Summary: Old habits in our lives are often like a walled fortress!
Divine Strategy and Glorious Conquest!
We are studying from the book of Joshua and learning from the experiences of the children of Israel. This book is filled with principles that we can use in our own pilgrimage to a place of Spirit-filled life! Last Sunday we talked about Crossing Over, Making the choices to ‘own’ the promises of God.
1. FOLLOW! Focus on where God, by the Spirit, is leading you.
2. CONSECRATE your life, renewing your commitment to Him, listening carefully for Him.
3. MOVE OUT! Don’t go just half-way toward the challenge and give in to the temptation to quit.
4. MEMORIALIZE! Remember the victories and build your faith in the God who is at work in you today.
Do you ever read the Bible and say, “But that’s just impossible!” I’m not talking about the miracle stories, either. I mean, the instructions from the Word for daily life choices. As you read the passages of the Scripture, principles emerge and so does the contrast between how you are living today and how God wants you to live. What then? That’s the question that shapes this message–
Will we take God’s way and discover a path to victory or choose our own way and go down to defeat?
Proverbs states the challenge simply-
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Proverbs 16:25, NIV)
This morning we will be looking at the 6th chapter of Joshua. I encourage to follow along in your Bible. In the interest of conserving time, I will only be reading selected verses that tell most of the story.
TEXT: Joshua 6: 1-5, 8-11, 14-21, 24-27 Pew Bible page 337
This a story of legendary proportions! To many people it is only a legend, a story of a likely real event that has been embellished during the telling over time. But I do not believe for a moment that to be true! The Biblical record is sound, factual, and reports history as it happened. Archaelogical digs at the site of the ancient city of Jericho, shows that the mound was inhabited for thousands of years. There is evidence that points to a collapse of the city’s walls and a complete burning of the city around 1400 B.C. Can we be sure that evidence points to the Joshua story? No, but we know that the city surely existed.
What is more important is that we understand the lessons of this chapter and allow those to encourage US to believe God for His will and way in destroying sin’s strongholds in our lives! From time to time you, too, will come up to do battle with some tremendous strongholds in your life that will require divine strategy and great faith to overcome.
As we consider the lessons of this chapter of history, ask God to give you a heart to believe his word and to make you an overcomer!
The Difficulties of the Situation.
Verse 1 of this chapter tells us that Jericho was tightly shut up! This little city- only about 1200’ by 400’ in an oblong shape- was built on a hill-top. It was more like a fortress than a city as we might imagine it. It was well-defended by rather substantial walls. It could be easily defended against invaders. It had plenty of time to prepare for a siege, laying in supplies of water and food. Tho’ the people were terrorized by the invaders, they most assuredly were prepared as best they could be.
How like the difficulties that you and I have with sin from time to time, isn’t it?
Old habits in our lives are often like a walled fortress!
Such things as lust, laziness, apathy, and hatred stand in the path of our Christian growth.
Philosophies of the age, assumptions we make about life, even our family traditions are like well defended fortresses in our minds. We find it nearly impossible to trust God with a situation because we hear our favorite professor’s voice, or our mother’s voice repeating something we assume to be unchallengeable !
People can stand in the way of God’s will, too. Many times we come up against someone else, a spouse or family member particularly, who is tightly shut up to our faith and who resists all efforts that we make to engage interest in the things of God. This being the case, we have something to learn from Joshua and the story today.
The Promise of God regarding the Situation. [ see v. 2 ]
Isn’t that a remarkable thing? The battle has not even been fought yet and God assures Joshua of the outcome!
Note the exact tenses of the wording - "I have delivered...." not "I will deliver...."
The prophet Isaiah wrote of the pronouncements of the Lord in this way-"I, even I have spoken!" Isaiah 48:15