Rev. Brian K. Brown, Pastor, St. Mark M.B. Church
Pastor Brown returned with a continuation of the unannounced series ‘In the Valley’. The referenced scripture is a description of the battle Israel faced against the Amalekites in Rephidim. From these verses Pastor Brown’s message let us know there are things God requires of us in our valley moments and even in valley moments we can win.
God had given Moses the battle plan. Moses was to stand on the hill with the rod of God and Joshua and their army would be in the valley. This is a reminder that we are always in a lower posture, for God is above us. Heaven represents the mountain and the earth we live upon is the valley. The valley of life is pitted with ups and downs. Joshua is required to wage war against an enemy attempting to keep them from experiencing all God had in store for them. We too have an enemy in our lives who wants to steal, kill, and destroy. Work will be required, which may not be easy. No matter what task is before us in the valley, God requires that we work and if we do so God will work for us.
Pastor Brown gave us three requirements of us while working in the valley. The first, from verse 11, You Must Work With Your Team. We are not to work alone but with others. Yet everybody does not need to be with us in the valley, for they may make things harder because they were not designed to be encourages in the valley. God lets us choose who goes with us in the valley. Those we choose should have strength, knowledge and favor we don’t have. God let Joshua choose out men to fight. We should allow God to help us choose those who can help us in the valley. We need to be particular because some will not be of help. Good partners play to our strength and cover our weaknesses. Are we choosing people who try to tear down our strength and who play on our weaknesses? God does not want us stuck in the valley. We are to pass through so we can see God at his best.
The second requirement from verses 11 and 12, Work Through Your Trials. Joshua saw there were moments of winning and moments of defeat. Early in the morning Joshua is battling and they are winning but later they are being defeated but he does not stop fighting. Joshua does not know that Moses has gotten tired. Everything may not be going as we hope but we are not to allow trials to be a setback. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. We keep working when everything goes our way and when they don’t. We work until God works it out, in, through and around to show us that our labor is not in vain. God is trying to show us that while we’re working through it, he’s already worked it out. While Joshua didn’t know that Moses had gotten tired, God used Aaron and Hur to help Moses as they sat him on a rock and held up his hands so that Israel would have the victory. If we quit, we miss the moment for God to show us that he will work through us to victory if we keep working. God will do his part but will we?
The last requirement from verse 13, Work Using Your Tool. Joshua did not go to battle unarmed. He went with his tool, a sword. He knew he needed something in his hand to have victory in the valley. In Philippians we are told to be spiritually dressed in mechanism to keep the enemy from doing us harm. The only active weapon spoken of in Philippians is the sword, the word of God. We are to fight a good fight of faith. Many of us have a bible but are we using it? Joshua discomfited the enemy with the edge of the sword. He knew where the power of cutting was, the razor edge of the sword. In order for the bible to do its work, we need to let it become sharp in our minds so that it does the work for us, cutting down whatever is in our way. It’s not enough just to have a bible, we need to know it. We need to recognize that most of our battles are not outside of us but within us. The only one who really knows us is God. He will draw out of us what is deep within as we lock in with him, follow, and listen to him by his word. In the valley is the best time to get deep in God’s word, the tool he has given us, his word.
Join us Sunday mornings in the sanctuary or via live-stream on YouTube @ St Mark MBC at 10:20 for Sunday School, worship service at 10:45 a.m., and bible study on Wednesdays @ 7:00 p.m.