I hadn’t been married long, but it was long enough for me to know I was really good at it. I also knew that if our marriage was going to continue to get better “she” was going to have to change. The issue was the front door. It sounds foolish to say but this had become a major stronghold against our marriage. She wanted the front door locked all the time and I didn’t.
Joshua was in a similar place. Jericho stood between him and the rest of the Promised Land. The problem was that Jericho was impenetrable. After 40 years, Israel was ready to move but immediately faced an impossible fortress.
Joshua 6:1-5 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. You shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. It shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.”
What is your Jericho in 2018? Are there strongholds in your life that the enemy has built all sorts of defenses around?
Kelly was discouraged, and I was determined. What I didn’t realize was that every act of determination I would inflict upon her was only making the stronghold stronger.
Jericho was standing between us and the promises God had given to us about our marriage. Something was going to have to change and I would soon find out that something was me.
Joshua 6:1-2 Now Jericho was tightly shut because of the sons of Israel; no one went out and no one came in. The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors.
You may still be hoping for a victory. You have begun to question the promise. You’re overwhelmed by the stronghold; you’re at the point of accepting defeat.
At this point, we need to agree, that with the Lord, victory is not our hope it is His promise. It’s not “if” He will move but “when.” It’s not “can” He overcome but “how” will He overcome. You may be discouraged believing that you are losing the battle, but the battle is already won.
Jesus did not die on the cross to change your perspective, He died to change your position.
Romans 8:28-31 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?
There is a difference when we fight from a position of victory rather than just for the victory.
You are waiting on a word, but you are still consumed with worry. The story of Jericho didn’t start with a word, it started with a worry.
Joshua 5:13 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?”
Now this might not seem like much, but ask yourself, Why was the commander of the armies of Israel alone by Jericho? Joshua was trying to figure it out. What was going to be the best plan of attack? Did the walls have a weakness?
The problem was that Joshua was trying to gain a spiritual promise through physical means, but he got a gut check instead.
Joshua 5:13-15 Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, “Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
I had become convinced that this struggle in my marriage could be fixed by physical changes. The problem was nothing was changing. Then one night, as I was going to bed, the Lord spoke and told me to lock the door. I battled against this but eventually locked the door.
Faith was about to require something of me that would make me uncomfortable, and that was obedience to His plan.
You can imagine the confusion when Joshua shared the plan with Israel. How could this possibly work?
I remember telling the Lord that if I lock this door, she wins. What I struggled to see in that moment was how this wasn’t a physical battle but a spiritual one. One that faith would have to remove. For Kelly, this was about her need for security. By locking the door, I was saying that I would keep her safe.
Hebrews 11:30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days.
Transformation most often happens, not when something new begins, but when something old falls apart.
For Joshua that meant moving from a physical posture to a spiritual one. For me it meant letting go of any solutions and taking a hold of Him.
What is standing between you and the promises of God today?
1. What is the Jericho in your life today?
2. What needs to be allowed to fall apart so something new can begin in your life?