing the spiritual reality and the fact that you have been liberated from all sins, curses, and destiny, and being happy because of the Lord who is within you, walking with you, guiding you, and helping you. You may go through difficult times in which you feel as if you were about to die, but when you think about the Lord who is with you and be filled with Him, peace will come upon you. One of good examples for this is Ps.23 of David. This has no choice but to appear through your facial expressions, eyebeam, and aura.
c. Evangelism through evidence in your life – When important answers and blessings come as a result of holding firmly to the Word and praying, people will come to you without making any effort to evangelize. Sometimes they come to hear how you became so successful, or sometimes they just come for help. That was why the Gibeonites approached the Israelites. That is when you can explain Christ, God who resides in you.
d. Evangelism through life – When you humble yourself and care for others just a little bit, they will be touched and want to be around you. The same principle applies to success in the world. People around you must want to believe the God that you believe and go to the church you go to (example from the Bible: Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi who evangelized her).
2. Evangelists’ spiritual battle for people acquired like that
1) First, you must fight for those you want to evangelize. As you do everything else (being kind, caring, helping, and etc.), you must absolutely do this. There are forces out there that take control of people’s souls and minds. There are people who want to believe and go to church, but they cannot do as they like. You must destroy the forces of Darkness behind them (Mt.12:29).
2) You must also fight for those you already evangelized. Game is not over just because they accept and come to church. The forces of Darkness that had been holding onto their lives would get so upset that they have to intervene. Things always happen when they are about to go to church on Sunday, even if they make it to church, Satan does not leave them alone to listen to the Word, he makes them hear bad words about the church, or sometimes he will make them receive scars from those who evangelized them. You have no idea how persistently Satan intervenes and deceives them. Because new believers do not really know that, those who evangelized them, chairman of each department, lay leaders, and pastors must help them.
3) To what extent do you must help those you evangelized? The Israelites in today’s passage fought in a full-on battle against the Amorites who hindered the Gibeonites. In Phm.1:18, Paul urged the church of Philemon to charge all wrongdoings of Onesimus, whom Paul met in prison, to him. How must God bless people who have the faith like Paul to save others?
3. How will you fight?
1) Hold onto the covenant given to evangelists. It reads in Jos.10:8, “I have given them into your hand. Not one of them will be able to withstand you.” Jesus, too, said as he sent His lay disciples in Lk.10:19, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” He also talked about a sign that will accompany those who believe and go forward in Mk.16:17-18.
2) Certainly, God will help and fight for you Himself. In today’s passage, the five Amorite kings gathered their troops to attack the Gibeonites for betraying them but God sent a hailstorm and destroyed them all. Verse eleven says that there were more people who died of the storm than those who were killed by the Israelites. The creator God can use hailstorm, lighting or whatever at His disposal to fulfill His work.
3) Therefore, you must challenge with a reason from now on. How did Joshua pray in verse twelve? The sun could not set until all the enemies who came to destroy the Gibeonites were destroyed. That is why he prayed that the sun and the moon would stand still. He prayed that had enough reason for God to even reverse the order of Creation.
a. First, pray for the heart of evangelism. Pray for the heart that enables you to sincerely help and evangelize when you look at people and their hidden problems. Being able to have this heart is the grace of all grace.
b. Make a list of people you really want to evangelize and people you must absolutely help, and begin a full-scale prayer. Make a weekly, annual, and lifelong evangelism plans for your workplace, family, neighbors and friends and challenge with prayer.
c. Pray that God may give you evidence in every aspect of your life (studies, work, business, family, and descendants) for you must evangelize with that evidence. Resolve and resolve again to humbly testify Christ every time evidence comes. God knows whether you are someone who will exalt Christ and testify God’s grace (Testimony of An Insurance Company Worker).
Pray to make God’s heart to save people and the world as your very heart. Begin the spiritual battle like evangelists to not lose anyone God has attached to you. Begin the challenge with a reason. I believe that will allow you blessings and answers that no one will be able to withstand. I bless and hope that this blessing may truly begin for you.