Audacious: Showing a willingness to take surprisingly bold risks"
12 At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, “Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day. 14 There has been no day like it before or since, when the Lord heeded the voice of a man, for the Lord fought for Israel." (Joshua 10:12-14, ESV)
Audacious Prayer is specific and unwavering!
“...Sun, stand still at Gibeon, and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.” (v.12)
Audacious prayer is humanly impossible, but God easy!
"And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped..." (v.13)
Audacious prayer doesn't always end in desired results, but always results in God's desire!
Oswald Chambers - "Our Lord never referred to unanswered prayer; He taught that prayers are always answered. He always implied that prayers were answered rightly because of the Heavenly Father's wisdom.
"And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us" (1 John 5:14, ESV)
"17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18, ESV)
Reject apathy and doubt when praying!
“Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:21-22, ESV)
Pray and believe beyond what is humanly possible!
"For nothing will be impossible with God" (Luke 1:37, ESV)
"All things are possible for one who believes" (Mark 9:23, ESV)
Always advance forward in faith!
"So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead" (James 2:17, ESV)
Week 3 - Audacious Expectations
The passage from Sunday, to me at least, is in the running for the coolest passages in all of scripture. Joshua actually prays that the Sun and moon would stand still--that daylight would be prolonged and night delayed--so that they could continue fighting their enemies! When reading this story, I cannot decide what is more impressive: that Joshua understood GOD’s power so well that he thought this was an acceptable request or that he actually had the audacious faith to take this request before GOD. Truly amazing!
1. As a group discuss anything that stood out to you from this passage. Are we this creative in our faith? Are we this confident in prayers and expectations?
2. There are many other stories that jumps out of the scriptures as being equally audacious in expectation! Just for fun (and don’t look below to see what passage we are studying) list some of them as a group.
Today’s study will be from the 1 Kings 18:20-40. It is one of my favorite passages, one that we have not looked at recently, and one that fits perfectly with the theme of Audacious expectations. Turn to this passage and read aloud as a group. Below is a list of things that illustrate the Elijah’s audacity in this situation. Discuss each as a group. a)How does each make his actions audacious. b) How would you have responded to each in the same situation?
3 He is drastically outnumbered (v22).
4. All the other prophets of God had been executed by Jezebel (v4).
5. Elijah mocks the prophets of Baal (v27).
6. Elijah set us a scenario where God had to respond or he would be be killed.
Stacking the Competition in Baal’s favor
7. It was Elijah praying vs 450 prophets of Baal (v22)
8. Elijah let them go first
9. Elijah made his altar more difficult by pouring a large amount of water on the altar (v33-34)
A deficient faith is a huge problem in families and communities of the Christian faith. Often times we feel like we need to apologize for God--we feel like we need to handle our problems on our own or at least minimize them and make them smaller so that God can handle them. We definitely don't want to make the problem more difficult--because we certainly do not want to put ourselves in the position to be embarrassed. We often want to secure God provision on our own instead of placing our faith in Him in a radical and audacious way! Sunday’s sermon and today’s study have provided a multitude of examples from which we can see and learn how to to have audacious expectations for our God!