Posts Tagged ‘Jericho’


Walls Came tumbling down“Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, Jericho Jericho; Joshua fit the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down.”

walls came tumbling down2Do a Google search on “the walls came tumbling down” and you get everything from Martin Luther King and the fall of racial barriers, the Berlin Wall and the fall of communism, Madonna dumping the Record Industry for a 120 Million dollar deal with Live Nation, to the song by Def Leppard. Evidently God doesn’t know how to make His miracles pop up first in the Google search engine. No matter, regardless of popularity on search engines, GOD IS IN THE DEMOLITION BUSINESS. WHEN YOU NEEDS WALLS AND STRONGHOLDS TORN DOWN, CALL 1-800-WALLFALL

Jericho AncientJericho was a massive walled city for 1400 BC. Considered impenetrable, unbridgeable. They had a spring inside the walls for water. They had just completed the barley harvest so food was plentiful. Joshua 6:1 says the city was shut up inside and outside. They were anticipating a long siege. Then the Lord says something astounding to Joshua in verse 2: “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor.” The walls had already come tumbling down in the mind of God! Joshua couldn’t see it! That is Faith-seeing the invisible, seeing the impossible!

GOD CHALLENGES US TO BELIEVE THE IMPOSSIBLE!

God challenge believe impossibleIn order to Claim our Inheritance and Rest in God, we have to tear down Walled Strongholds! Have you ever looked at something in your life and wondered how you were going to get through it? Have you ever encountered a wall in a relationship, in your family, at work, in church, in life? Walls are Strongholds.

WALLS  CAN STOP US.

Job 19:8 (ESV) He has walled up my way, so that I cannot pass, and he has set darkness upon my paths.

Numbers 22:24-26 (ESV) Then the angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on either side. And when the donkey saw the angel of the Lord, she pushed against the wall and pressed Balaam’s foot against the wall. So he struck her again. Then the angel of the Lord went ahead and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right or to the left.

Walls are dangerousWALLS CAN HURT US

1 Samuel 18:10-11 (ESV) The next day a harmful spirit from God rushed upon Saul, and he raved within his house while David was playing the lyre, as he did day by day. Saul had his spear in his hand. And Saul hurled the spear, for he thought, “I will pin David to the wall.” But David evaded him twice.

WALLS CAN SHAME US

1 Samuel 31:8-10 (ESV) The next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. So they cut off his head and stripped off his armor and sent messengers throughout the land of the Philistines, to carry the good news to the house of their idols and to the people. They put his armor in the temple of Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan.

WALLS CAN LEAD US TO SIN

2 Kings 3:27 (ESV) Then he took his oldest son who was to reign in his place and offered him for a burnt offering on the wall. And there came great wrath against Israel. And they withdrew from him and returned to their own land.

WALLS CAN HIDE SIN & ABOMINATIONS

Ezekiel 8:7-13 (ESV) And he brought me to the entrance of the court, and when I looked, behold, there was a hole in the wall. Then he said to me, “Son of man, dig in the wall.” So I dug in the wall, and behold, there was an entrance. And he said to me, “Go in, and see the vile abominations that they are committing here.” So I went in and saw. And there, engraved on the wall all around, was every form of creeping things and loathsome beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel. And before them stood seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel, with Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan standing among them. Each had his censer in his hand, and the smoke of the cloud of incense went up. Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.’ ” He said also to me, “You will see still greater abominations that they commit.”

WALLS CAN LEAD TO IMPRISONMENT

Lamentations 3:7 (ESV) He has walled me about so that I cannot escape; he has made my chains heavy;

WALLS CAN DESTROY FRIENDSHIPS & FAMILIES

Proverbs 18:19 (NLT) An offended friend is harder to win back than a fortified city. Arguments separate friends like a gate locked with bars.

WE BUILD STRONGHOLDS BY PRIDE

Amos 6:8 (ESV) The Lord God has sworn by himself, declares the Lord, the God of hosts: “I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds, and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.”

HOW DO WE REACT TO WALLS & STRONGHOLDS:

IGNORE OR WHITEWASH IT

React to StrongholdsEzekiel 13:10-16 (ESV) Precisely because they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall! There will be a deluge of rain, and you, O great hailstones, will fall, and a stormy wind break out. And when the wall falls, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the coating with which you smeared it?’ Therefore thus says the Lord God: I will make a stormy wind break out in my wrath, and there shall be a deluge of rain in my anger, and great hailstones in wrath to make a full end. And I will break down the wall that you have smeared with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you shall perish in the midst of it, and you shall know that I am the Lord. Thus will I spend my wrath upon the wall and upon those who have smeared it with whitewash, and I will say to you, The wall is no more, nor those who smeared it, the prophets of Israel who prophesied concerning Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her, when there was no peace, declares the Lord God.

TRY TO GO AROUND IT

The enemy, the problem is still there. They are always strategically placed. They will trip you up in the future. If it is a stronghold of hidden sin, it will be revealed. Your Sin will come to Light

TRY TO DEAL WITH IT YOUR IN YOUR OWN STRENGTH

Look at what happened at AI. Look at what happens when you try in your own strength to kick a habit, or struggle with a problem sin. Even Paul discovered that self effort is futile (Romans 7)

TO CLAIM GOD’S INHERITANCE, WE MUST DEAL WITH THE STRONGHOLDS.

Strongholds rob inheritanceStrongholds will rob us of our inheritance. One of the greatest example of generational strongholds was conducted in 1900.  A.E. Winship tracked down fourteen hundred of the descendants of Jonathan Edwards a pastor and university president and Max Jukes, he published his study of the Edwards children in contrast to the Jukes children. (From a Study JUKES-EDWARDS: A STUDY IN EDUCATION AND HEREDITY BY A.E. WINSHIP, LITT.D. HARRISBURG, PA.: R.L. Myers & Co.1900.)

Jonathan Edwards:  Born 1703

A man of God and married to a woman of like character. He was 24 and she was 17. On their wedding night they committed their marriage to the Lord. Their descendants included: 300 clergymen – some missionaries and theological professors. 100 professors. 100 attorneys. 30 judges, 1 dean of a law school. 60 physicians, 1 dean of a medical school. 3 mayors of large cities. 60 authors of fine classics. 14 presidents of universities. 3 State Governors. 1 Controller of the US Treasury. 1 Vice-President of the USA.

Max Jukes:  Born 1700

A non-believer, who married a woman of like character. She lacked principle, among other indecencies, including the occult. Of their 1200 descendants –  310 were professional vagrants. 440 wrecked their lives through debauchery. 130 went to jail – 7 for murder, average sentence: 13 years. More than 600 became alcoholics. 60 were habitual thieves. 190 became public prostitutes. 20 became tradesmen, 10 of whom learned their trade in prison. That descendancy cost the state of New York $1,250,000. 

TO CLAIM THEIR INHERITANCE: THESE MEN HAD TO TEAR DOWN STRONGHOLDS

  • Jacob: Had to meet Esau
  • Jesus: Went to Samaria, Healed Gentiles, had to go to the Cross.
  • The disciples Fear was met head on by the Holy Spirit. In the face of persecution they said “we must obey God rather than man.

Tear down StrongholdsStrongholds of quarrels, pride, and selfishness will rob the church of God’s inheritance if not MET HEAD ON!

Paul: Euodia & Syntyche: Philippians 4:2-3 (NLT) Now I appeal to Euodia and Syntyche. Please, because you belong to the Lord, settle your disagreement. And I ask you, my true partner, to help these two women, for they worked hard with me in telling others the Good News. They worked along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are written in the Book of Life.

Apostle John: Going to confront Diotrephes. 3 John 1:9-10 (NLT) I wrote to the church about this, but Diotrephes, who loves to be the leader, refuses to have anything to do with us. When I come, I will report some of the things he is doing and the evil accusations he is making against us. Not only does he refuse to welcome the traveling teachers, he also tells others not to help them. And when they do help, he puts them out of the church.

HOW GOD DEALS WITH WALLS: DIVINE POWER

  • Power to Go Over the Wall

Divine Power strongholds2 Samuel 22:30 (ESV) For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall. Psalms 18:28-29 (ESV) For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.

  • Power to Destroy the Stronghold

Jeremiah 51:58 (ESV) “Thus says the Lord of hosts: The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground, and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples labor for nothing, and the nations weary themselves only for fire.”

2 Corinthians 10:4 (ESV) For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.

God doesn’t want us to avoid or run away from problems. He wants us to know His Divine Power to tear down walls. Psalms 89:40 (ESV) You have breached all his walls; you have laid his strongholds in ruins. God wants these stronghold torn down because He wants to be our stronghold. God will not share affections. He is a Jealous God. He desires to be the one we depend upon.

God Must Be Our Only Stronghold

Psalm 94_22 StrongholdGOD WANTS TO BE OUR ONLY STRONGHOLD. ANY STRONGHOLD THAT IS NOT OF GOD IS A CHALLENGE TO HIS AUTHORITY, HIS INHERITANCE, HIS REST FOR OUR LIFE. Psalms 27:1 (ESV) The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? God COMMANDED JOSHUA TO DESTROY THE STRONGHOLDS OF CANAAN. JERICHO WAS FIRST. Isaiah 23:11 (ESV) He has stretched out his hand over the sea; he has shaken the kingdoms; the Lord has given command concerning Canaan to destroy its strongholds. God knew that if these Canaanite strongholds were not destroyed, they would HINDER the Hebrews from gaining ALL of their inheritance, then they would ROB the Hebrews of future inheritance, and finally they would STEAL the Hebrew’s away from total devotion to Jehovah God.

Need To Battle Strategy2In order to tear down and destroy strongholds, God has a “Need To” Battle Strategy. But it does not work if you don’t see your “NEED TO”

God presented Joshua with His Need To Strategy, one which He presents to us. But very few Christians walk in Victory, free from strongholds that are robbing our inheritance. Christians are very boisterous about their great lives (look at facebook) but plain facts reveal another story. Divorce is as prevalent in the church as without. Drugs and Prescription Drugs are as common place among Christians as the world. Christians have strained family relationships just like the world. Christians have just as bad a problem with money and debt as the world. Christians struggle with depression, despair, defeat just like the world.

Jericho stands for all those things we can’t get victory over on our own but will hurt others and destroy our walk and our inheritance if we don’t.

These are the things that we hide in our lives: our fears, defeats, anxieties, petty envying and outright deceit. God knows there is only one solution: lead them into battle against them. We live in a pretend age. And so marriages are falling apart but we pretend things are normal such as marriages falling apart. They pretend their families are fine when in fact the parents and children are in a constant state of war.

We live by ignoring our failures. We hope that they will never get big enough to erupt the normalcy of life. God knows better. If crossing the Red Sea or Jordan River stand for salvation, taking over the land of Israel represent sanctification: the process where God’s people are freed from their sins and find the fullness of life in living God’s way.

The Israelites had been in the wilderness for so long that they NEEDED TO EXPERIENCE THE MILK AND HONEY OF CANAAN! GOD WANTS YOU TO GET TO THE PLACE WHERE YOU ARE NOT CONTENT WITH A MEDIOCRE WALK, A MEDIOCRE WITNESS, A MEDIOCRE LOVE FOR Him. HE WANTS YOU TO DESIRE HIM TO BE YOUR ONLY STRONGHOLD, YOUR ONLY GOD.

GOD is out for victory and success. He desires both to show His power and bring grace to our lives. He leads them straight into the hard battles and will do it in our lives too. When a person becomes a Christian, he will often face some big sudden challenges. He should not fear. God is with you to show Himself great. If they are not rightly dealt with at the beginning when our faith is strong, then it takes a long time to work them through.

Many of us do not understand how deceit, lies, fears, anxieties, lusts and anxieties are chains about our lives. We have grown so used to them that we just get use to them. God wants to give us genuine freedom from their influence in our lives.

The world boasts of freedom and choice, but are they not enslaved by their very desires? This is what Peter the apostle saw in the world around him, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. (2 Peter 2:18, 19, NASB).

DO YOU HAVE A “NEED TO” IN YOUR LIFE?

Need to Battle StrategyHow Did God Give Joshua Victory over this Stronghold? Joshua and His people followed God’s “NEED TO” Battle Strategy!

1.  Need to Depend Upon the Lord

Joshua 5:15 (ESV) And the commander of the Lord’s army said to Joshua, “Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.

  • No Room for Pride
  • No Allowance for your ability
  • Nothing of the flesh allowed
  • He is Holy, He is without compare
  • We Must Sacrifice our will – make ourselves Holy by doing as He desires.
  • The Lord Must be Central in ALL our undertakings. Look at the position of the Ark

2.  Need to Obey

Joshua 6:3-5 (NKJV) You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

Imagine you are a mighty soldier. You have experienced some mighty battles against some mighty kings on the other side of the Jordan. You are a man of action, a man of battle skills. Joshua tells you to get in column and start marching around the city. And you cannot speak, you simply march. The city was only about 11 acres. The march of 600,000 men would have taken only about 45 minutes to an hour at the most. The march to Jericho and back took longer. The first couple of days were OK, everyone was obedient. But by the sixth day, I can just imagine the guys were getting antsy. They were having a hard time figuring out what was going on.

Strongholds are not destroyed all at once. There is the behind the scenes work of God! We must obey God even when it seems crazy.

  • Going to church
  • Tithing
  • Going to someone you have wronged.
  • Showing Honor even when they don’t deserve it.

There are things we need to do in order for God to work His timing and His power to tear down strongholds in our lives.

In Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, Jim Cymbala tells of amazing transformations in the lives of people with horrible strongholds. One of those stories (page 40 and following) contains a letter from Roberta, who tells of her terrible battle with drugs and depression.  When she “finally hit bottom,” (HIV Positive) she drove to the Brooklyn Tabernacle and cried to God to save her.  Her experience with God has had its ups and downs, including a relapse. Sometimes the strongholds need more “need to”. She persevered in obedience, despite being near death more than once.

Cymbala tells of the time that Roberta was asked to give her testimony before the church.  Her father was present that night.  The story that this young woman had to share, Cymbala says, was not a pretty one, and certainly not one that a father would smile in pride to hear coming from his daughter’s lips.  As she came to the most disturbing parts of her story, Roberta stopped, looked at her father, and said with tears in her eyes, “Daddy, I know this is hard for you to hear.  But I have to say it, because it shows how Jesus can forgive the worst in a person’s life.”

3.  Need to Quietly Wait

1 Thessalonians 1:8 (NASB77) For the word of the Lord has sounded forth from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith toward God has gone forth, so that we have no need to say anything.

Americans are not very patient. God is the God of eternity. He sees things that you and I can not even imagine. Strongholds are not built in a day. Some are built up over years. God will take us through many things before He believes we are ready to tear down a stronghold. Always Give God one more day to show His Power. Never never put time restraints on God. Never lose heart at the trials and afflictions that God allows to tear down strongholds. You’re learning to patiently wait upon God will be taken with you into eternity, for Paul says afflictions work an eternal weight of glory! Focus on that which you cannot see, on eternity!

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (NKJV) Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Patient waiting displays FAITH, which is more precious than gold! 1 Peter 1:6-9 (ESV) In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

4.  Need to Believe

Jim Cymbala and ChrissyDo you even believe God can do mighty things in your life. Have you given in to Satan’s lies and stopped looking for miracles from God? Are their situations you have stopped praying for because you figure God doesn’t care? Is God asking you to march around a few more times and you are giving up, tired of this nonsense?

From an Interview with Jim Cymbala:

Q: You also experienced some times of real personal crisis as the church matured, didn’t you?

A: My oldest daughter, Chrissy, drifted away from God when she was a teenager, and a wall went up. We lived through a 30-month nightmare. We tried everything—begging, crying, yelling, trying to use money to manipulate her, sending her away to a better environment. Nothing worked. At one point she was away from home for about three months, and we weren’t sure where she was. The Lord impressed on me not to seek any more contact with her but to give myself to prayer. This was just before Thanksgiving. We had a very difficult Christmas, but we learned things about prayer and trusting God that I had never learned before.

When February came, I was in the prayer meeting on Tuesday night talking about the Book of Acts and how the Holy Spirit alone can produce boldness in us. You can’t teach boldness; it’s something the Holy Spirit produces. As we were praying for one another, a girl in the church sent up a note to me saying that she believed we were supposed to pray for my daughter. I called one of my associates to the pulpit, and he prayed. The whole church began to pray. It was like being in a labor room with a woman giving birth. I can’t describe it any other way. I had not made a big thing about it in church because I felt that people had their own problems. I couldn’t make myself the center of attention. But this night, we really prayed! The intensity was overwhelming.

The next morning when I was shaving, Carol came into the room and said that Chrissy was there. She was on her knees weeping, and she said, “Daddy, I’m so sorry. I’ve sinned against God, myself and you.” She drew herself up to me, put her head on my chest and asked, “Who was praying for me last night? God woke me up in the middle of the night with a dream where I saw myself heading toward this pit that had no bottom. I was racing toward it, and at the last second He stopped me. And instead of yelling at me, He put His arms around me, and I knew He loved me!”

Chrissy is now in her 30s and married. She and her husband have three beautiful children. God totally transformed her, and it was through the power of believing prayer.

5.  Need to be Enthused

When the Priests were blowing the Rams Horn, they were doing it with all their might. When the People Shouted they did it with all their might. They loved the Lord. He ENTHUSED them He energized them!

Two pastors’ wives sat mending their husbands’ pants. One of them said to the other, “My poor John, he is so discouraged in his church work. He said just the other day he was considering resigning. It seems nothing goes right for him.”

The other replied, “Why, my husband was saying just the opposite. He is so enthused, it seems like the Lord is closer to him than ever before.”

A hushed silence fell as they continued to mend the trousers; one patching the seat and the other the knees. —Illustrations Unlimited

6.  Need to be Fearless Warriors

They had to go in and destroy the people. There were children, but God said destroy them. We Need to be Like Billy Sunday:

I’m against sin. I’ll kick it as long as I’ve got a foot, and I’ll fight it as long as I’ve got a fist. I’ll butt it as long as I’ve got a head. I’ll bite it as long as I’ve got a tooth. And when I’m old and fistless and footless and toothless, I’ll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!” –  Billy Sunday

7.  Need to Guard the Stuff

Joshua 6:9 (ESV) The armed men were walking before the priests who were blowing the trumpets, and the rear guard was walking after the ark, while the trumpets blew continually.

Rear Guard Follows the ArkThe tribe of Dan guarded the stuff in the Wilderness Wanderings: NUMBERS 10:25 Then the standard of the camp of the sons of Dan, according to their armies,  which formed the rear guard for all the camps, set out, with Ahiezer the son of Ammishaddai over its army,

Basically, ʾāsap refers to “bringing objects to a common point.” Gathering Food as at harvest time, Gathering all the supplies. The rear guard is not an exciting job, but you must do it, or you run the risk of having all your supplies stolen and plundered. Then how could you keep on fighting?

God is our Rear GuardIsaiah 58:8 says God will be your rear guard. He will guard your stuff, if you keep true to the battle. But I also like to thank that there is always a place in the Lord’s Army. No matter how old you are, how achy you may feel, you can be a guard –guarding the stuff. As we’ve seen in Ephesians, a Warriors weak point is always his back. Roman soldiers would usually have a buddy who would cover his back. Infantrymen are always molded into a unit with the credo to watch each others back. The rear guard is usually your prayer warriors, your people who have faith in an awesome God to protect the stuff. Front line warrior need someone praying for them, watching their back.

God Calls us to See our Victory

The Holy Spirit is speaking to our heart (if we are His) and He wants us to see the VICTORY we have in Jesus Christ.

In Ephesians we learn: We are His Sons, we are accepted in the Beloved, in Christ we have obtained an inheritance, in Christ we have Mighty Power-the same power that raised Jesus from the grave. In Christ we share in the Dominion He has over all things!

This is why Paul prays for us:

Ephesians 3:16-21 (ESV) that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Do You want to be filled with ALL the FULLNESS of GOD?!, Then knock down these foreign worldly strongholds that ROB God of His place in your Life. GOD Must be our Stronghold. God Must be our Rear Guard.

TO MAKE GOD OUR STRONGHOLD,

Light the Fuse God Stronghold1. REFUSE – WE MUST REFUSE THE WORLD, WE MUST REFUSE THE FLESH

Ephesians 4:17-24 (ESV) Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

2. INFUSE – Then we infuse our heart & minds with GOD

Ephe 4:23 -and  to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,

Put on the New Life – new heart attitude, new speech, new honor for authorities, honor for family relationships, honor for your employer.

Whole Armor or Holey armor3. ENTHUSE – GET THE BATTLE GEAR ON!

The Whole Armor, not just part. Make sure it passes inspection by the Captain of the Host! Some of us have nice looking helmets, but we don’t have the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, our swords are looking real bad, our shields of faith are looking like swiss cheese, our sandals of the gospel of peace are falling apart.

A well dressed and well equipped army is an enthusiastic army. INFUSED WITH GOD SHOWS IN ENTHUSIAM FOR GOD AND HIS CAUSE!

ARE YOU READY TO SHOUT?

Shout for VictoryGod wants us to believe He can do the Impossible!

WE NEED TO GO AFTER GOD AND HIS INHERITANCE FOR US! The VICTORY is OURS! DO we see our “NEED TO” remove worldly strongholds? Are we willing to make God our Stronghold?

“Let’s quit fiddling with religion and do something to bring the world to Christ. If you want to drive the devil out of the world, hit him with a cradle instead of a crutch. Billy Sunday

Advertisements

Scarlet Cord Memorial of Rahab

The book of Joshua is a Mighty Book of Faith in God and His ability. An insignificant people face insurmountable obstacles and enemies and all they have is a willingness to believe and obey an unseen God! That is the very essence of faith, for faith is at its strongest when we are at our weakest. The Power of God is never wasted on trifling matters. He delights in answering the call of people facing impossible situations.

Joshua Sends Spies to JerichoIn Chapter 2 we find Joshua sending a couple of young men to spy out the city of Jericho. I ask, why, Joshua? Remember the last time spies were sent out? Didn’t God tell you to be Strong and of Good Courage, for you would overtake the land? This is the mystery of a life aligned with the Holy Spirit’s purpose. When you align yourself with the Holy Spirit, He will lead you do things which make no sense to a rational thinking man.

Surely you have made decisions that at the time seemed stupid or even irrational, yet God used that decision and the events that resulted to dramatically impact your life and the lives of those around you. I remember one particularly irrational decision I made:

After my brothers had voted me out of Tompkins Industries in 1988, I had gone to work for Kenneth R Johnson Co. It was a very difficult 2 years financially because I had taken a 40% cut in pay and with no savings tried to keep my wife and six children fed and clothed. In the meantime I built up the hydraulic adapter business for KR Johnson from $20,000 a year to over 1.5 million dollars a year in little over 18 months. The owner was an old oil man with a bank and real estate holdings. This was kind of a sideline for him. He offered to sell the company I had built up for him for no money down but with a note of $1,000,000. But there were a lot of strings attached. At first I was chomping at the bit because it would mean a lot of good things for my young family. I could realize the rewards of my labors. But it also meant that I would really be butting heads with my two brothers. It also meant that the family would not be restored. We were all set to close the next day and I just had a feeling like none I had ever had before. I can’t explain it, but it was very gut wrenching. I am one to honor my word, but I told Lydia that I just could not go through with it. So I called John and told him I was not going through with the purchase and was quitting my job.

Boy you should have heard the fur fly. I experienced more grief from that decision and added to the grief caused by my brothers I should have taken my life. Before I had a little debt and a little income. Now I had a lot of debt and no income.  Plus a teenage driver. God used that moving of His Spirit to affect my family’s inheritance. It worked to the saving of my family, because that combined with my grandmother’s death got my brothers back together. It brought my parents back into my children’s lives.

In God’s Inheritance that He wants us to claim, our FAMILY is always in view. So many families are falling apart because of putting fleshly pride and possessions ahead of the family. Yet God wants our families, all of them. I could have made the business work, but God would have brought leanness to my soul because my family would have been destroyed.

In sending the two spies to Jericho, God saved an entire family! Are you working to toward the salvation of your family? Have you let selfish ambition, pride, possessions get in the way of your love for your family, your concern for their souls, for God’s work in their life? You are losing your inheritance. Gaining inheritance will always involve faith to follow God’s leadership. He will never, never lead you to put money, possessions, reputation, fleshly rights before your parents, your siblings, your wife, your children, your extended family. God has the inheritance of a Godly heritage in view and claiming that inheritance will always involve death to self and following God by faith. Faith in Him doing the impossible.

We Now Meet A Young Woman Named Rahab.

Meet Rahab the ProstituteJoshua 2:1-7 (NKJV) Now Joshua the son of Nun sent out two men from Acacia Grove to spy secretly, saying, “Go, view the land, especially Jericho.” So they went, and came to the house of a harlot named Rahab, and lodged there. And it was told the king of Jericho, saying, “Behold, men have come here tonight from the children of Israel to search out the country.” So the king of Jericho sent to Rahab, saying, “Bring out the men who have come to you, who have entered your house, for they have come to search out all the country.” Then the woman took the two men and hid them. So she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I did not know where they were from. And it happened as the gate was being shut, when it was dark, that the men went out. Where the men went I do not know; pursue them quickly, for you may overtake them.” (But she had brought them up to the roof and hidden them with the stalks of flax, which she had laid in order on the roof.) Then the men pursued them by the road to the Jordan, to the fords. And as soon as those who pursued them had gone out, they shut the gate.

Rahab is not your typical gal. She is a harlot, a prostitute. There is no disguising what Rahab did. Both the language here and in the New Testament indicates she was a whore. Now you can speculate why these young men went into her place, but I think the language and Rahab’s statements indicate it was the easiest place to hide without being too conspicuous. Obviously these men looked like out of towners to be so easily discovered. So they sought sleep in a place that normally would not look too suspicious. They were not there very long before the King’s soldiers came knocking, looking for them. Obviously their lives were in danger.

This Prostitute, Rahab, Lied.

Rahab LiedNow I’m not condoning lying. God says lying lips are an abomination to Him. In her defense, she knew not God’s Laws, and was merely doing what she thought was best to spare the lives of the two young men. Does God excuse small sin to prevent a greater sin? I don’t believe so, as sin is sin. But the greatest evil that God hates is when we go our own way. Rahab was not going her own way when she lied. Something was happening in her heart, and that led her to protect the lives of the two young God-Followers.

We See Two God Events Taking Place In Her Heart.

We hear a phrase quite often nowadays. It’s a God Thing. I just used a God Event. I could have said God Thing and you all probably would have said, sure I understand. A God thing-that’s when something happens that only God could have done or manipulated. Something happens in your life causing you to do this or take this job or etc and you look back and say “That was a God Thing”. I just want to offer you a caution. God is at work every day of our life. He doesn’t’ just do God Things now and then. In fact, He wants us to every day say, wow God, thanks, wow God, you are so awesome. The flat tire, the sunset, the storm, the person who smiled at us, the person who cut us off, all of it is a God Thing!

Paul prayed that we would know the Love of Jesus Christ that surpasses our knowledge, that we might be filled with the fullness of God! If you are filled with the fullness of God everything is a God Thing! This is what the Hebrews were bringing into Canaan. They were bringing the Fullness of God into a God Empty Land. And Whenever GOD EMPTY People Encounter GOD FILLED people, God wants to see happen what happened in the life of RAHAB.

1. Rahab FEARED the GOD of the Hebrews.

Rahab Feared God of the HebrewsJoshua 2:8-11 (NKJV) Now before they lay down, she came up to them on the roof, and said to the men: “I know that the Lord has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things, our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.

In an age before CNN, the news still traveled fairly quickly and accurately. The people of Jericho had heard about the Jewish Nation, how they had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. They had heard about the destruction of Pharaoh’s Army. They had heard about the destruction of two mighty Kings, Sihon and Og. They heard how they had killed everyone, and left no survivors, not even children.

  • Deuteronomy 2:24-25 (NKJV) “‘Rise, take your journey, and cross over the River Arnon. Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle. This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.’
  • Deuteronomy 2:31-34 (NKJV) And the Lord said to me, ‘See, I have begun to give Sihon and his land over to you. Begin to possess it, that you may inherit his land.’ Then Sihon and all his people came out against us to fight at Jahaz. And the Lord our God delivered him over to us; so we defeated him, his sons, and all his people. We took all his cities at that time, and we utterly destroyed the men, women, and little ones of every city; we left none remaining.
  • Deuteronomy 11:25 (NKJV) No man shall be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the dread of you and the fear of you upon all the land where you tread, just as He has said to you.

Listen to her fears:

  • We are afraid because of you.
  • All the inhabitants are faint-hearted.
  • Our hearts melted;
  • Their courage vanished.

She concluded in her heart that the Lord God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath. To Rahab, He who is invisible suddenly became visible because of the presence of the Jews.

Fear Should Open Our Eyes to See God!

Fear Opens the Eyes to See GodMen do different things in response to fear. Some run away, some give up and commit suicide, some relish the fear and channel it into a fight. Rahab allowed the fear of her heart to open her eyes to see God! FEAR SHOULD OPEN OUR EYES TO SEE GOD! When Sennacherib threatened to invade Judah and King Hezekiah with his considerably larger army, Hezekiah allowed his fears to open his eyes to the power of God. Listen to his prayer in 2 Kings 19:14:

2 Kings 19:14-19 (NKJV) And Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord. Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth. Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear; open Your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to reproach the living God. Truly, Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, and have cast their gods into the fire; for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands–wood and stone. Therefore they destroyed them. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I pray, save us from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that You are the Lord God, You alone.”

What fears do you face? What foes are at your doorstep? If you trust in Jesus as your Savior, allow them to open your eyes to almighty God. Allow your fears to drive you to trust in God and God alone. Perfect love casts out fear. Rahab is about to meet perfect love – the love represented by the scarlet cord.

2. Rahab’s FEAR led her to FAITH in the God of the Hebrews.

Joshua 2:12-21 (NKJV) [Now therefore, I beg you, swear to me by the Lord, since I have shown you kindness, that you also will show kindness to my father’s house, and give me a true token, and spare my father, my mother, my brothers, my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death.” So the men answered her, “Our lives for yours, if none of you tell this business of ours. And it shall be, when the Lord has given us the land, that we will deal kindly and truly with you.”] Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall; she dwelt on the wall. And she said to them, “Get to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you. Hide there three days, until the pursuers have returned. Afterward you may go your way.” So the men said to her: “We will be blameless of this oath of yours which you have made us swear, unless, when we come into the land, you bind this line of scarlet cord in the window through which you let us down, and unless you bring your father, your mother, your brothers, and all your father’s household to your own home. So it shall be that whoever goes outside the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we will be guiltless. And whoever is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. And if you tell this business of ours, then we will be free from your oath which you made us swear.” Then she said, “According to your words, so be it.” And she sent them away, and they departed. And she bound the scarlet cord in the window.

Rahab had Faith in GodShe knew that God would cause the Hebrews to prevail against the mighty city Jericho. Her fear had led her to see the Invisible and she knew He would prevail. She boldly told the young men to promise to save her and her family. She had faith that they could save her family. She had faith that God was powerful enough to protect her! This coming from a prostitute, one whom the world rejected, used and abused, yet she believed there was a God who could love her and her family.

Rahab Fell into the Hebrews 11:6 Principal:

TO PLEASE GOD, WE MUST BELIEVE TWO THINGS: FIRST, THAT HE IS & SECOND, THAT HE IS A REWARDER OF THOSE WHO DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM!

Hebrews 11_6 Without FaithHere was a woman with a bad reputation, with no important status in the world, and all of a sudden the future of Israel is bound up in her faith. With God, there are no special privileges because of who you are, or what you do. We all stand before God with the common ground of faith. There is a little child over there with more faith in God than a wizened old preacher. There is a young teenager with more faith than a dying saint. God does not call good people to follow Him. God does not call perfect people to Him. He calls flawed people, but the one thing we must have to come to God is FAITH! This lowly prostitute became great in the eyes of God because of her faith in Him. That is why she is listed in Hebrews 11.

Hebrews 11:31 (NKJV) By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Her fear of Almighty God and her faith in His power to save her led her to choose to protect these two young men rather than give them up to the authorities.

This is why Peter and John told the authorities in Jerusalem: Acts 4:19  But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. Rahab chose to fear God rather than man, and so she protected the two Jewish men. Who do you fear? We have many, many fears in this world. Yet our fears should lead us to faith in the Power of God to KEEP us, and to Work His Perfect Will in our lives.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

Archeologists have discovered that Jericho at this time was probably at the peak of their prosperity and safety. The walls were the most fortified in Canaan. Water was plentiful from underground springs. Crops were abundant. There was no human way this city could fall and be destroyed. Yet this woman was afraid of the power of God, and that fear led her heart to choose to believe in God rather than the power of her civil government.  Who is your faith in? What is your faith in?

When Fear Produces Faith It Always Encounters the Grace of God

3. Rahab Found the Grace of God

Rahab Found Grace of GodJoshua 6:25 (NKJV) And Joshua spared Rahab the harlot, her father’s household, and all that she had. So she dwells in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

Fear of the Lord that leads to Faith in His Provision ALWAYS brings one into the Marvelous GRACE of God! Look at what the Grace of God brought into this prostitute’s life:

  • She Found Freedom
  • She Found A New Family (Joshua 6:25; Matt 1:5; Ruth 4:21)
    • She Went From Sinner to Saint
    • She Went From Being the Cursed Of God to Being a Child of God
    • She Went From The Dying In A War To Participating In A Wedding. (Revelation 19:7-9)
  • She Found A New Fame. (Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31)
    • She Went From The House Of Shame To The Bible Hall Of Fame.
    • That Scarlet Cord was a Memorial for the Hebrews to See. To Save.
    • The Scarlet Memorial Begins at the Cross and Runs Past Present & Future

No one lies outside the possibilities of God’s grace!

scarlet cordWhy A Scarlet Cord? Was it something peculiar to her profession? It was obviously something she had on hand. It became the salvation of the two young men, and it became the salvation of Rahab and her entire family. The Scarlet Cord represented the sins of her former life. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as wool. The Blood of Jesus cleanses the vilest sinner and makes them clean, set apart, and usable for Holy God’s purposes.

Look at What the Grace of God Accomplished

Rahab met a nice Jewish man named Salmon who loved her and accepted her completely, just the way God accepts and loves all those who come to Him through His Son. God blessed her with children. In fact, her oldest boy was Boaz, who gave such grace to Ruth. She was the Great grandmother of Jesse, the father of King David. The Grace of God in Rahab’s life extends to King David, all the way to the birth of Jesus Christ, and all the way to my New Birth! What a testimony of right response to fear!

Matthew 1:5-6 (NKJV) Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king. David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.

  • Hebrews 7:25 (NIV) Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.,

What a heritage because one woman chose to let her fear draw her into the matchless grace of God. That Wonderful grace found root in the heart of her son Boaz, who loved a young poor, widow woman who also feared God.

The Scarlet Memorial is a Memorial to God’s Grace

Scarlet Cord is a MemorialGod’s Holy Spirit was working in the people of Jericho. He was giving them an opportunity to turn to Him. Of the several thousand inhabitants, only one woman along with her family saw a ‘GOD THING’. She is the only one who opened her heart to seek after this Almighty God. The picture of God’s Grace is such that it is able to bring beauty into the ugliest life. Those lives that the world considers most decrepit, most destroyed, most likely to be cast aside are the lives that God can make most valuable, most beautiful. This is not to minimize sin. Yet when we learn of something someone once was, we recoil, we say no way, but there is no sin that the Grace of God cannot conquer. Where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. God was bringing His people into their inheritance, a place of rest. Too many Christians are running around all worried, frustrated, angry, upset, acting as if there is no Almighty God who is working in their lives. Rahab, a sinner in the world, found rest in God because she trusted in the Scarlet Cord.

You say you trust in the Scarlet Memorial of Jesus death on the cross, yet you run around as if there was no resurrection, there was no power of God to conquer sin and Satan and this world. Rahab could say I know this God. He is all Powerful. He will keep me safe. He will save me! No matter the quaking of the walls, no matter the screams of those around me, no matter the fainting hearts of mighty men, I will rest in the power of Jehovah God!

Do You Have a Scarlet Memorial in Your Life?

Do You Have Scarlet Cord MemorialThe Lord is after getting us inwardly resting in HIM. Unrest, anxiety, is ever the ground of defeat. Uncertainty about the Lord brings weakness and defeat; the Lord sets great value on BELIEVING GOD – faith in GOD. In the list of the heroes of faith in Heb. 11, the Holy Spirit records Rahab the harlot, and links her with Abraham in James; she believed God and leapt out of ungodliness into righteousness, because her fear led her to believe God and she put her faith into action. Rahab was the key to Jericho and Jericho is the key to the land. That is the kind of key He uses. He uses the Key of Restful Faith!

Let us Remember the Blood of JesusThe Scarlet Thread runs through the Bible. It is a Memorial to our Savior and His precious blood. How are you responding to the pressures of this life? Is there a Memorial in your life, a Scarlet Cord of the Saviors Blood?