Jericho Walls

Today is the National Day of Prayer. As I reflected on that, I confess that a part of me did not respond in faith. The problems plaguing these United States are myriad and complex. My first thought, sadly, was “It’s gonna take more than a few prayers to turn things around.”  Truth is earnest, faith-filled prayer is the starting point for change! 

I should know that because I have lived through so many ‘impossible’ situations where I saw God at work – in me, in people around me, in situations. Isaiah reminded the people of Jerusalem, who were in a crisis, that their solution, better armies and an alliance with Egypt, was no solution at all. “This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift!” (Isaiah 30:15-16, NIV)

Centuries before that time, the people of God faced an impossible situation.  They were called to enter the Promised Land. Miraculously God took them across the flooded Jordan River where they found yet another challenge – the fortifications of Jericho! But God had a plan! It seemed ludicrous.

The Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors. You and your fighting men should march around the town once a day for six days. Seven priests will walk ahead of the Ark, each carrying a ram’s horn. On the seventh day you are to march around the town seven times, with the priests blowing the horns. When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse, and the people can charge straight into the town.” (Joshua 6:2-5, NLT) 

March around the city? Not once, but for 7 days?  I can only imagine the kind of faith it required in Joshua to issue that command.  I wonder if his generals laughed at him?

Obedience brought victory, releasing the power of God!  Seven days later, after the seventh circuit of the city, the priests blew their trumpets. “When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.” (Joshua 6:20, NLT)

Are you facing an impossible situation?
Has your life stalled, a ‘Jericho’ standing in the way of forward progress?

Jesus reminded His disciples of a principle that all pilgrims on the heavenly way must not forget – “What is impossible with men is possible with God.”  The context of that statement regards salvation. “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!  Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”  Jesus teaches us that only way to enter into the Kingdom of God is complete dependence on faith. As long as a person holds onto an illusion of saving himself, he cannot fully experience the transforming work of the Spirit!

Will you choose a radical dependence on God, the Holy Spirit, today? 
Will you pray for the humility to respond with ready obedience to Him? 

That kind of life demands daily communication.  We are invited to counsel with Jesus! From His wisdom, we gain insight and are led to overcome our Jerichos.  He says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:20-21, NIV)

Facing an impossibility?
Before you panic, before you do something stupid just because you think you have to act now, sit down with Jesus. Tell Him about that thing- whatever it is. 
Does He already know? Of course He does, but He asks us to pray, to commune with Him.  Listen for His direction, then obey.

Here is a word from the Word, a song of David.  
Meditate and go march on your Jericho.

“With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the LORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great.
You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.

You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet.”
(Psalm 18:25-39, NIV)

(a song about impossibilities!)

I’ve stacking up the years I
spent trading punches with the enemy
Built myself a double thick stone tower of lies,
higher than the eye could see
Trapped in my flesh and bone
Crying out to You Lord, I’m desperate
Love come rattle this cage and set me free

All of my fears, like Jericho walls,
Gotta come down, come down
All of my fears, like Jericho walls,
Gotta come down, come down

Oh Lord, my prison turns to ruin
When Your love moves in
All of my fears, like Jericho walls,
Gotta come down, come down
Come down

Truth was crashing through the pride and the blame
Cutting straight to the heart of me
Long before I ever called your name
You were fighting for my victory
Carved in Your flesh and bone
The wounds that have said my souls forgiven
Oh now I can feel the darkness trembling

Rebuild me from the ground up
All I wanna see is You
Terrify the lies with truth

Copyright – Andrew Ripp

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