September 21, 2018

Pastoral Nuggets: Principals to Overcome Our Fortified Walls

It is Monday evening as I sit at my computer writing this Pastor’s Column.

Yesterday I preached a sermon about the Children of Israel encountering the fortified walls at Jericho.

In it I made several observations that I want to share with you today that I believe will help you overcome the fortified walls you will encounter on your Christian journey.

Satan always has fortified walls that he will place in our path. We need to be reminded of this and learn that nobody ever said our Christian journey would be easy.

In fact, most of the time it is not! Sometimes we face fortified walls that only the power of God can bring down. On our own we are powerless. And by the way, Satan’s fortified walls don’t always look like walls. Sometimes they look like something that has enslaved us.

(Egypt) And then again, sometimes they look like something that has entrapped us. (Pharaoh) We face situations where the wilderness is in front of us, evil is behind us, and the wilderness is on either side.

At other times the walls look like an impossible crossing – an objective too far. (The Jordan River at flood stage) But at Jericho, the thing blocking the Children of Israel’s advance really was fortified walls. These were walls that were too tall and too well defended to go over, too thick to chisel through, and impossible to tunnel under. It would take a miracle from God to breach them.

Now, rest assured that when a miracle from God is all that will do – then a miracle from God is what we’ll get. Now, the miracle may not come exactly when we want it and in may be unrecognizable to us when it gets here. But it will come!

The most powerful weapon we possess to breach the fortified walls Satan places before us, aside from God’s power, is our attitude! If we view breaching the walls as an impossibility, we will lose.

If we view it as an opportunity for a miracle, we will win! Regarding our attitude, the Bible clearly states in Proverbs 23:7(KJV) “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he …” And then in Luke 1:37(KJV) it states, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”

Releasing the power of God into their situation meant that the Israelites had to follow God’s plan. Armed men were to lead the march, followed by seven priests, followed by The Ark of the Covenant, and then the rear guard. They were to march around the walls once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day. And by the way, they marched in silence.

Through this, we are introduced to a powerful Biblical principal: The Principle of If and Then. God says that if they/we will, then He will.  We are also introduced to another Biblical principle: The Principle of Total Obedience. Do you know what you call 99.9% obedience? Disobedience!

Another principle we see is: The Principle of The Power of Praise. In Joshua 6:16 (KJV) the Israelites were instructed, “… Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city.” And they shouted. And their praise released the dunamis (dynamite) power of God – that was already inside the city. Their praise simply lit its fuse and the walls fell from the inside out!

Question: What position were the walls in when they shouted? They were still standing perfectly upright! I call this: Praise BEFORE the fact!

And finally, we see:  The Principle of The prize.  However, Jericho was not the prize.  In fact God instructed the Israelites not to take any plunder from Jericho.  Why? Because it was tainted and soiled from the idolatry they practiced.

In reality, Jericho was just another obstacle that the Israelites had to face and overcome on their way to the real prize – the Promised Land.  As Christians, we are pilgrims and sojourners in a strange country. Our prize is not of this earth! It is in a heavenly home that awaits us! Praise God!

Brother Aaron

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