The Egyptians recognized that the Israelites were more and mightier than they were. According to The Living Bible version, they saw them as becoming dangerous. So, they came up with a plan to put them in bondage and to make them slaves when God actually called them His son (Exodus 4:22). Come on, let us deal wisely with them. For the next 400 plus years, the Israelites were servants to the Egyptians. They built their cities. They made them rich while they remained poor.
But before the enemy had a plan, God had a plan to send a deliverer named Moses to bring them out of that land into a good land. They saw themselves as slaves, but they were heirs to what was promised to their fathers. They were wealthy. They were landowners. Cities belonged to them and God was going to restore everything that they lost.
To keep you from becoming what God made you to be – to keep you from knowing who you really are, the enemy came up with a plan to put you in bondage because he is afraid of you. He is afraid of who you will become. He is afraid of what you can do to his kingdom. He doesn’t want you to discover just how mighty you are in God.
I remember being a quiet (I still am at times), but confident little girl. I remember sitting on my porch calling something mine that I hadn’t even possessed yet. But the enemy had a plan – the loss of my mother as a toddler, molestation, unholy covenants, depression, divorce, just to name a few. Even at a young age, he was after that confidence, which produces a great reward.
Although our words are powerful, our thoughts are powerful, too. One of the reasons why the enemy attacks your mind is because he knows that God will do exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or THINK according to the power that is at work in you.
God told Joshua, See, I have given into your hand Jericho. God had already given them the city. Yes, someone else was occupying it, but it didn’t belong to them. To enter into the Promised Land, the Israelites had to go through Jericho. They couldn’t go over it or around it. They had to go through it and some of us don’t like to go through anything. But between where they were and where God wanted to take them was a wall. Before the wall fell down, they had to ‘see’ themselves possessing the city.
The enemy fights you the most in your mind. He doesn’t want you to see yourself blessed, prosperous, happy, intelligent, powerful or mighty. The enemy has used bad situations in your life to build a wall. The wall of Jericho was at least 15 feet high. The enemy wants to use a wall to keep you from entering into what God promised you. He also wants to keep you from seeing who you really are and what you can do.
The moment you accepted Christ as your Savior, you were delivered from a bad land and brought into a good land. In exchange for your past, He gave you hope and a future. You are mighty and the weapons God gave you are mighty through God. It pulls down strongholds (thoughts that are contrary to God’s word).
Our responsibility is to believe God’s word and to do what it says. Strongholds are built on lies, but they can be torn down by the truth. So, read the word of God and listen to it daily so that it can transform the way you think and the way you live. Find scriptures in the bible that tell you who you are in Christ and speak those words until every wall the enemy built through lies, deceit and imagination fall flat down like the wall of Jericho.
You are more and mightier than you think.
My daughter recently tried out for varsity cheerleader and she made it. I am so proud of her, but I couldn’t help but think that that was once my desire. I, too, wanted to be a cheerleader. In fact, one of my classmates was willing to help me and prepare me for tryouts, but I just talked about it. I never prepared for it.
Two things my daughter taught me:
1. What you refuse to do, someone else will do.
2. If you want it, you must go after it.
And Joshua said to the children of Israel, How long are you slack to go to possess the land, which the Lord God of your fathers has given you? (Joshua 18:3)
God had given land to twelve tribes, but only five tribes had possessed what was promised to them. Why didn’t the remaining seven tribes go after it? I don’t know if they had gotten weary along the way, but they just stopped and settled for where they were and for what they had. Joshua, however, described them as being slack. The word, slack, means to move slow, to not hold fast, and to waste time.
Some of us are slack. We talk about all the things we want to do and what we want to be, but we procrastinate. We put off for tomorrow what we should do today. We make excuses. We find time to do everything else except the thing that we should be doing. We start doing what God told us to do and then we stop.
The word ‘stay’ appears 62 times in the bible and the word ‘wait’ appears in the bible 106 times, but the word ‘go’ appears in the bible 1,542 times (King James Version).
Sometimes we think that God is moving too slow. The problem isn’t that God hasn’t sent His word. The problem is we won’t go. God has already given us what He promised. It is yours, but you must go and possess it.
God is not slack concerning His promises and neither should we.
make: to prepare; to cause a person or thing to become something
Caleb was 40 years old when God made a promise that he and Joshua would possess the land. The ten spies, whose report caused all of the congregation to complain against God, died immediately, but He let Caleb and Joshua live (Numbers 14:36-38).
It had been forty five years since the promise was made, but Caleb held fast all those years. He didn’t let go and he didn’t give up until Joshua blessed him. At the age of 85, he reminded Joshua of what the Lord promised him through Moses. But my servant Caleb, because he had a different spirit and has followed me fully, him will I bring into the land where into he went and his seed shall possess it (Numbers 14:24). He reminded Joshua how he followed the Lord, how his faith pleased the Lord. Let us go up at once and possess it, for we are well able to overcome it (Numbers 13:30).
And when he was finish presenting his case, he told Joshua, Give me this mountain that the Lord spoke of on that day. He didn’t beg Joshua for it because he knew that what he was asking for belonged to him. So, Joshua blessed him and gave him his inheritance.
When was the last time you put God in remembrance of His word? When was the last time you proved Him? When was the last time you presented your case to Him? When was the last time you pleased Him? But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.
God didn’t keep and preserve Caleb all those years for nothing. He was still alive because the promise was still alive. But just like Caleb knew what God said, we must know what God said through His word. He also knew that the word he heard was for him and his seed and he believed.
An heir is one who receives what is allotted to him through sonship. The word, child, comes from the greek word, nepios, which means an immature Christian, one who is untaught or haven’t grown in spiritual understanding and power. Caleb had the attitude and character of an heir, not a child.
Maybe the reason why some of us haven’t received what has been promised to us yet is because although we are heirs, we are still a child in certain areas (Galatians 4:1). As parents, there are certain things that we would never entrust to our children until they were mature enough for it. And as the children of God, many of us are asking for things, but we aren’t ready for the things we are asking for.
When the younger son asked his father for the portion of goods that belonged to him, the father gave it to him only for him to squander it foolishly. But he learned through what he went through that he should have said, Make me (Luke 15:19) before he said, Give me (Luke 15:12).
We’re asking God to give us things (and that’s fine), but let us ask God to make us for what He wants to give us.
The Lord told Joshua that he was giving him and the children of Israel the city of Jericho, but how was this going to happen? The walls were high, the gates were tightly shut, and the children of Israel were unable to enter in.
After God told them what He was going to do, He told them what they needed to do. Every day for six days, they had to go around the city one time. They could not shout or make any noise. They didn’t complain about what they had to do every day. They didn’t complain about what hadn’t happened yet. They didn’t speak in unbelief. They believed what God told them and remained silent for six days.
They got up early in the morning, marched and then returned to the camp. They did the same thing every day – over and over again. They kept obeying God. They didn’t quit. They were consistent. They remained faithful even when it seemed like nothing was going to happen.
But the wall was still standing.
I know a lot of us don’t like to wait for anything, but there will always be something you have to wait for. You have to wait in line. You have to wait until the light turns green. You have to wait in traffic. You have to wait until the food is prepared.
The Israelites had to wait patiently for the walls of Jericho to fall. Hebrews 6:12 tells us that we must imitate or follow those who inherited the promises of God through faith and patience. Maybe you haven’t received some things (yet) because you won’t let patience have its perfect work.
Lord, when are you going to do it? I’m tired of this. I’m ready for this to be over. You’re taking too long.
If you can endure and learn to wait, James 1:4 tells you all the things that you will become. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Change will take place. You will be spiritually mature. You will grow from what you’re going through. Your faith will be fully developed and you will be ready to receive those things you have been waiting for.
On the seventh day, the children of Israel didn’t march around the city one time. They marched seven times, the priests blew their trumpets, the people shouted, and the wall fell down flat.
I know some of you want to give up, but I pray that God won’t let you. You’re probably doing everything you can to get out of your current situation. You’re trying to move. You are looking for a new job every day, but nothing is happening. That’s because God is not going to let you get out of this one prematurely. That situation that you don’t like is the very thing that is helping you to grow. God allowed Joseph to be placed in the pit and he couldn’t get out until someone lifted him out of it. God also allowed him to be placed in prison and Joseph had to stay there until someone released him.
The quicker you can humble yourself, the quicker God can exalt you.
Joshua and the children of Israel taught us what to do while we are waiting – obey God. Some of you know what God said, but you are not looking at the word. You are looking at your situation. You are looking at the environment you live in and it looks like what God said will never happen, but it doesn’t matter who is occupying the city right now or how long they have been there. It doesn’t matter how wide or how high the walls appear. Don’t worry about how long it’s been or how long you’ve been waiting. No matter how securely shut the gates are, nothing can keep God’s promises out.
So don’t be impatient, don’t be anxious and don’t give up. Wait on the Lord, and while you’re waiting, encourage yourself, encourage others and God will strengthen you as you obey Him.