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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 10/11/2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Thu, 10/11/2012

Joshua 5:13-6:5; 20-21
OUR BATTLE WITH LIFE'S STRONGHOLDS, Lesson 13C

6:6-21 INVOLVES CONQUEST
These verses tell the thrilling story of the victory Israel received at Jericho. Imagine what the people inside the city must have thought! They received the fulfillment of the Lord's promise to them. As they did, there are a couple of truths here that I want to mention quickly.

V. 6-15 Involved Determination - As has already been said, they simply did it God's way. They might have been tempted to fight. After all, the people of Jericho were terrified of the Israelites! Yet, they just walked! That is all God said to do! When you do it God's way, there will always be victory! When will the church ever learn this? It isn't about new means and methods! We don't need a new Bible or a new kind of service. In our personal life, we will try this devotional method seeking His power. Or, perhaps this kind of prayer stresses us to get on fire for God.

Maybe the prayer of Jabez is the answer! Then, after a few days or weeks, we fizzle out and it's business as usual in our lives or in the church. Maybe we need to have this fellow in to preach revival. After all, those folks down the road had him and everything changed! Then, when the preacher is gone, after a few days, we are the same way we were before! No! We do not need all these things! All we need to do is patiently do it God's way. When it doesn't make sense ,all we have to do is walk by faith in Christ Jesus. When others quit, just walk. When some want to fight, just walk. When some come up with a new method, just walk. You see, obtaining the victory is His concern, obedience to Him is ours!

V. 16-20 Involved Dedication - Israel walked around that city 6 days. When they did what happened to the walls of the city? Nothing! When they walked around that city six times on the seventh day, what happened? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Why? Because the number six in the Bible is the number of man,( Rev. 13:18). Man can try as hard as he pleases in his own power and he will never obtain the victory! But, when they marched around that wall the seventh time and shouted, the wall fell down flat! You see, seven is the number of completion, or of God's fullness.

Israel kept going in their dedication until they passed from the realm of their own power, into the realm of the power of God! After marching around that city seven times, they would have been too pooped to fight anyway! When they came to the place where they couldn't, but knew He could, a miracle took place and the stronghold fell down flat! That's the point of them shouting before the wall fell down! They were praising God for the victory by faith, even before it could be seen with the eyes! That is what faith is all about,( Heb. 11:1). That kind of faith honors the Lord!

For us, let us remember that victory over our strongholds will come when we get to that place where it is totally out of our hands and in His alone! When we get away from the realm of our ability and move into the realm of what God can do in our lives, then we will see all what God can bring to pass in a life wholly dedicated to Him!

V. 21 Involved Death - After the walls fell down, the Israelites went into Jericho and killed everything that lives, with the exception of Rahab and her family,( v. 22-25). Does this seem extreme to you? God knew that if the people of Jericho were allowed to live, they would influence the people of Israel away from Him. So, when the walls of that stronghold came down, everyone in the city had to die.

My friends, when you come to the place where you can identify the strongholds that are in your life, God, by His power, will bring those things down for you. You must then rise up and make sure that every trace of those things is forever eradicated from your life! Whatever it take! There are some today that need to bring some stronghold or another to the altar of Jesus, and kill it to death! Some things must not be allowed to live! If we defeat them today and don't do away with the root of the problem, that stronghold will rebuild itself in our lives and be stronger than ever. Next time, it will harder to bring down!

Think about it, the problem with Jericho wasn't the city! The problem with Jericho was the people in the city. They hated God and all He stood for and they had to perish! So, whatever it takes to root out the strongholds in your life, I challenge you to do it today! God will enable you to see those things put to death forever!

Conc: What is it that is keeping you from going forward with God? Is it lust? Is it hatred? Is it envy? Is it un-forgiveness? Is it a bitter, critical spirit? Whatever it is, that stronghold needs to be conquered right now. Will you bring it to the Lord and defeat it His way?

Some of you are trying so hard. I invite you to come to Jesus, lay down you sword, hand Him your shoe and say, "Lord, I can do it, but you can." He will change your life. He will enable you to live for His glory.

Some here have never had that first confrontation with the Lord. You are not saved. If you died today, you would be lost and you would go to Hell. It doesn't have to be that way! If you will come to Jesus Christ, He will receive you and save you!

Whatever the nature of the strongholds in your life may be, there is help and hope in the Person of Jesus, but, only if you will come to Him.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Come to Jesus Today” By E. R. Latta

Come to Jesus, He will save you,
Tho your sins as crimson glow;
If you give your heart to Jesus,
He will make it white as snow.
Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
(Come, come today! Come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come today!
(yes, come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
(Come, come today! Come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come, come today!

Come to Jesus do not tarry,
Enter in at mercy's gate;
O, delay not till the morrow,
Lest Thy coming be too late.
Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
(Come, come today! Come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come today!
(yes, come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
(Come, come today! Come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come, come today!



Come to Jesus, dying sinner,
Other Savior there is none;
He will share with you His glory,
When your pilgrimage is done.
Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
(Come, come today! Come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come today!
(yes, come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come to Jesus!
(Come, come today! Come, come today!)
Come to Jesus! Come, come today!

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Father of Mercy, God of Grace! You are the Giver of Victories. But do we listen? Do we hear? Do we do it Your way? Trusting You is easier than doing what You say. Should battles be based on the testimony of dreamers? Yet this dreamer confirms only what You have promised. Help us not to doubt Your promises. You are a Keeper of Your Word and we are winners against all odds if we are in the Lord’s side, and if we do it Your way. Thank You for making our calling and election sure in Jesus. It is in His name we pray. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EAGLES_WINGS 10/11/2012 8:46PM

    Thank you, Vic. Ever more I need to remember and realize that when I do give God the glory, strongholds WILL fall. I am gradually handing them over to the Lord as I learn the ways of Christ and become closer to Him. I need to follow Him for the victory. I know I am saved now by grace and not by deserving it. Now it is time to let Him dwell in me and my home and my life. Day by day I hope to improve my closeness to the Lord our God. I will learn. I am growing. I thank you for your thoughts and inspiration! I give thanks to the Lord for pointing the way He would have me go.

God bless you, Vic!
Have a good night!
Karen emoticon

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FERGSGIRL2 10/11/2012 7:50PM

    Jesus is the only way! thanks for detail explanation and clarity.

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CIERAPOET 10/11/2012 7:40PM

    Amen! So Be It Lord! I Want ONLY God's Will to Be Done In My Life! It's His Way Because It's The BEST Way! The HOLY Way And The Predestined Way. Doing Things That God Has Not Planned For Me Always Gets Me On The Wrong Path. Learned From Those Experiences And That's Why I Daily Give My Own Will Up To HIS In My Life. Thanks For Sharing God's Words Vic! With Him In Control HE Will ALWAYS Get The Glory!!!
Blessings!!!
Deb
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KIMPY225 10/11/2012 2:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SAINTBETH 10/11/2012 11:38AM

    Amen!

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LIFE-FAITH 10/11/2012 8:34AM

    emoticon Thank you for sharing!
Jesus is my ROCK!
Jean

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IAM_HIS2 10/11/2012 8:21AM

    Vic: I will not leave words today, instead I will open myself to our Lord and let Him be totally in control. They will be done Lord, not mine.

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ANHELIC 10/11/2012 8:20AM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson, hymn and prayer. Only God can come and fight our battles. We must submit to Him and walk in His word. We can have peace and feel the joy of the Lord with Him. I am learning to listen to His Word and follow Him and His commands. Thank you Vic again, you are an awesome teacher of the Word. God bless you. thank you for the goodie. emoticon emoticon

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TONYVAND1 10/11/2012 7:35AM

  Vic
Only God can You are so rit often we try to do things in our power Until we give it to Him we will never conquer any of the strongholds in our lives. All to bJesus I surrender All to Him I freely give

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/11/2012 7:20AM

    Today I listen and try to do it his way! I should have a pretty good day after all he is the best man for the job right?

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DIANER2014 10/11/2012 7:15AM

    Amen! I try and read your blogs before I go to work, they give me such joy and peace. Thanks Vic! emoticon


Diane




Comment edited on: 10/11/2012 7:15:25 AM

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

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

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

Joshua 5:13-6:5; 20-21
OUR BATTLE WITH LIFE'S STRONGHOLDS, Lesson 13b

6:1-5 INVOLVES CONFIDENCE

Another major step in the path toward spiritual victory over the strongholds of life demands confidence in the Lord. There are three areas in which Joshua displayed confidence. These need to be true concerning us as well.

V.1-2 In God's Promises - Before Joshua goes to battle against the city of Jericho, he is reminded of the Lord's promises to give Israel the victory. There were Past Promises –( Josh. 2:9), and there were Present Promises –( Josh. 6:2). The past promises reminded Joshua of what the Lord had promised to do long ago. Rahab had known about these promises for 40 years. The present promises reminded Joshua that the Lord had not changed His mind about the matter. God still intended to give Israel the victory in this matter.

As we look at our strongholds today, we may think that we will never see them fall at our feet. However, may we ever remember that God will always keep His promises! He has promised us the victory, and the victory shall be ours,( 1 Cor. 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:37). Whatever God has promised, He is well able to bring to pass,( Rom. 4:21; Eph. 3:20). Therefore, let us face our strongholds well assured in the fact that God will do everything He has promised us He will do!

V. 3-5a In God's Plan - On the surface, God's plan for Israel's victory seems really strange. After all, what was really required of Israel to bring the walls of Jericho down? Nothing! When you get right down to it, all they had to do was to follow God's plan and the walls would fall down flat. What was His plan? Seven priests bearing seven trumpets were to walk before the ark. The priests would blow the trumpets and the people were to walk behind the ark, and the whole parade was to walk around the city once a day for 6 days. On the seventh day, they were to walk around the city seven times and at the end of the seventh time, they were to shout. When this happened, the walls would fall down flat. Strange!

I think the lesson for us becomes clear when we take the time to look closely at what the Lord told them to do.

1. They were to take seven priests. Seven is the biblical number of completion or fullness. Priests are a picture of an advocate, or one who stood between men and God. This is a picture of a complete or perfect Advocate. According to the Bible, the saints have a perfect Advocate. His name is the Lord Jesus Christ, (1 John 2:1). And, as we come against the strongholds of life, He is making intercession for us before the throne of God,( Heb. 7:25; Rom. 8:34).

2. They were to take seven ram's horn trumpets. The ram was a picture of Atonement. Remember when Abraham took Isaac to the top of Moriah to put him to death? It was a ram that provided the atoning, redeeming price for Isaac. So, we need a full or perfect atonement. I have already touched on this, but are you sure you are saved? There will be no real, lasting victory over the flesh and the world until you have been saved by the grace of God. When you become a partaker of God's plan of salvation through the blood of Jesus, and through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you are given the power to enjoy victory over and freedom from the power of sin in your life,( Rom. 6:1-14)
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3. They were to take the ark of the covenant. The ark represents the Lord Jesus Christ in all of His fullness. In the ark was the golden pot of manna, which speaks of His full provisions. Aaron's budding rod was also in there. This spoke of Christ's power and His life. The tables of the Law were also there. These remind us that He is the fulfillment of the Law for you and me. The idea is this: in Jesus we find all we need to wage the battle against the strongholds in our lives. He gives us all the provisions we need as we fight. He has all power in heaven and in earth (Matt 28:18). He gives us power to walk in newness of life (Rom 6:3-4). He has freed us from the power and the demands of the Law, setting us free to live for the Father in power and victory.

4. They were simply to take these things and walk with them around the city. God promised them that the walls of Jericho would fall down as a result! In other words, all they had to do was have confidence in God's plan, walk with the things He had given them and they would enjoy the victory. He wanted them to do nothing but to walk by faith!

What a lesson for the church! The secret to living the Christian life, enjoying victory over your besetting sins and seeing your strongholds brought down is this: you can't do it without faith (Heb 11:6)! You cannot live the Christian life without Jesus! As you yield to His plan, and let Him live through you, you will enjoy His victory,( Gal. 2:20). All God wants you to do is to stop trying and just rest in Him. He has already won the victory. We win by being obedient! By being in Him and having absolute confidence in His plan (WALKING BY FAITH), we enjoy the victory that only He can give.

V. 5b In God's Power - Israel was about to learn the truth that victory was in the Lord and not in themselves. They were about to participate in the strangest victory in the annals of history. For them, victory would come about, not as the result of trying, but as the result of trusting God to keep His Word.

Aren't you tired of trying to live the Christian life and failing? Then stop doing both! Just start trusting! Trust in the finished work of Christ. Realize that you have no one to please but God. And, if you are in Jesus, He is already satisfied with you! I am not advocating loose living. Far from it! If you live God's way, you will be holy because He is Holy. He is the perfect Advocate. He is the perfect Atonement. He is the fulfillment of the Law for us. There is nothing left for us to do, but to walk by faith in the finished work of Jesus and enjoy the trip to Heaven. Why do you think He said "It is finished.",( John 19:30)? Because it is! Far too many folks in church are always defeated because they are trying to live up to some standard that has been imposed on them by men, when all they really have to do is walk by faith,( Matt. 11:28-30). If we will learn to walk in what Jesus has already done for us, then we will receive the victories that He has prepared for us. He has already done all the work. All that is left for us to do is walk according to scripture!

TODAY’S HYMN!
“ Where He Leads I’ll Follow” By William A. Ogden (1885)

Sweet are the promises, kind is the word,
Dearer far than any message man ever heard;
Pure was the mind of Christ, sinless I see;
He the great example is, and pattern for me.
Refrain
Where He leads I’ll follow,
Follow all the way.
Where He leads I’ll follow,
Follow Jesus ev’ry day.

Sweet is the tender love Jesus hath shown,
Sweeter far than any love that mortals have known;
Kind to the erring one, faithful is He;
He the great example is, and pattern for me.
Refrain

List to His loving words, “Come unto Me”;
Weary, heavy laden, there is sweet rest for thee;
Trust in His promises, faithful and sure;
Lean upon the Savior, and thy soul is secure.
Refrain

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Holy and Divine Father, Righteous and Just God! Help us to take careful heed to do the commandments of the Lord, to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind, to walk in all His ways, to hold fast to Him and to His Word, and to serve Him with all we can be. We are always thankful we can approach your throne of grace, and know that you listen to us. As we seek You, we pray that You will open our minds and hearts so we can focus on others in service, love and compassion, just like Jesus. This we pray in His Wonderful name as we give praise, glory and honor to YOU. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 10/10/2012 6:37PM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson. As we walk in Jesus, we follow God's commandments and let our trials be handled by God Himself. He knows what we need and how to deal with our problems. God bless you for sharing this lesson, hymn and prayer.

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IAM_HIS2 10/10/2012 10:44AM

    Thank you Vic. My prayer is: May I grow in trusting our Lord and know as well as do His will.

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LOSTLIME 10/10/2012 10:39AM

    As always, your blog starts my day off right. Thank you.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/10/2012 8:18AM

    Thank you Vic for once again giving me good thoughts to start my day...love and help one another! I want to please the Lord with good and wonderful deeds! I do them today! amen!

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SANDRALEET 10/10/2012 7:50AM

    Gods will and only his will be Done He has his master plan in his hand.

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TONYVAND1 10/10/2012 7:17AM

  emoticon blog again Vic Thank you for sharing the wisdom of God's Word with us. I appreciate your insights.

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DIANER2014 10/10/2012 7:05AM

    Amen! Thank you Vic! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 10/10/2012 6:54AM

    Good Morning---and reading your blog was a nice way to start my day emoticon -Thank-you!-Lynda

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 10/9/2012

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Tue, 10/9/2012

Joshua 5:13-6:5; 20-21
OUR BATTLE WITH LIFE'S STRONGHOLDS, Lesson 13a

The ancient city of Jericho was a great walled city. History tells us that it was surrounded by 2 massive stone walls. The outer wall was 6 feet thick and 20 feet high. The inner wall was 12 feet thick and 30 feet high. There was a 15 foot guarded walkway between these two walls. From a military standpoint, it was practically impenetrable. This great walled city stood as an obstacle between the people of Israel and them claiming all that God had for them. Before they could go deeper into the land of Canaan, Jericho had to fall first.

For us, this ancient city represents those things that are entrenched and rooted in our lives that prevent us from going on with God. Oh, we all have them! Regardless of how pious you may want to think you are, there are things embedded in your life that hinder your walk with God. It may be some besetting sin that prevents you from going deep in the things of God. It may a root of bitterness and un-forgiveness that stands between you and God's best. It may be some old, bad attitude that is holding you back. It could be something from your past that you continue to struggle with to this day. Whatever it is, it is a stronghold in your life and it stands between you and God's best for your life. Before you will ever receive all God has for you, that stronghold must be torn down!

In this page from Israel's history, we uncover some truths that help us as we fight the battle against our own strongholds in our day. There are elements revealed here that point us to the path of spiritual victory. Let's spend some time in these verses this evening as we thing about “Our Battle With Life's Strongholds”.

5:13-15 INVOLVES CONFRONTATION

As Joshua surveys the city of Jericho, he has a strange encounter. However, this encounter would change the course of events at Jericho.

With The Person Of God - This individual that Joshua meets outside the walls of Jericho identifies Himself as "The Captain of the host of the Lord." It is my humble opinion that this is a “Christophany”. That is, it is a personal, pre-Bethlehem manifestation and appearance to be the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. In other words, Joshua came face to face with Jesus Christ!

For us, this pictures the matter of Salvation. Before we can continue on to victory, we must first commence the journey. And, the journey is commenced at salvation. I wonder, have you met the Lord Jesus Christ? Is He your Savior today? Notice that I didn't ask if you were “this or that” religion. There will be lots of religious people in Hell! My question was, and still is, are you saved? Has there ever been a specific moment in your life when you knew that you were a sinner headed to Hell and that only Jesus could save you. Do you remember the time when you were saved by the power and grace of God. If it has happened to you, you will know it! When someone the size of God gets in you, you will be aware of it! Have you had a personal confrontation with the Person of God?

This is just a thought but notice that Joshua's encounter with the Lord caused him to bow in worship,( v. 14). Did you see that? Your desire to worship says a lot about your relationship to God. Some have already decided that they won't be able to make it tomorrow. Did you ask the Lord about that? Or, is it your decision? You see, salvation will leave you worshiping, but it will also leave you bowing, (v. 14).

With The Position Of God - Next, the Lord tells Joshua that He is the Captain of the Lord's host. That is, He is the One Who is always victorious. He is the One, Who is walking in victory even before the battle is fought. In other words, He is the One Who is in control of all situations. He is merely reminding Joshua Who is really fighting the battle!

For us, this speaks of the great matter of our Sanctification. That is, of our coming to the place where we recognize that if there will ever be any victories in our life, they will come about because of His power and not our own. We must understand that we are to yield to His power in every area of our life and that we are to trust Him to secure the victory for us in every battle we fight. So then, sanctification is our coming to the place where through obedience we dedicate our lives to Him and trust Him to bring us to the place of victory. Sanctification is us acknowledging and confessing Him to be Lord in every area of our lives. Is that true for you? Or, are there areas of your life that are off limits to God? Real sanctification knows that He is Lord of all, or He is not Lord at all! It knows that He must be given the Master key to every area of life. Have you come to terms with “ Who” is really in control? Until you do, you can forget about sustained victory, you might as well get used to defeat.

With The Power Of God - When Joshua meets this man, there are a couple of things that are strange about their meeting. First, there is the Lord's answer to Joshua's challenge. Joshua asked Him, "Are you for us or for them?" The Lord answered, "No!" That's really strange! Then, there is the matter of what the Lord tells Joshua to do in verse 15. There he is told to “loose” his shoe (singular) off his foot (singular). Why just one? When Moses met the Lord at the burning bush, he was told to remove both shoes,( Ex. 3:5).

However, these two events speak to us about the matter of Surrender. When Joshua asked the Lord if He was for Israel or for Israel's enemies, the Lord said, "No!" What the Lord is saying is this, "Joshua, I didn't come to take sides, I came to take over!" This is a call for Joshua to surrender to the authority of the Lord in the battle at Jericho. Joshua is made to realize that God, not Joshua, is the power behind the victory that will come. What a lesson for the church! When will we ever learn that our success and our victory are not a matter of our power or ability? When will we understand that this is about God and not us? God is saying to this church today, "I am not here to take sides, I am here to take over!" Will you do as Joshua and bow to His authority? That is how victory is won!

Then, there is the matter of the shoe. 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 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 chapter 4 and verses 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, and you have been trying to fight your battles in your own power. You keep getting whipped. Friend, you need to take 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!"

Notice with me that Joshua is a warrior! When he got down 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! 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 if you will ever enjoy absolute victory over all the strongholds in your life.

TODAY’S HYMN!

“We Bow Down” By Twila Paris (1984)

You are Lord of the Heavens and Lord of my life
Lord of the land and the sea
You were Lord of Creation before there was time
And Lord of all Lords You will be
We bow down and we worship You, Lord
We bow down and we worship You, Lord
We bow down and we worship You, Lord
Lord of all Lords You will be

You are King of the Heavens and King of my life
King of the land and the sea
You were King of Creation before there was time
And King of all Kings You will be
We bow down and we crown You the King
We bow down and we crown You the King
We bow down and we crown You the King
King of all Kings You will be

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Heavenly Father, God of heaven, earth and this universe! The end of the matter is to FEAR YOU and KEEP ALL YOUR COMMANDMENTS. Father, You are so GREAT and we are so weak. You lift us up from the mess we make in our lives to a better life, a glorious life. We love sometimes on the edge of destruction, and you call us away into Your safety. Your way is all that matters in this world, and in the world to come. Spiritual maturity comes to us by compliance with Your Will and Way. Helps us to be Your’s by faith every day, to Your glory, honor and praise. This we pray and ask in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 10/10/2012 12:03AM

    Thank you for another awesome blog. As we surrender to God and live with His commandments, He will fight our battles for us. We are weak and many times become defeated if we don't call on God to help. He is an awesome God. Thank you for the hymn and prayer. I really like this hymn as well. God bless you Vic for sharing and the goodies you sent.

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FERGSGIRL2 10/9/2012 7:54PM

    awesome lesson and hymn; by surrendering--we can know Jesus and know peace! Your blogs are explained so well and answer many questions, thank you for being His servant and willing vessel.

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LOOKINGUP2012 10/9/2012 6:45PM

    emoticon for sharing your beautiful thoughts : )

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TONYVAND1 10/9/2012 10:49AM

  emoticon emoticon LESSON AND HYMN. I APPRECIATE YOUR MESSAGES EACH DAY

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KIMPY225 10/9/2012 10:37AM

    Thank you very much!
Have a lovely Tuesday!
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LOSTLIME 10/9/2012 7:15AM

    thank you for this morning lesson and hymn,Vic! God bless you!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 10/8/2012

Monday, October 08, 2012

Joshua, following in the footsteps of faith, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Mon, 10/8/2012

Joshua 5:13-6:21
TEARING DOWN THE WALLS, Lesson 12c

6:20b-22 YOU’VE GOT TO FINISH THE RIGHT WAY
When the walls came down, Israel was able to go into the city and defeat it for the glory of God. They saw the walls fall down and they enjoyed the victory. But, before the day was finished, they had to finish what the Lord had begun. These verses tell us how to finish the right way, after the Lord flattens the walls in our lives.

Some Things Must Be Claimed – God gave Israel absolute victory over the city of Jericho. All they had to do was enter the city and claim what He had already given them.

The fact of the matter is this: many people never enjoy real victory over the things that hold them back. But, God has given us absolute victory in Jesus. All we really have to do to enjoy that victory is claim it by faith. Now, I am not promoting some “name it can claim it” kind of theology. I am telling you that there really is “Victory In Jesus” and you can have it, enjoy and live it all the time if you want to! ( 1 Cor. 15:57; 1 John 5:4-5.) Do you want that victory in your life today? It is in Jesus and it is available by faith!

Some Things Must Be Conquered – When Israel entered Jericho, they killed every single person in that city. Nothing associated with Jericho could be allowed to live. You see, the problem with Jericho was not the city itself. The problem there was the people in the city. They had to be destroyed or their ways would have corrupted the children of Israel.

The same is true in your life and mine. When the Lord does give you victory and those walls come falling down in your life; you must rise up and put away everything that is associated with your Jericho.

Maybe someone needs to be forgiven.
Maybe you will need to develop a new circle of friends.
Maybe you will need to change the way to go to and from work.
Maybe you need to change the kind of TV you watch or books you read.

When God gives you the victory in your life, take whatever steps are necessary to see that the problem in your life is totally conquered.

That is the path to lasting victory. ( 1 Cor. 15:33; 1 Cor. 5:6).
Conc: I read about a massive oak tree. A vine had grown up along its trunk. The vine started small--nothing to bother about. But over the years the vine had gotten taller and taller. After many years, the entire lower half of the tree was covered by the vine's creepers. The mass of tiny feelers was so thick that the tree looked as though it had innumerable birds' nests in it.

Now the great tree was in serious danger. This huge, solid oak was quite literally being taken over; the life was being squeezed from it. But the gardeners in that park had seen the danger. They had taken a saw and severed the trunk of the vine--one neat cut across the middle. The tangled mass of the vine's branches still clung to the oak, but the vine was now dead. That would gradually become plain as weeks passed and the creepers began to die and fall away from the tree.

How easy it is for sin and other seemingly little things, things which begins so small and seemingly insignificant, to grow until they have a strangle hold on our lives. And yet, Christ's death has cut the power of sin and of anything else that would entangle itself around our lives seeking to choke us out.

What kind of vines do you have in your life? What kind of entanglements are choking out your spiritual life today? What kind of walls are standing between you and your going deeper with the Lord? Whether or not any one will admit it, many have walls of all sorts in their lives. These walls are hindering your walk with the Lord. In some cases, these walls are keeping you away from the Lord altogether. Today would be a good day to bring those things to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is still leveling Jericho’s and bringing down the seemingly impossible walls in our lives.

What is keeping you from going deeper with the Lord? Is it worth it? Wouldn’t you like to get past that thing so you can go a little farther with the Lord? If so, you can begin the process right now. Fall at the right feet; follow the right path and finish the right way. Do that and you will see the walls in your life obliterated and you will enjoy the victory that only Jesus can give. If you want Him and what He can give, He is available.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Walls Came Tumbling Down” By G. A. Thacker (1921)

The Lord told Joshua to go to Jericho,
And to march seven times around;
He followed faithfully the blessed Lord’s command,
And the walls came tumbling down."
Refrain:
Yes, the walls came tumbling down;
Joshua, marched seven times ‘round,
Then the walls came tumbling down.

"If you are trusting in the power of the blood,
And you hope to wear a crown,
Go forward quickly, and obey the holy word;
Walls of doubt will tumble down."
Refrain:

"The Lord is calling, sinner, come to Him today;
Turn from this vain world’s renown.
If you will follow Him in faith, like Joshua,
Walls of sin will tumble down."
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, God of heaven and earth. Oh that we would hear and believe. Oh that we believing would do what You have commanded us to do. This is an important moment of decision for us. Help us not just to gaze what an amazing gift of grace we witness of Your faithfulness in the scripture, but also to experience that faithfulness in our lives. Enable us not just to be hearers of the Word, but to be Doers of the Word. Help us to fall at the right feet; to follow the right path, and to finish the right way. These things we pray and ask in Jesus’ glorious name. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 10/9/2012 7:43AM

    thank you,Vic! You have given me a lot of things to think of.

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EAGLES_WINGS 10/9/2012 12:10AM

    My chains are breaking away by the power of the Lord and renewed faith and the Spirit of the Lord. I am so grateful. I am blessed.

Thank you for this lesson.

Peace be with you always! emoticon

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ANHELIC 10/8/2012 8:06PM

    Thank you Vic for an amazing lesson, hymn and prayer. I feel I am growing deeper with God. Your lessons are challenging me to walk down the right path and keep my eyes focused on God. I have noticed changes in my attitude as well. I am more compassionate with my friends. Thank you Vic. You are a great man of God. God bless you. emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/8/2012 8:09:05 PM

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IAM_HIS2 10/8/2012 10:32AM

    Vic: Thank you for this blog, it goes hand and hand with what I am praying for...to take one particular weed out. God bless yu vic.

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KIMPY225 10/8/2012 9:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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CANBDONE 10/8/2012 9:30AM

    YES, Lord! Give me the strength and courage to tear down my walls of Jerico!

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DIANER2014 10/8/2012 7:37AM

    Amen! Thanks Vic! Love reading your blogs. emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 10/7/2012

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Joshua, following in the footsteps of faith, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sun, 10/7/2012

Joshua 5:13-6:21
TEARING DOWN THE WALLS, Lesson 12b

6:1-20a YOU’VE GOT TO FOLLOW THE RIGHT PLAN

As soon as Joshua surrenders himself to the will of the Lord, God tells him how to go about defeating the walled city of Jericho. The Lord’s plan is a bit unconventional, but in the end, it was absolutely successful. Let’s examine this plan because it teaches us something about God’s plan to tear down the walls in our lives.

6:1-2 It Is A Simple Plan – For Joshua and Israel the plan boiled down to one simple word: faith. God is telling Joshua, “Just trust Me! Those walls might be tall and they might be thick, but I have already given you the city. In fact, Joshua, the people behind those walls already know what you haven’t figured out yet! They know they are defeated (6:1; 2:9-14) and you will know it too in a few days. Just trust Me!”

You see, God did not bring Israel out of Egypt just so they could fall at Jericho! He saved them to walk in victory in Canaan. The same is true in your life and mine. God did not save us so that we could live every day of our lives in defeat. He saved us to walk in victory,( 1 Cor. 15:57)! He is telling us to do the same thing that He was telling Israel: “Just trust Me!” If you want the victory over the walls that have been erected in your life, then that victory will be found in following God’s plan. And God’s plan is a simple plan! Here is His plan as simply as I can give it to you:

If you are lost –( Acts 16:31).
If you are saved –( Mark 9:23; Mark 11:22; Heb. 11:6; Heb. 11:1).

God’s plan for victory, regardless of the wall you need to see fall in your life is as simple as this, “Just trust Him!” Just as Israel was to place the tangible symbol of God’s presence, the Ark of the Covenant, at the head of their march around Jericho, the first step to victory is to place God first.

6:3-20a It Is A Strange Plan – As the Lord details this plan to Joshua, it must have sounded strange to that old soldier’s ears. There was no talk of armor or armaments. There was no talk of soldiers, swords or spears. There was no talk of sieges, of strategies or of secret weapons. God’s plan involved the Ark of the Covenant; priests; trumpets and people. God said, “Joshua, take the Ark, have seven priests blowing seven ram’s horn trumpets go before it and have them blow those trumpets. Then, have the rest of the people follow along behind. Don’t say a word. Don’t shout. Don’t taunt the people of the city. Don’t even speak! Just walk. Walk once around that city every day for six and then do it seven times on the seventh day. When you finish that last lap, stop and shout the victory and the walls will fall down flat.”

Now, I don’t care who you are, that is a strange plan! From a human standpoint it makes no sense. From a military standpoint, it makes no sense. From a logical standpoint, it makes no sense. Yet, it is what God said to do! Strange plans call for strong faith! Imagine the people of Jericho as the people of Israel marched around and around the city. Imagine the people of Israel and what they endured as they marched: ridicule, danger, and humiliation.

God’s plan boils down to this: walking. They were to walk in the right order; in the right path; for the right period of time; and they were promised the victory. This plan involved no input from the people; all they had to do was walk. Now, to carry out this strange plan required great discipline on the part of these people. God just wanted them to settle in and do it His way.

By the way, God’s plan for His children is a bit strange also. All He asks us to do is walk in faith! The secret to living the successful Christian life is this: you can’t do it! It is not about what you can do, but it is all about what He can do. It is not about trying and failing. It is all about learning to abide in Jesus, and in drawing one’s strength from Him,( John 15:1-8, Gal. 2:20).

The Christian life can be condensed into that one word: abiding. If a believer can just learn to abide in Jesus; the walls in his life will come crashing down! If we can just learn to go with God and abide in Jesus, even when life makes no sense at all, we will see Him overcome the walls we have in our lives. What I am referring to is a simple, disciplined walk that looks to God by faith. By the way, when you walk by faith, your life is bound to raise a few eyebrows. Don’t let it get to you. Just keep walking and the Lord will bless.

6:20b-21 It Is A Successful Plan – When they did things God’s way, He gave them the victory. They marched around that city, blowing those trumpets for six days and nothing happened. On that seventh day that did it seven times and nothing happened. Then, they lifted their voices in a victorious shout and the walls fell flat. They were able to enter the city and claim the victory God had given them. His way worked!

Learning to walk in faith and learning to follow the Lord, even when His plan makes no sense, will always result in victory for the child of God! Do you want to see those walls in your life come down? Do you want to see those things that have hindered you in your walk with the Lord gone from your life? If you do, the way to see that happen is to determine today to stop fighting your way and surrender to God’s way.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Living By Faith” By James Wells (1918)

1. I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.
Refrain:
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.

2. Though tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies—
The Master looks on at the strife.
Refrain:

3. I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.
Refrain:

4. Our Lord will return for His loved ones some day,
Our troubles will then all be o’er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.
Refrain:

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Loving Jesus! We do not know what a day may bring forth, and we are not concerned about it, because we know who holds the future, and we know who holds our hand. Help us to be considerate of all the opportunities for growth and service that occur each day. Enable us to use them all to Your glory and Honor. This we pray in the Beloved name of Jesus our Lord. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 10/9/2012 7:41AM

    Thank you. I really like the hymn and the prayer.

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DIANER2014 10/7/2012 10:07PM

    Thank you for sharing Vic. God Bless!

~Diane

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POETLKNG2LOSE 10/7/2012 9:53PM

    Thank you for sharing that Vic. God has been working things out in my life and in my church. He is not done with me yet; I have to learn to hold onto Him.

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ANHELIC 10/7/2012 9:27PM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson. We all live by faith if we have accepted Jesus into our hearts. We can try to do things on our own, but they ususally fail. I trust Jesus with all my heart to take me through trials. Just like Joshua, we must have faith and be obedient. Thank you for the great hymn and prayer. Thank you for the goodies you send. God bless you Vic.

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LOSE4LIFE47 10/7/2012 7:02AM

    Thanx for sharing! Since I have been a believer I have always loved that song!

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