Seven times on the seventh day the children of Israel marched around the city. The seven priests marching before the ark of the Lord blew their trumpets and the people shouted and the walls of Jericho came tumbling down. They marched into the city and destroyed every living thing. It was a victory that some say could not happen. It was a victory that some people today deny could happen. They cannot understand how the Biblical account of the destruction of such a strong city could even be true. But the story of Joshua and Jericho teach us some valuable lessons:
- Who’s In Control——–V. 1-2, 16
Joshua was given the leadership of the children of God and he would lead them into the promised land. The entrance had already been divine as they crossed the Jordan River on dry ground much like their parents crossed the Red Sea on dry ground 40 years earlier. Taking that first step into the promised land was a great victory.
Joshua new the first battle would be Jericho and that as a city it was strong. He had already had two spies check out the city and now it was time to plan the attack. Joshua 6:1-2, 16 will tell you the greatest point I will make in this lesson on victory: you need to be on the Lord’s side, the Lord on yours. Never forget who is in control.
Just a reminder, it took 40 years to enter this promised land. The last time this opportunity was offered by God, 12 spies had gone into the land and 10 of them said, “we can’t do it!” They were told of their sin and the 10 were killed by God. The people said they would go, but Moses told them that God was no longer with them. In their presumption they went to battle – and lost.
Understand that unless you are on God’s side, nothing else matters in the spiritual life of victory. Many times, I have asked God to be with me, but maybe I ought to be asking if I can be with him, no matter where He is. Living with God may take me through some stormy weather, it may take me onto a glorious mountain, but where God is, is where I want to be, for there is victory.
- Doing It His Way——–V. 3-7
- To live in victory is to live with God. To live with God means to live as he directs. God doesn’t always direct like we think. How many major battle plans involve marching around a city carrying a box and blowing trumpets and having people shout?
If you are going to live in victory it will require of you to walk in the pathway of faith. It takes us humbly submitting ourselves to God before God lifts us up. Sometimes I forget the humbly submitting part and just want God to pick me up and be on my side.
Our victorious life should be based upon doing the will of the Father and not ourselves. That means get beyond you and into God. Will God way always make sense? Do you not think that walking around a city sounded foolish to some? I don’t have to understand God will in order to be victorious, I just have to do it by faith.
That means taking what you learn from God through the Bible and putting it into action. Many of us hear great classes or lessons that prick our hearts, but instead of letting the guilt motivate us we wallow in self-pity. Get up, get to work, and start going God’s direction instead of your own. Let me tell you from my own personal experience, I am not very good at life’s directions.
III. Victory Belongs to Him——–V. 20-21
The challenge of a victorious life is to be the winner in the end. The way to be the winner is to fight the good fight, finish the course and keep the faith. For it is then that the Lord will give you the crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:7-8). It takes being faithful unto death, as John tells the church in Smyrna, and then you will get the crown of life (Rev. 2:10).
Dr. Alan Redpath in his commentary on Joshua suggests that many people don’t see the answers to their prayers simply because they have stopped one round short in their conquest of their personal Jericho. We may have been doing the right things, but we simply stop doing them.
Living in victory means you don’t quit. Do you remember the old song that said, “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden, along with sunshine, there’s got to be a little rain sometime.” I believe the same can be said about the Christian life. It is not always easy, it is not always spiritual high’s, it is not always Sunday. Sometimes the Monday morning blues come. Sometimes the pain comes into life. Sometimes it’s hard. Live in victory and don’t quit.
Today an attitude change can begin in your life. God wants you to live with the faith and power that may have been missing in your spiritual life. As John put it, faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Are you ready to overcome? Are you ready to live? Are you ready to be victorious? Live in the victory that God gives.
Pastor John Punni