I’ve noticed a tendency in many people to BEGIN STRONG, BEGIN IN A BIG WAY and when the going gets tough, difficult or there becomes some obstacles in the way – they quit, stop or give up. Life isn’t easy. Jesus never promised us that once we get saved that all would be a “bed of roses” and that there would be no problems, that the devil wouldn’t come against us, that there would be no bumps in life. ON THE CONTRARY!!! Jesus warned us that our adversary the devil, roams about seeking whom he may devour. He told us that the thief comes not but for to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus clearly said “in this life you will have tribulation”. So why are we surprised when we must face something that is bigger than ourselves? Why do we tend to GIVE UP? QUIT? We gripe and complain, “It’s not fair”, “It’s too hard”, “It’s not going to work”, and then just quit BEFORE the work GETS DONE! YOU don’t work for yourself – you work for JESUS…HE DECIDES WHEN IT’S QUITTING TIME!!
In chapter 11 it seems that 80 year old Joshua should have been tired by now but he work up to another day of battles. This “MESS” should have been tackled by Moses but he “blew it” by not listening to God so now Joshua is here to “finish the job”. In verse 15 God’s Word says: “Just as the Lord had commanded His servant Moses, Moses commanded Joshua. THAT IS WHAT JOSHUA DID, LEAVING NOTHING UNDONE OF ALL THAT THE LORD HAD COMMANDED MOSES.”. WOW! Joshua took on Moses mantle of leadership and GOT THE JOB DONE! He didn’t quit, He didn’t stop, He didn’t run, hide and pout!!! CHILD OF GOD – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!!!!!
GET UP, STAND UP and FINISH THE JOB in the POWER OF JESUS!! STOP whining – STOP complaining – DO WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED TO DO!!!
Up to this point in our daily devotional studies of the book of Joshua we’ve seen so many amazing things and I think you will find that today’s chapter will be one of your highlights.
It seems that Joshua’s daily routine was leading the Israeli army to battle and gain ground one city at time. This chapter is much the same except we see something unusual happen. While Joshua has a close walk with God, and is a man of prayer, we see him standing at the threshold of a battle and asking God for a favor. If you go to Verses 12 & 13 of Chapter 10 you will see a very simple prayer, a simple request — to let the sun and moon stand still and God did so by delaying it’s setting ALMOST A FULL DAY!! This gave Israel plenty of daylight “to get the job done”. NOTHING IS TOO BIG FOR MY GOD! NOTHING!!!!!!
What battle are you wrestling with in life? Why can’t you seem to gain the victory over it? Why can’t you defeat your enemy? Maybe it’s because YOU are fighting the battle and not allowing God to do it. Maybe it’s because you are fighting it with “human wisdom” and not following God’s Word or His instructions. Maybe you have not ASKED FOR HIS HELP (and sometimes we ASK but then after we pray we proceed to get up and keep trying to HELP GOD work it out!!). WHY NOT STOP. ASK GOD TO INTERVENE, ASK FOR A MIRACLE THAT ONLY HE CAN DO and then LISTEN and OBEY HIS VOICE and DO IT HIS WAY!!!!!! One more time: Obedience brings victory. Child of God you can’t – YOU CAN NOT GET VICTORY BY WALKING IN THE FLESH DURING THE WEEK and “in the Spirit” on Sunday. YOU gotta walk by faith and not by sight! HE IS IN CONTROL – STOP telling HIM how to drive!!! Pastor James
Joshua 9 finds Joshua and the people of Israel following God’s orders to take the land. This involves battles and bloodshed. Joshua’s job was to lead the children of Israel and keep his mind centered on God’s will and leading. He was NOT to fall for any traps the enemy might set for him. After the great victory Israel just experienced – sure enough the enemy decided to try to “trick” Joshua and Israel. They “dressed down” and went to him seeking to make a “peace treaty” with him. If you have to disguise yourself then more than likely what you are up to is not good. Have you noticed in your life, your family or your church that every time there is a great victory that satan and his imps from hell come around and seek to destroy it? HE IS A LIE! Keep your eyes on the goal, keep your mind in the Word and don’t fall for his smooth words or tricks.
The entire chapter 9 is a time of fighting and conquest – following God’s direction and instruction for the taking of the promised land. The verse that jumps off the page at me is verse 42. “All these kings and land Joshua took at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel.” Stop trying to defeat your problems by yourself. LET GOD FIGHT FOR YOU. If your life is under HIS direction and HIS command then you will find sure victory. The battle isn’t YOURS — THE BATTLE BELONGS TO GOD! Pastor James
Chapter 7 of Joshua shows the terrible defeat and power of sin. Once the sin was found out, taken care of and the people sought God for a revival – revival came. Repentance is always the acknowledgement of sin and the sorrow for it. It is a complete turning around and going the opposite direction. When we get serious with God and with ourselves and really repent then we will once again find and see the power of God. Israel took care of the sin and repented before God. When this happened the power of God was poured out on them again as never before.
The day came that they were again called on to go against the city of Ai. With God’s blessings they followed HIS directions and they accomplished what He wanted them too from day one. This time HE went with them and this time they were victorious. Too many times we want to do it “our way” but the only way we can ever be victorious is to humbly follow Him and do it His way. I’m not sure what battle you are facing but the best thing you can do is give it to the Lord and listen to His advice and direction. You will never have spiritual power unless you repent and seek restoration in Him.
The mighty army of Israel was set to go battle the small army of Ai. Joshua figured it was going to be a “whip ’em and come home” so he sent a smaller than usual army to go out and fight the men of Ai”. What happened next was totally unexpected – Ai “put the whoop on them” and the men of Israel lost some in the battle and headed home with their “tail tucked between their legs”. Their arrogance and pride in thinking that THEY were powerful enough to complete the task proved futile. It seems one of their own men had gone against God’s instructions when they took the city of Jericho and took some of the spoils of battle and hid it under his bedroll in his tent. Because of DISOBEDIENCE the power of the army was gone. According to verse 11 God declares: ” They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions.”
God instructs Joshua to consecrate the people and call on them to consecrate themselves. He declared they Israel would have no power against their enemies until the stolen thing was recovered and removed. There was also strict punishment for the one who stole it and lied about it — DEATH.
ACHAN – stepped forward and admitted his sin. (v. 20) He admitted lusting coveting the items, stealing them and digging a hole in his tent and burying the treasure in it. Joshua sent his men to the tent and sure enough there was the stolen items buried there.
NOTICE what Joshua then says to Achan: (v. 25) “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.”.
Did you see that one man’s sin affected other people’s lives? Did you notice that sin which is done in secret can have horrible effects on the lives of those around them? Joshua then turned it around and said, “TODAY THE LORD IS GOING TO BRING TROUBLE TO YOU.” You can run, you can hide it – but be sure the Lord knows what you are doing. It’s not important that the pastor, preacher, teacher, father, mother, spouse, child or friend knows what you are doing — GOD KNOWS and you can’t get by!!
Why not do some soul searching and find out if there is a reason that things are not going so good with you and your life or your family. Could it be that there is a “hidden” something that you refuse to give up and give to God? Could it be that you are being selfish and in the end it’s hurting those around you? Remember: You can’t hide from God!!
Ever had any BIG walls come up in your life? They seemed so tall you couldn’t scale over them, so wide you couldn’t get around them? Ever felt like it was useless and you just as well give up? Everyone has. Joshua knew just what you were feeling. When God told him that they were going to go against the fortified city of Jericho the task seem humanly impossible (and it was HUMANLY impossible). It seemed as if there was no way this city could be overthrown. God gave him the prescription for victory. IF Joshua followed God’s directions then victory was a sure thing. Notice: God told Joshua to place SEVEN Priests in the front with trumpets. Seven is the biblical number for completeness and it’s interesting to me that He put the praise band up front! Could it be that if we will keep our perspective and praise Him NO MATTER WHAT IS GOING ON that we might see many of the walls in our lives fall?
If you read all of Joshua chapter 6 you will see that it’s filled with GOD’S INSTRUCTIONS. The people were to DO AS THE LORD told them and they would experience victory. If He says “march around the walls seven times” then my friend SIX TIMES WON’T DO! Obedience is the key.
1 Sam 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (KJV)
Obedience is the key to victory!!!! Pastor James