Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Don't Give In, Give Out Or Give Up

Don’t Give In, Give Out or Give Up

So often we try things and they don’t work the first time or the second time and we give up.  We might even attend church and because we don’t see a flash of lightening we question; is there really a God?  We try daily activities that often don’t work the first time.  But that does not mean victory is not ours.

The Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its kings and all its mighty warriors.  Your entire army is to march around the city once a day for six days.  Seven priests will walk ahead with the Ark and a ram’s horn.  On the seventh day you must march around seven times with the priests blowing the horns.  When you hear the priests give a long blast on the horn have all your people give a mighty shout, then the walls of the city will collapse and your people can charge into the city” (Joshua 6).  Joshua followed these instructions each day.  On the seventh day the Israelites got up at dawn and marched around the city as they had done before but his time they circled seven times.  On the seventh circle the priests sounded a long blast of the horn.  Joshua commanded his people to “shout for the Lord, as he has given you this city”.  The city and everything in it must be destroyed as an offering to the Lord.
We can take some key lessons from this scripture.
1.     God told Joshua that He had given him the city.  Therefore God had already gone ahead and defeated the enemy in advance.  Joshua must have felt so confident in this knowledge.  We too can feel confident in what God has promised us.  All things work together for those who love The Lord and are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28).  Just like Joshua we sometimes fight against an already defeated enemy.  With Christ we are more than conquerors as He has already defeated satan (Romans 8:37).
2.     The Lord does things in His own time and not our time.  God did not need seven days to take Jericho.  He could have done it in less time.  He does not need years to solve our problems either but He wants to give our faith and trust in Him time to grow.  Sometimes God will take an awkward route to get us to a specific place.  We might ask, why? The answer is that once we get there we will have a testimony that glorifies Him.  God wants us to see that our victory came from Him and not our own strength.
3.     One of the key factors in Joshua’s victory over the Canaanites and the falling of the wall was Joshua’s ability to listen and follow instructions.  Often we fail to listen and refuse to follow instructions and then wonder why we are still going around the same mountain.  Gods’ instructions to Joshua were clear and precise.  God’s word also gives us clear instructions.
4.     Joshua was told to take the city and destroy everything in it.  Spare nothing and do not take any of the plunder.  When God helps us over come our enemies, He may want us to destroy any trace of them so that they can no longer bind us and have strongholds on us.  We must smash the whisky bottle and trample the cigarettes.  Everything that represented rebellious living in Canaanite had to be destroyed so they would be no temptation or distraction.  Any traces left could reappear in our lives like a cancerous growth.  Bonds and strongholds needs to be broken.  Our God fights with weapons for the pulling down of strongholds and all proud arguments against His will (2 Corinthians 4-5).
So often we plead with God to deliver us and He does but just like the children of Israel we forget and rekindle stinking thinking and carnality attitudes which lead us back into the captivity of our previous strongholds.  All traces, remnants and reminders of rebellious ungodly living must be sacrificed in order to safeguard our future and our faith.  God wants us to live a life where personal gain does not contaminate our walk and our past failures no longer keep us out of Canaanite; The Promised Land.  As long as God is with you don’t give in, give out or give up

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