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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 10/6/2012

Saturday, October 06, 2012

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH,Today's Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 10/6/2012

Joshua 5:13-6:21

TEARING DOWN THE WALLS

After forty long years Israel is finally ready to begin the process of claiming the Promised Land. The very first city they face is the walled city of Jericho. In its day, Jericho was a formidable fortress city. Scholars tell us that this city was surrounded by two great stone walls. The outer wall was twenty feet tall and six feet wide. The inner wall was thirty feet tall and twelve feet wide. These two walls were separated by a fifteen foot wide, guarded walkway. The city only covered about nine acres, but it must have looked like an impossible city to conquer to people who fought with only spears, swords and arrows.

Jericho was a big hindrance to Israel. It stood as an obstacle between them and the rest of the Promised Land. Before they could go deeper into the land the Lord had given to them, Jericho had to be defeated. Our text is all about how Jericho was defeated and those impossible walls were brought crashing down.

We may wonder what a battle that was fought more than three thousand years ago has to do with us today. The fact is the battle that was fought over the city of Jericho has much that it can teach us about our own walk with the Lord.

You see, before Jericho could be defeated, the walls that surrounded it had to come down. Israel could not get into the city. They needed those walls torn down! Israel could go no farther until Jericho was destroyed. They needed those walls torn down! That city stood before them as a barrier between them and God’s best for them. If they were going to get all that God had for them, those wall had to be torn down!

You might not even realize it today, but many of us have walls in your own lives. These walls stand between us and our receiving God’s best for our lives.

It might be some besetting sin that stands between you and God’s best.
It might be some old hurt that has grown into a root of bitterness and now it stands as a barrier between you and all that God wants you to have.
It might be a cold and indifferent spirit that has invaded your life and has erected a wall between you and God’s best for you.
It might be a bad attitude; an unforgiving spirit; pride; anger; or something from your past. But, whatever it is, it stands before you today and it keeps you from going deeper with God. That wall must come down if you are going to walk forward into God’s best!
It might even be some wall that you have constructed that keeps you from coming to Jesus for salvation. That wall must come down if you want to be saved!

The good news is, the walls in our life can be brought down and these verses tell us how to make that happen. I want to show you the steps that must be taken if you want to see the walls in your life fall. I want to preach about Tearing Down The Walls!

5:13-15 YOU’VE GOT TO FALL AT THE RIGHT FEET

Joshua is doing reconnaissance of the city of Jericho. He is alone and he is busy trying to devise a plan to overcome the walls that surround the town. No doubt, he is confused and concerned and he has no idea about what he needs to do. Then, Joshua meets a man who is standing with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua confronts this man and asks him to declare whether he is friend or foe. The stranger responds not by answering Joshua’s question, but by identifying Himself as “The Lord of Hosts.” This is the battle name of the God of Israel! Joshua realizes that this is no ordinary meeting. This is a manifestation of God, and He has come ready for battle. Joshua’s reaction to the presence of the Lord is worthy of note and he reveals to us how we should respond when we are confronting the walled off areas of our own lives.

5:14a We Must Recognize His Authority – Joshua reacts by falling on his face and offering worship to the Lord. He understood the truth that he may have been the commander of Israel’s armies; but he was standing face to face with the Commander-in-chief! In other words, Joshua humbled himself in the presence of the Lord and clearly demonstrated that he understood just Who was really in charge!

The first step in achieving victory in our lives and in seeing the walls in our lives come down is to come to the place where we understand Who is really in charge. Friend, neither you nor I are truly in command of our lives. There is an ultimate authority and His name is God! He expects His people to recognize His authority and to bow before Him in totally surrender and humility –( James 4:10; 1 Pet. 5:5).

Who is calling the shots in your life? Are you in the driver’s seat? Do you determine where you go, what you do and how you live? Or, can you honestly say, “For me to live is Christ”? If you want the walls to come down, you must recognize His authority!

5:14b We Must Respect His Authority – Joshua, the battle hardened General, responded to the authority of the Lord by falling at his feet and bowing before Him. This was a position of absolute vulnerability and surrender. Joshua placed himself in a position of helplessness before the Lord. It is as if Joshua was saying, “Lord, I am Your servant. Do with me what You will. Use me, bless me, or kill me. I am Yours!”

Folks, that is what the Lord wants from us! He wants us to place our all in His hands and just trust Him to do what is best in our lives. He is looking for people who will quit trying to fight their own battles and win their own victories. God is looking for people who will sell out totally to Him and let Him have everything. Does that describe you? Sadly, it does not describe most of us does it? We like to be in control. We like to call the shots. We like to be the boss, and it shows! It shows in defeat; in lack of peace and joy; in our being less than we could be for the Lord.

If we truly want the walls in our lives torn down, then we must come to the place where we literally give up; place our lives in His hands and trust Him to do with us what He will. You may not like the sound of that, but it is an essential step in obtaining true victory! By the way, God is not out to hurt you,( Jer. 29:11). Whatever He decides to do in your life will always be for your good, (Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17).

5:15 We Must Rest In His Authority – Then, we see Joshua as he removes his shoe and hands it over to the Lord. That is an Old Testament way of saying “I can’t do this, but you can!” ( Ruth 4:1-12) Joshua has just scrapped his plans! He has turned over the reigns of the army of Israel to the Commander-in-chief. He does not know what the Lord is going to do, but he trusts the Lord to do right, (Gen. 18:25). So, Joshua has reached a place of total and absolute surrender. He has given up on his plans, his abilities and his strength. He is merely resting and looking to God for any victories that come.

That is the secret to seeing your walls fall down. You must come to the place where your all is at His feet; you have stopped your struggling and you are simply resting in His ability and in His authority.

Are you there? Have you come to that place in your life where you have surrendered to the Lord and His will for your life? Have you symbolically taken off your shoe and said, “Lord, here I am. I need help and I can’t do the things that need to be done. But, I know you can. So, I stop my fighting! I surrender my plans! I relinquish my will! All that I have and all that I am I yield to you. Do with me as you please. I am just going to rest in Your authority and trust you to do what is right”?

That is a hard place to reach, but it is essential to seeing your walls fall down that you get there. God is looking for people who will lose their lives for His sake, (Matt. 16:24-25).

TODAY'S HYMN!
"All To Jesus I Surrender" By JudsonW. Van DeVenter (1896)

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

Refrain
I surrender all,
I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.
Refrain:

All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.
Refrain:

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.
Refrain:

All to Jesus I surrender,
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory to His name!
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Father of Love and Light, God of Mercy and Grace! Help us to remember that we are always in Your presence, so wherever we stand or sit, we should be showing those around us that we respect and love Your ways. Your ways are always Holy and Righteous. Let us take off our shoes or remove our sandals for where You are, it is Holy ground. Enable us to act always therefore as whatever we are saying and doing, it is being done before You and to Your glory, our Almighty God. These things we pray this morning in Jesus' Most Precious name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 10/9/2012 7:38AM

    Thank you. I tend to forget that the Lord is in charge of my life!

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CAVEPRINCESS65 10/6/2012 8:18PM

    emoticon Vic
With His Grace!

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ANHELIC 10/6/2012 12:06PM

    Thank you Vic for such an awesome message today. I really needed to hear this. At times, I feel I want control, you have reminded me that God is in control of my life. I have surrender my life to God in the past, but at times, I want to take it back. Thank you for the great reminder that I should be totally relying on God. I sang the hymn you had. Thank you for your prayer. I have totally surrendered my life to God today. God bless you Vic for your message. You are truly a man of God. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/6/2012 12:07:28 PM

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DIANER2014 10/6/2012 10:32AM

    Thank you for your uplifting words! God bless! emoticon

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TODAY'S REPORT ON MY PROGRESS!

Friday, October 05, 2012

I want to Thank Everyone for their prayers and especially their Love and concern. My visit to the eye doctor today was excellent. My eye is seeing 20/40, an improvement from 3 days ago: I was able to read the 20/20 line; and the lens replacement has moved and is now covering 95% of the pupil. It has not caused any problems. I will see the doctor again in 4 weeks for my final eye check, before prescription glass are prescribed. Give God all the praise, glory and honor. In His Love! Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 10/9/2012 7:16AM

    This is wonderful news,Vic!

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NADINEL 10/8/2012 10:06AM

    Wonderful news! God is so good to us!

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WANTSZU 10/6/2012 4:19PM

    What wonderful news. Thank the Lord for His care of you and for continued healing.

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EAGLES_WINGS 10/6/2012 11:01AM

    Very happy to hear your results. Keep feeling better. Thanks to God!
emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/6/2012 10:22AM

    Such good news. Best wishes for continued good health.

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PURPLELVR7 10/6/2012 10:15AM

    that is emoticon God is so good

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FLEMIDG 10/6/2012 12:56AM

    I am so glad that you are doing so well. God is so good.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 10/5/2012 11:20PM

    Thank you God for your healing touch. Amen

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ANHELIC 10/5/2012 11:12PM

    Thank you Lord for healing Vic's eye and taking care of him. We bless your Holy name.

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IAM_HIS2 10/5/2012 11:00PM

    Thank you Lord for taking such good care of my Brother in Christ Jesus, Vic.

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 10/5/2012 10:55PM

    emoticon

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TIMDEB 10/5/2012 9:56PM

  Excellent news Praise the Lord

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SANDRALEET 10/5/2012 7:03PM

    God is a caring God He helps us when we need it.

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NELLIEC 10/5/2012 6:47PM

    I'm glad you got a good report!

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CAVEPRINCESS65 10/5/2012 6:03PM

    Praised the Lord for all he had done & everything that He has in store for my friend! emoticon news!
Take care of yourself emoticon

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EDITOR 10/5/2012 6:02PM

    Thank You, Healing God, for a good report and recovery. Amen

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ARNETTELEE 10/5/2012 6:02PM

  Take care!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 10/5/2012

Friday, October 05, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Fri, 10/5/2012

Joshua 5:13-15
THE LEADER MEETS THE LORD, Lesson 11c

V. 14-15 THE IMAGE OF A SERVANT

When Joshua realizes just Who is standing before him, he assumes the place of a servant before the Lord. Joshua’s attitude toward the Lord has much to teach us about how we should approach the Lord as well.

The Servant’s Humility - Joshua realizes that he is face to face with the Lord Himself, and he falls down before the Lord to “worship” Him. Joshua exalts the Lord and acknowledges His position by bowing at His feet. This is an indication that Joshua is submitting to the will of the Lord and that he knows Who is in control. Then, Joshua wants to know what the Lord would have him to do. He is yielding his role as leader to the Lord. He is assuming the place of a servant before a Master. In an instant, General Joshua falls before the Commander-in-chief and yields all authority and power to Him. A crucial step on the road to victory is learning to relinquish leadership to the will of the Lord! The leader had to bow to true leadership. The one who commanded the people had to yield to the One Who commanded Him!

You see, before you can have the victory, you must be vanquished. Before you can conquer, you must first be conquered! Many today need to do just what Joshua did right here. Many need to lay down their swords at the feet of the Captain of the Lord’s host; surrender their pride and yield to His authority

That is the Lord’s will for all His children.

1 Pet. 5:5b-7, “5b…God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

Matt. 23:11-12, “11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

We are all under authority. Ultimately, we are all under the authority of the Lord. He is our Commander, and His will is what matters most of all. Whether we are leaders or followers, we are all the servants of the Lord. We must all find ourselves at His feet, humbly submitting ourselves to His will. Whatever that will may be!

The Servant’s Honesty - The Lord makes a strange demand of Joshua in verse 15. Joshua is commanded to “Loose thy shoe from off thy foot.” Why did the Lord just ask for one shoe? The answer lies in ancient custom. When a covenant was made between two individuals, in which one person possessed power to keep the covenant and the other didn’t, the weaker individual handed the other individual one of his shoes. It was his way of saying, “I can’t, but you can.” This is seen in the book of Ruth 4:6-8.
For Joshua, this was a challenge for him to come to the place where he could admit his own weakness and inability to gain the victory. It was a call for him to surrender to the Lord.

For us, we need to learn the truth that we can’t, but He can! There are some people here and they have been trying to fight your battles in their own power. You keep getting whipped. You need to draw off your shoe, hand it to God and say, “Lord, I can’t fight these battles, but you can! I can’t win the victories I need in my life, but you can!” What I am saying is that we need to come to the place of absolute surrender! To that place where we and all we have are at the feet of God. To the place where we are willing to say, once for all, “I can’t Lord, but You can!”

This is a very unusual situation! Joshua is a warrior, right? When he bowed before the Lord, he placed himself in a vulnerable position. He exposed his neck. He placed himself in a position where he could not use his own sword. He placed himself in a position of extreme weakness. He was totally yielded to the Lord! Live or die, he placed his all in the hand of the Lord.

Have you ever come to that place in your own life? Have you ever come to the place where you placed yourself and your sword on the ground before the Lord and surrendered fully to His will for your life? If not, you will have to do just that if you will ever enjoy absolute victory over all the strongholds and enemies in your life.

The sooner we reach the place where we understand that we lack any power to accomplish anything, the sooner we will be to rely on the power of God in our lives. The sooner we learn the truth of John 15:5, which says, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing,” the sooner we can lay down our sword and humble ourselves at His feet.

As long as you demand your rights, your will and your way, you will have problems. When you yield to His rights, His power, and His will, you are on the fast track to victory!

Who is Lord in your life? Are you totally yielded to the Lord, or do you really call the shots? Who is your master? You or Him? If it is you, prepare for a life of pain, sorrow and suffering. If it is Him, there will still be battles, but you will be firmly on the road to victory!

Conc: Romans 12:1-2 sums up the gist of what I am trying to say about yielding to the Lord. It says, “1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Are you yielded to Him in all the areas of your life? Is He master, or are you? If you need to bow at His feet and surrender your life to His plan, now would be a good time to do just that.

If you have never been saved, today would be a great day for you to be delivered from your sins. Come to Jesus and He will not turn you away.

If you are in a position of leadership, whether it is in public, or within the family, you need to come before the Lord to ask Him to help you lead as one led. He will enable to be a blessing in the lives of others, if you are yielded to Him.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us” By Dorothy A. Thrupp (1836)

Savior, like a shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

We are Thine, Thou dost befriend us, be the guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us, seek us when we go astray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Hear, O hear us when we pray.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! We will early turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessèd Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus! Thou hast loved us, love us still.

THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Almighty Father, Merciful God! You are Mighty, Glorious, Beautiful, Righteous, Just, and Holy. We praise You today and every day for Who You are, our Loving God. You are a Good and Patient God and we thank You for calming us in our anxiety, and for providing good things to think about while we wait to complete our journey. We give You our God all glory and praise and honor. This we pray in our Savior’s precious name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDITOR 10/5/2012 3:27PM

    Simply beautiful lesson and terminology! Humble yourself under the Mighty hand of God.

The eye, Vic?

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IAM_HIS2 10/5/2012 10:43AM

    Vic: What a wonderful blog.

Being a servant is not easy...especially when I get "Me" in the way. I am praying very hard to not be judgmental. Thank you for helping me in my spiritual journey.

I am praying for help to die to self so I can do our Lord's will.

Comment edited on: 10/5/2012 10:46:08 AM

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SANDRALEET 10/5/2012 8:10AM

    Yes we are the servants . Ask God to forgive our sins and mold us and prune us.each day

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/5/2012 7:34AM

    I pray your eye continues to heal! You are such a good person! I give praise to God!

linda emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 10/4/2012

Thursday, October 04, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Thu, 10/4/2012

Joshua 5:13-15
THE LEADER MEETS THE LORD, Lesson 11b

V. 13-14 THE IMAGE OF SOVEREIGNTY

While there is an image of a shepherd in this passage, there is also the image of Sovereign Lord. This text reveals the problems, perils and pitfalls of leadership, but it also draws our attention to the idea of lordship. Even though Joshua was the leader of the people, he himself was under the lordship of God Almighty.

These verses identify and clarify the person and the power of the One Joshua encountered outside Jericho that day.

The Lord’s Posture - When Joshua encounters this man, He is said to be standing, “with His sword drawn in His hand.” It is the picture of a Person ready for battle. This is not the image of some passive observer of events. This is the image of Someone Who is ready to make something happen. It is the image of man Who has come ready for a fight. It is the image of someone Who is ready to take on the enemy.
I would just remind you today that God does not react to events that take place in our human world. He is not sitting in Heaven waiting to see what we will do first, so that He can decide how to respond. No, He is in control of both the actions and the reactions. He already knows what we are going to do, and He has already made His plans accordingly.

• Isa. 46:9-11 - “9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.”

• Eph. 1:11, “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”

• Psa 115:3, “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”

• Dan 4:3, “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?”

These verses, and others, make it clear that our God is in control of all the affairs of life. He is always ready, in every situation, because He has decreed all events that come to pass. That is why He is never surprised by life. We are often surprised by the various turns in the road of life. God is never caught off guard. He never has to resort to “Plan B.” He never has to alter His will. He is never left at a loss as to what to do, because He is God and He is ever in control of all things!

The Lord’s Position - When Joshua encounters this man, Joshua does not know who he is, so he asks Him. Joshua asks, “Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?” The man’s answer must have taken Joshua by surprise. The man says, “Nay; but as the captain of the Lord’s host am I now come.” In other words, the man answers Joshua by saying, “I did not come to take sides in this battle; I came to take over.”

His answer tells us exactly Who this Man is. It is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It is a pre-Bethlehem appearance of the Lord. This is not the first time He appeared in this world, and this will not be the last time He appears either.

He appeared to Hagar, Gen. 16:7-14; Gen. 21:16-20
He appeared to Abraham, Gen.18:10
He appeared to Jacob, Gen. 28:12-15; Gen. 32:24-30
He appeared to Moses, Exod. 3:4-5; Exod. 23:20; Exod. 33:22
He appeared to Gideon, Judg. 6:11-24
He appeared to Isaiah, Isa. 6:1-13
He appeared to three young Hebrews in the fiery furnace, Dan. 3:24-25
He appeared to Daniel, Dan. 6:21-22; Dan. 7:13-14; Dan. 10:5-6
He appeared to the prophet Zechariah, Zech. 1:8-13; 2:8-11; 3:10; 6:12-15

It must have encouraged Joshua to realize that he was not alone. There is a certain loneliness in leadership that can be discouraging and depressing when you consider how much impact your decisions have on others. Harry Truman once said, “To be President of the United States is to be lonely, very lonely at times of great decisions.” Surely Joshua felt that same sense of being alone. What a comfort it must have been to him to know that God, Who had promised to be with Joshua, Josh. 1:5, 9, had kept that promise! Joshua was not alone; the Lord was with Him!

By the way, that is a promise He intends to keep to you too. He has promised you that He will ever be with you as you face the ups and downs of your life, Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5. The same Lord Who stepped out of eternity to move in the lives of His people in the past, is the same God Who intends to do the same thing for you. You are not alone; the Lord is with you!

The Lord’s Power - The Lord identifies Himself as “the captain of the host of the Lord.” That is, Joshua could not see, but there was a vast army of heavenly warriors camped about him, ready to take on the people of Canaan. The implication is clear: Israel would not face their enemies alone; they would face them aided by the armies of Heaven. Joshua now receives the assurance that the Lord is about to engage in this battle and that victory is assured.

There is a spiritual realm around us that we cannot see. In that hidden spiritual dimension, there are angels and there are demons. Those spiritual beings are continually waging war in the battle of good against evil. That invisible host aided Elisha, 2 Kings 6:14-17. That invisible host struck fear into the hearts of the Assyrian army, 2 Kings 7:5-7. That invisible host protected the city of Jerusalem and destroyed 185,000 Assyrian soldiers in one night, 2 Kings 19:35.

The same power that came to the aid of Israel in Jericho, and the same power that came to the aid of Israel time and again, is the same power that surrounds you today. Our Lord is still the Captain of the Lord’s host and He still fights battles on behalf of His people.

All these truths serve to remind us that our God is a sovereign God. That simply means that He is in control of all things, of all people, at all times. He is the Lord both in time and in eternity. He is in charge and he can be trusted to take care of you!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Battle Belongs To The Lord” By Jamie Owens-Collins (1985)

In heavenly armour we'll enter the land
The battle belongs to the Lord
No weapon that's fashioned against us shall stand
The battle belongs to the Lord
Refrain:
And we sing glory and honor Power and strength to the Lord
And we sing glory and honor Power and strength to the Lord

When the power of darkness comes in like a flood
The battle belongs to the Lord
He's raised up a standard, the power of His blood
The battle belongs to the Lord
Refrain:

When your enemy presses in hard do not fear
The battle belongs to the Lord
courage my friend, your redemption is near
The battle belongs to the Lord
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Merciful Father, Almighty God! Help us to forget what lies behind us, and help us as we strain forward to what lies ahead. Enable us to press on towards the goal for the prize of the heavenly calling of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Forgive our preoccupation with our own wounds and our ignoring of Your marvelous grace. Use our scars in Your service and to Your glory. This we ask and pray in Jesus’ Redeeming name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 10/4/2012 9:00PM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson that came a day after a had a down day and felt defeated. It was great to be reminded that God is in control of everything. I know now that I must place my high potassium problem at the feet of God and ask for His help in overcoming this. Thank you again Vic for your lesson, hymn and prayer. You are certainly a man of God. Thank you for the goodies and notes.
May God be with you as you make a decision on Monday. Praying for you.

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IAM_HIS2 10/4/2012 1:55PM

    Vic: This is such a powerful blog. "God is in control of everything" You gave me what I very much needed to be reminded of minutes after you posted this. Your words of truth pulled me away from needless concern.

Our God is in control and everything will be done affording to His will for each of us. Oh, what a reminder to love the Lord, your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind. To love Him above all. I want to be His obedient, faithful, loving, adopted daughter. I need and want our Lord to guide me. And, although I may not be the most experienced, being a recent leader now for a few spark teams, allows me to be a servant to others. I am His adopted daughter who is to serve and not be served, and He will show me how.

Please keep feeding me your spiritual food for my mind, heart, soul and body. You are a wonderful teacher whom the Lord has given to us. So my prayers are with you Vic. God bless you, Joy


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EDITOR 10/4/2012 7:30AM

    Every leader is backed with people who pray for them, as was Joshua. "Let not many of you become teachers, so greater the responsibilty."

Remember the things of old, live in the present, be in the Lord's future plans for you. God is in control!

Vic, this was so good and Bibical and I thank you for stepping out in faith as we all must do.

Thanks for the goodie and notes, but most of all that I am assured God is with you and yours as you make important decisions about your eye vision where no power of darkness will overcome you.









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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/4/2012 7:07AM

    Today is a new day for the world! Prayers for everyone!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Wed, 10/3/2012

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Wed, 10/3/2012

Joshua 5:13-15
THE LEADER MEETS THE LORD, Lesson 11a

Many in our day do not remember the name of the fame of Sergeant Alvin C. York. York was the most famous soldier of World War I. Many people do not know that Alvin York single-handedly captured 132 German soldiers one day in France. York was the recipient of many great honors from several nations for his bravery in combat.

However, Alvin C. York was a most unlikely man to become a legendary hero. York felt that his Christian faith barred him from killing anyone, even in war. After being drafted, York made it known that he was a conscientious objector; that he would not be able to kill other men. He was sent home on a ten-day leave to think about his situation and to consider the scriptures a Christian captain had shared with him. York was promised that he would be dismissed from the Army if he still felt the same way when he returned.

Finally in a crisis of faith, God showed York that he could obey God and defend the helpless in Europe at the same time. He wrote, “As I prayed there alone… I knew that He was there. He understood I didn’t want to be a fighter or a killing man… He took pity on me and gave me the assurance I needed… It was His will and that was enough for me.” Sgt. York had to win the war in his mind before he could win the battles that lay ahead of him in the trenches of France.

Alvin York had to yield to the Lordship of God in his life before he would ever become a great war hero. The same truth is seen in this passage. Israel is about to attack the city of Jericho. Before that battle, the leader of Israel, Joshua, goes out to inspect the site of the coming battle. On that important day, Joshua came face to face with the real leader of Israel. He had an encounter with One Who was far more powerful than he was.
That day, outside the walled city of Jericho, The Leader Meets The Lord. When he did, Joshua was humbled, but he was also prepared for the battle that lay ahead. Let’s look in on this special encounter between The Leader And The Lord. Let me share with you the images that present themselves in this passage.

It may be that the Lord will use this passage to speak to our hearts today. It may be that He will remind us Who is in control of the situations we face in life. It may be that we will come to realize that no one is qualified to lead who has not first learned to serve. It may be that He will remind us of the necessity of humbling ourselves at His feet. If we would enjoy real spiritual victory in our lives, we must come to understand Who really fights our battle. This passage has much to say about that.

Notice with me the images we find in these verses as we consider the subject: “ The Leader Meets The Lord.”

V. 13 THE IMAGE OF A SHEPHERD
As these verses open, we find Joshua, the leader of the people of Israel, all alone outside the walls of Jericho. I think it would be to our benefit to consider just what Joshua is doing out there all by himself.

The Shepherd’s Burden - Joshua was the leader of the people. God Himself had chosen him for that position. When the Lord called Joshua to lead Israel, the Lord gave Joshua some very precious promises. In Joshua 1:5, the Lord said the following to Joshua, “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

It was on the basis of this great promise that Joshua had assumed the leadership role in Israel. Now, he has led them over Jordan. He has led them in obedience to the Law of the Lord. He has led them in observing the Passover. He has led them to the place where they are ready to begin their battle for the land of Canaan.

On the eve of the battle, Joshua goes out to look at the city they are about to attack: the great walled city of Jericho. Joshua is a military leader, and there can be little doubt that he is out there partially to consider the defenses of the city and to formulate a plan of attack. I personally believe that Joshua is there for other reasons as well.

Joshua is the leader of a couple of million men, women and children. Every decision he makes will affect the people under his leadership in profound ways. Some will die, others will be injured, families will be torn apart, and lives will be altered based on the decisions Joshua makes. Before those decisions are made, Joshua goes out alone, under the weight of the burden of his office, to seek counsel from the Lord.

In verse 13, the text says, “…he lifted up his eyes, and looked.” This seems to imply that Joshua has his head bowed and his eyes closed in prayer. It seems to me that this man recognizes the terrible burden that rests on his shoulders, and that he is seeking the Lord’s help to make the right decisions for himself and for the Lord’s people.

Anyone who has ever filled a position of leadership knows, to some degree, how Joshua must have felt. If you are a Pastor or Elder, the decisions you make in your life, your ministry and your preaching, affect the lives of those in your congregation. If you are a Deacon, the decisions you make can have profound affects on your congregation. As a teacher, your statements in class and your demeanor shape the hearts minds of your students. As a parent, your decisions regarding your children, what they are allowed to do, what they are not allowed to do, where they can and can’t go, all carry consequences that will follow your children for the whole of their lives.

Leadership always comes with great responsibility. There is the responsibility to seek the will of the Lord in every matter you face. There is the responsibility to make decisions that honor God above feelings. There is the responsibility to do everything with the understanding that every decision is like tossing a pebble into a pond. There are ripples from every decision you make. When a preacher fails, a ministry fails. When a father fails, a family fails. When a mother fails, her children fail. When a deacon fails, a church fails. When a Christian fails, a testimony fails.

Sometimes people will understand your motives; other times they will not. At the end of the day, it does not matter what people think; all that matters is what the Lord thinks. Because we will face Him, and not them, with the decisions we make in life. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” Rom. 14:12.

If you have been placed in a position of leadership, take it seriously, because the Lord does! If you have a position of leadership, take it seriously, because your decisions affect all those around you. There is a sense in which we are all leaders on some level. I pray that God will help us to recognize it for the burden that it is
.
Consider the following passages.

1 Cor. 4:1-5, “1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

2 Cor. 5:10, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

The Shepherd’s Bravery - As Joshua meditates and contemplates the upcoming battle, he sees an unidentified man standing nearby with his sword drawn. This is the posture of battle. It is the picture of a man who is ready for a fight. Joshua does not hesitate, but he approaches the man and demands to know which side the man is on. Is he on the side of Jericho? Or, is he on the side of Israel?

When Joshua first sees this man, he identifies him as a possible threat to Israel. His instincts as a shepherd are aroused and steps up to the defense of his people. Joshua is burdened by the weight of leadership, but he is also consumed with the protection of those under his care.

That same characteristic marks true leaders, regardless of the area of their leadership. The Pastor or Elder who will not defend his congregation when it is under attack is not much of a Pastor! The Deacon who will not defend his church is not much of a Deacon. The husband who will not defend this wife, or the father who will not defend his children is not much of a man. The mother who will not defend her children is not much of a woman.

We are living a time when the church, our doctrines, our Bible, our worship, and all the other things that identify us as the Lord’s people, are under attack. We are living in days when the family, the institution of marriage, and our children are under assault. We need men and women who are not afraid to stand up and fight for the things that matter. We need people who are not ashamed to take a stand against the rising tide of evil and ungodliness. We need people who will stand for the Lord to protect their church, their family and their community from all those who wish to destroy it.

God’s command to His people is this: “10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand,” Eph. 6:10-13.

Some things in this life are worth fighting for! The church is worth fighting for. The truth is worth fighting for! Integrity and obedience to the will of God are worth fighting for! Marriage, the family, and our children are worth fighting for! If this present generation does not grow a backbone and learn to take a stand against the encroachment of evil, we will have very little to pass on to the next generation. It’s time for God’s people to take a stand!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“ I Am A Sheep” By Dennis L. Jernigan (1988)

I am a sheep and the Lord is my shepherd
Watching over my soul.
My soul to keep guarding over me ever,
Watching wherever I go.

Chorus
And when the winds blow He is my shelter!
And when I'm lost and alone He rescues me!
And when the Lion comes He is my victory!
Constantly watching over me!
He is constantly watching over me!

We are his children and he is our Father
Watching over our souls.
Great is His love for His sons and His daughters,
Watching wherever we go.
Chorus

THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Father of Mercy, God of Love! We do not want to look back over our lives, even as recently as yesterday, and feel bad about ourselves because of the things we have done wrong. Help us Father, to quickly recognize and confess our sins. Enable us to live in according to Your Will, Your Word, and Your way, that we do not have to regret our words, our thoughts, nor our actions. Help us to fully repent so that You will lift all the burdens of sin from us. Help us to keep our eyes and our hearts focused on Jesus, our Lord. This we pray today in His Awesome name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANER2014 10/4/2012 5:57AM

    Thank you so much for this blog!
God bless you!

~Diane

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BABY_GIRL69 10/3/2012 8:44PM

    Thank you so much for this blog...

God bless,

Dee

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ANHELIC 10/3/2012 4:35PM

    Thank you Vic for your awesome lesson, hymn and prayer again. Thank you Lord for changing me and guiding me as You work through me for Your good. We need to hear your messages to remind us what God is doing in our lives and lives of Christians in the Bible. I am grateful to have God in my life. Thank you for sharing God's word with us and doing His work. Thank you for the goodies and your updates. i am praying for you in making your decision. God bless you Vic.

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EDITOR 10/3/2012 4:12PM

    His Name is indeed awesome and He can take the most unlikely person and mold and transform them. Loved the example.

Thank you for goodies and notes on your progress and upcoming decision. God bless abundantly.

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IAM_HIS2 10/3/2012 2:09PM

    Wow Vic...this is so timely and right on. What insight you have been given. You are a beautiful soul filled with love for our Lord and sharing your love so freely. Thank you for serving me with all the wisdom in this blog.

God bless you. Joy

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NADINEL 10/3/2012 9:36AM

    Thank you for delivering this message today in God's timing. I appreciated it so much. I am praying for your eye decisions. Enjoy your day!

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FERGSGIRL2 10/3/2012 9:25AM

    This blog spoke directly to me, from beginning to end. As officers, teachers and leaders in our churches and wherever we are placed, we are committed to doing the right thing--all is at stake! There is a burden in leadership, and I'm so glad you defined that! To do a meaningful job, we cannot run from leadership or its responsibilities. I constantly pray that God gives me(us) strength to lean on Him for counsel in our decisions as leaders.
thanks for sharing an inspiring and thought provoking blog!


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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/3/2012 7:10AM

    I read the hymn twice! I love it! Thank you for all your abundant shares! emoticon
luv,
linda

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