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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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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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