Conquering Your Jericho

Jericho was a fortified city.  It stood in the way of the Will of God.  It was a hindrance to the plan and purpose for God’s People.  It was a problem that HAD TO BE DEALT WITH.  Jericho demanded a CONFRONTATION. 

Joshua could not “wish” it away nor could he pretend that it wasn’t there.  It was a walled city.  The wall had a main gate.  The city was ruled over by a king and it was protected by mighty men of valor (6:2). 

Joshua was raised up to lead God’s people into the promised land.  Jericho had to be conquered before progress could continue.  satan always has “walled” cities and “fortifications” and “hindrances”  and “challenges” to threaten and discourage the church. 

Jesus told us that we (the Church) would be enabled and empowered to charge the gates of hell and they would not be able to prevail against us.  There are many gates that need to be opened so that the captives can be set free.  Hell’s gates hold in prison many blessings God intends for the Church.  It is our job… the churches job…  to charge hell’s gates and force them open so that those things and those people held in bondage and captivity can be released.  We have the keys of the kingdom.  Jesus told us that theses keys will open and shut.  They will open things that need opening, and they will shut things that need to be shut. 

The Apostle Paul tells us that though we live in the flesh we do not “war” after the flesh or like the flesh wars.  He reminds us that our (the Believer’s) weapons are not carnal or fleshly, but “mighty through God” to the pulling down of strongholds… fortresses… enemy emplacements.  These weapons will enable us to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.  They will cause us to bring every thought into captivity and make it bow its knee to Jesus. 

Taking enemy territory is possible but it is demanding.  It is costly.  Most today would just as soon let the devil have the stuff rather than pay the price to get it back.  Warfare is not easy.  It is costly.  But it can invade enemy territory and reclaim and recapture what satan has stolen.   God is preparing his “Green Berets” and his “Commandos” and “swat teams” today. 

There are real Jerichos out there and their walls must come down.  The spoils are waiting for the ones who will be violent enough to get them. 

I see several lessons in the way Joshua conquered Jericho:

  1. He listened to God in spite of impossible odds.  And the LORD said unto Joshua…  Josh. 6:2         

The Lord said to Joshua, “I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor…”  

And the Lord said. 

That’s enough! Nothing else is needed!  If God said it nothing more needs to be said.  The Lord said to Joshua, “I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor…”  

It is important that you listen to God.  Joshua did not look at the impossibility… he was not moved by Jericho’s fortifications or the intimidating threats of the enemy.  Are you listening to what God says or you listening to the shouts and threats of the enemy?  What do you think the warriors looking over the wall of Jericho did?  They intimidated, and they threatened, and they challenged, and they ridiculed.  They laughed and they mocked, and they took refuge in their fortification.  Are you listening to the enemy or are you listening to God?  Joshua listened to God.  

Now…  What has God told you?  What has God spoken to you?   What has He said to you about your future?  About your family?  Your marriage?  Your job?  Your ministry?  What direction have you received from the Lord?  What revelation have you gotten from the Word?  Are you hearing what God says or are you listening to the noise and threats of the enemy?  

If God has spoken to you, that’s enough.  That’s all you need.  You heard what God said and so did the devil.  When you believe God and act on what He has said, no enemy can stand before you and no Walled Jericho can stop the plans God has for you.  It’s not time to fight. 

It’s time to shout

2.  He obeyed what God told Him to do.  (6:6).  He did not question the “unreasonable” and the “unnatural” instructions God gave him.  They did not make sense.  They defied all the principles of warfare.  Who ever heard of fighting with trumpets and the shouts of the people?  No arrows.  No spears.  No horses and no chariots.  Nothing ordinary.  Nothing sensible.  Nothing they have ever done in the past.  A new thing.  Change.  Transition.  God is speaking… are you listening?  Obedience is essential.  Disobedience or partial obedience is disastrous.  Only obeying God will tear down the wall and release withheld blessings.

When believers (and especially pastors) obey God, they are often misunderstood.  We march to the beat of a different drummer.  The sound of the trumpet that calls us to battle is not the noise and din and the pandemonium and the cacophony of the cosmos.  We are fine tuned to God’s frequency.  His voice is loud and clear.  No static and no interference.  What He says, we do.  Asking no questions and relying on no reason.  Just God.  But enough.  And more than enough.

You are probably in the Will of God if:

  • You  need money and lots of it
  • You are in the middle of a mess
  • You  need a miracle… right now
  • You don’t  know every detail about what you are doing
  • You are fighting through afflictions of all kinds
  • You are dissatisfied where you are and with what you have
  • Nobody is happy with what you are doing
  • You are on the raw edge of disaster
  • You are facing challenges and  deadlines
  • You don’t have everything under control
  • Your relatives  think you’re crazy
  • You are attempting to accomplish the impossible
  • You are  doing the unreasonable the unpredictable and the unusual
  • You are  in over your head
  • You don’t have a plan B
  • You  make waves, create controversy, and draw lines in the sand
  • You are  kicking over sacred cows and embarrassing your loved ones
  • You are not religious, reverent, and calm and quiet
  • You are not held captive by the predictable
  • You are not in control
  • You are not focused on making everybody love you
  • You are not content with where you are
  • You have unrealized goals and unreachable accomplishments
  • You are not understood by everybody
  • You won’t  tolerate that which is morally questionable
  • You are not “Religiously correct”
  • You care more about your integrity than you do about your image

3. He commanded everybody to keep their mouth shut until God tells them what to say

(6:10).  James mentions that the man that “offends not in word is a perfect man” (James 3:2).  He says that the “tongue is a world (system) of iniquity” and it can “defile the whole body and set on fire the course of nature…” 

God had a good reason when He told Israel to keep quiet until He told them what to say.  Your mouth can keep your Jericho Walls from falling down.  Words of doubt and words of fear and words of criticism will keep your goods walled up and your deliverance from coming.  There are no “short cuts” to victory.  We have survived the era of “quick fix solutions” and “band-aid” theology.  Our glib confessions and our memorized “guaranteed” formulas have come and they have gone (thank God!) and we are now ready to shut up so that we can hear God.  Most of our listening has been done with our mouths.  “Faith comes by Hearing” not by much saying.  Joshua was right when he commanded the people to keep their mouths shut until God told them what to say.  We need to heed this admonition. 

We have so often been snared by the words we speak and hung by the talk of our tongue.  Israel was not to talk the problem or the method of warfare or the seriousness of the situation.  They were to SHUT UP until God told them to SHOUT.  Set a watch over your lips.  Guard your tongue as you would guard a wild animal.  It is capable of setting on fire the course of nature and opening a Pandora’s Box of Iniquity.  Only say what God tells you to say.

4.  Victory did not come until the 7th. Day.  (6:15).  I’m sure many would like to have the victory on the first circuit.  If it was 5 miles around the city, I’m sure many were ready to quit the first day.  But then there was the second. Another 5 miles.    And the third.  Another 5 miles.  The fourth.  Another 5 miles.  Fifth.  Another 5 miles.  And the sixth.  Another 5 miles.  How many grew weary in the process?  This has been a 30-mile ordeal.  After all, how much does God expect of me anyhow?  How many had a “better idea”?  Who had a “new revelation”?   And now it is the Sabbath and 7 times around… that’s 35 more miles.  A total of 65 miles.  No wonder others had a “better idea” or a “higher revelation”… Obedience means sacrifice.  No Cross means no Crown.  No diligence yields no victory.  Many have grown weary and have tired along the way when VICTORY DAY is AT HAND.  Hallelujah.

5.  The Shout came before the Walls fell down.

Josh. 6:16   And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. 

Your walls are coming down.  Your victory is on the way.  Your diligence will be rewarded.  Your purpose will be fulfilled.  It is time.  This is your day.  This is your defining moment.

Shout and Give Glory to God

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