Faith to Face Your Impossibilities

Title: Faith to Face Your Impossibilities

Bible Book: Joshua 3 : 1-17

Author: Michael Catt

Subject: Faith



During WWII, my dad's brother was in the Seabees, the naval construction battalion. He did a lot of work in the Pacific. After the marines would come in and land on an island. They would build roads and they would build camps. I love the slogan for the Seabees. It says, "The difficult we will do immediately; the impossible may take a little longer." The great thing about our God is the impossible doesn't take him any longer. There is no difference in the eyes of God between the difficult and the impossible. However, there are some reasons why we get to the edge, but then quit and fall short of walking in the life that God intends for us.

#1) We trust in fleshly wisdom rather than in the Word of God. In other words, when we begin to say, "I think," instead of, "God says," we'll fall short. What we think can be challenged, refuted and argued about, but what God says is forever. And God's word is true forever. Ten of the twelve spies in Numbers chapter 13 got the grasshopper complex, and they missed God's blessing because they got to thinking instead of trusting.

#2) We get a word from God and then go ask somebody what they think about it. I'm not talking about seeking godly counsel because that's a biblical directive. However, if God gives you a promise from his Word, you need to stand on it. It really doesn't matter whether or not everyone agrees with you. You'll always find someone who says, "Well, I don't think you're believing it enough," or "You're believing it too much." Just take God at his word.

#3) We hold onto traditions rather than truth. Sometimes we have a hard time believing God can operate outside of our experiences or outside of our denomination. We can get caught up in our traditions and think God has to do it "the way it's always been done." Unfortunately, we'll fall short because God is not going to stay in the box we try to put Him in. He's going to keep pushing us to get beyond what feels comfortable and keep stretching us to be where He wants us to be.

#4) Fear grips us at the moment of decision. We get right to the edge, and all of a sudden we become afraid and focus on the problem rather than the on Lord. We start to worry: What are people going to think? What about my reputation? What if God doesn't come through? I'd rather step out, believing God told me to do something than never step out and never see anything happen. I would rather risk failing than never take a risk at all. A. B. Simpson said, "Be afraid of your fears...they will pierce your heart and hinder your advancement."

#5) We focus on ourselves. We allow the devil to bring up something from our past, and we forget that God has covered us with His blood, that He forgives and that He casts our sin into a sea of forgetfulness and remembers it no more.

#6) Just a total lack of faith. We're just not willing to believe God.

Then Joshua rose early in the morning; and he and all the sons of Israel set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan, and they lodged there before they crossed. And it came about at the end of three days that the officers went through the midst of the camp; and they commanded the people, saying, "When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God with the Levitical priests carrying it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. However, there shall be between you and it a distance of about 2,000 cubits by measure. Do not come near it, that you may know the way by which you shall go, for you have not passed this way before." Then Joshua said to the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." And Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, "Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over ahead of the people." So they took up the ark of the covenant and went ahead of the people. (Joshua 3:1-6, NASB)

Appropriating faith means taking what God says in His Word and applying it to your life and living according to it. How do we appropriate faith?


John Bisango once said, "God will never do what He can do before we do as much as we can. His opportunity awaits at the end of our extremity. Never will He act until we have been faithful to do what we can." That's faith and works. In the passage above, the priests had to move closer to the river. They were seven miles away, so first Joshua had to get them in a position to cross the river. We can stand back at a safe distance from all that God has for us and say, "I know it's out there, but I'm not going to take any steps of faith. I'm not going to move closer. I'm not going to do anything differently."


Joshua told the people to consecrate themselves in verse 5. Why? The preparation was spiritual because the task was impossible. They had to prepare themselves for a manifestation of God's power in their midst. Today, we often want the power of God, but we don't want to consecrate ourselves. We want revival or a great work of God, but we don't want to be set apart and uniquely different. Coach Taylor not only prepared his team physically, but he also prepared them spiritually. He knew they were also fighting a spiritual battle, so he challenged the guys to be set apart.

At the Jordan River, we die. Canaan is a picture of walking in victory and abundance-the spirit-filled life. But to get to Canaan you have to die. We don't walk in the fullness of the Spirit because we think we can get there without dying to self. You can't get to Canaan on a bridge that goes over dying to self. You get to Canaan by walking through the Jordan, a river at flood stage. It's coming to the end of yourself where you find the sufficiency in Christ that is yours. The God who takes you through the Jordan equips you and empowers you not to wallow in the Jordan or on the wrong side, but to get across. The Scriptures say that He brought us out so He could bring us in. God did not bring us out of our Egypt to die in the wilderness of an unfulfilled, unsatisfying life. God brought us out so He could bring us in.


"And it shall come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off, and the waters which are flowing down from above shall stand in one heap." So it came about when the people set out from their tents to cross the Jordan with the priests carrying the ark of the covenant before the people, and when those who carried the ark came into the Jordan, and the feet of the priests carrying the ark were dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks all the days of harvest), that the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho. And the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until all the nation had finished crossing the Jordan. (Joshua 3:13-17, NASB)

Dry ground. The priests took the first step. They stepped in, and when their feet touched that water, God pushed those waters back into a heap. In fact, God pushed the waters all the way back to the city of Adam, sixteen miles away! God doesn't lead you to step out in faith for you to get bogged down in the muddy middle. He intends for you to cross over. The miracle was a result of obeying God.

A. They crossed at the appointed time.

Walking by faith is not according to your agenda, your calendar or your clock; it's according to God's timetable. When you and I walk by faith; we don't do it when we feel like it; we do it when God says to do it. It's an appointed time.

B. They crossed at an impossible time.

Don't think that walking by faith means God is always going to make it easy for you. Why? God doesn't always want it to make sense to you because if it did, God wouldn't get all the glory.

The water was held in place until everyone crossed.

The people in the back were probably thinking, "This isn't going to last long. They'll get all the dry ground, and we'll get soaked. This is going to be a bad situation." It stayed dry until all Israel of crossed. Now how long do you think it took millions of men, women, children, cows and sheep to get across that river? Nobody got trampled. Nobody panicked. Everybody got across.

"But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel, 'Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you; when you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.'" (Isaiah 43:1-2, NASB)


Between your impossibility and your life of victory God is calling you across. He's not calling you to victory; He's actually calling you to the Victor, to the one who is your victory. We aren't to glory in our faith or in our victory. We're to glory in Him and who He is and what He has done.

When fear and faith collide, which side of the river are you on? Are you on the wilderness side, wondering if God will come through for you? Or are you on the Canaan side? God wants us to get to the point where we trust him, die to ourselves, step in, cross over and decide the only way to go the rest of life is forward. Die falling forward, not retreating.


Posted in


Scroll to Top