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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 10/13/2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Sat, 10/13/2012

Joshua 7:1-26
SOME THINGS CAN’T BE HIDDEN, Lesson 14b

v. 6-15 ISRAEL ENCOUNTERED A TERRIBLE SUMMONS

Israel didn’t know what was wrong. All they knew was that they had just suffered their first defeat. By the way, this would be their only defeat! God wants His people to have the victory, not the defeat. So, He takes the necessary steps to reveal to the nation of Israel just exactly where the problem lies.

v. 6-9 Joshua’s Amazement – After this tragedy occurs, Joshua finds himself before the Lord in prayer. His prayer is from a broken heart, ( v. 6). Still, there is also a hint of anger and accusation against the Lord. Joshua is going to learn that prayer is the correct recourse in a time of trouble. He will also learn that prayer will avail nothing until sin has been dealt with, ( Psa. 66:18; James 5:16b)!

Joshua wonders why Israel was powerless in the battle. The answer would not be found in blaming God, or in disputing His will. The answer would be found in their own hearts!

After we have made decisions that bring terrible consequences, it’s too late to play the blame game. It’s never the right time to accuse God of anything. This has been going on since the beginning – ( Gen. 3:9-13).

When there is a tragedy in our lives, we need to look within and see where the problem is. When there is a lack of power in my life, the problem is not with God, nor is it with other’s, the problem is always with me!

The same is true in the church. When there is powerlessness in the church and souls aren’t being saved; when the services are dull and lifeless, we need not blame the Lord! He is doing His part. The problem is always a problem within!

v. 10-15 God’s Announcement - While Joshua and Israel try to figure out what is happening, God in Heaven already knows and reveals it to Joshua. He tells him that there is sin in the camp of Israel! He tells Joshua that this sin is why He is withholding His power and allowing them to be defeated,( v. 12). He tells Joshua how to discover the guilty party.

In these words to Joshua, God gives us some insights into sin. We need to pay attention to what God has to say in these verses. Allow me to share with you a few observations concerning sin and its effects in our lives.

1. God Knows About Our Sins - v. 11 –( Pro. 15:3; Heb. 4:13) – We aren’t hiding anything from Him!

2. God hates our sins – v. 11 –(Pro. 6:16-19) – It offends Him and He will not simply look the other way!

3. God has a plan for our sins – v. 14-15 – (Pro. 28:13; 1 John 1:9; Psa. 32:5) – He wants us to get honest about our condition. He expects confession and repentance.

4. God will punish our sins – v. 15 –( Gal. 6:7-8) – There is always a price to pay for rebellion and disobedience!

5. Sin always affects those around us – v. 11-12 – No one sins in a vacuum. Your sins and mine have the ability to drastically lower the spiritual temperature of the church. We are all one body and what affects you affects me and vice versa! ( Eccl. 9:18), “...one sinner destroyeth much good.”

6. Sin hinders God’s work both in our lives and in His church – v. 12 –( Matt. 13:58) – When we allow sin to rule in our hearts, God will not move among us in freedom and power.

7. Sin will be dealt with – v. 13 – Either you and I will deal with our sins, or God will deal with them. Either way, they will be handled! –( 1 Cor. 11:31).

It’s not the water on the outside of the boat that causes the problem; it’s the water on the inside of the boat that causes trouble! The same is true for the church. Often, the greatest problems faced by the church come from within and not from without. The world and the devil really can’t do a lot of damage to the church, but you let someone inside the church get out of line with God and there is a problem!

More often than not, when there are defeats, problems, and trouble down at the house of God, you can bet that there is someone in the church who is out of God’s will! When there is a lack of the manifest presence and power of God in the church, it can usually be traced to some sin in the body! There is an infection and it needs to be identified and treated before there will ever be a return of God’s power and glory!

If a business suffers too many losses, it closes its doors. If a company suffers too many losses, it lays off employees. When a church suffers too many losses, people go to Hell! We must have God’s power if we are going to see any spiritual successes! If we are going to have His power, we must be a clean people!

We should never underestimate the amount of damage one sinner can cause.
Abraham nearly lost his wife when he went to Egypt,( Gen. 12).

The boat Jonah was riding in nearly sunk when he ran away from God in disobedience,( Jonah 1).

Seventy thousand people died in Israel because David disobeyed God by numbering the people, (2 Sam. 24).

One sinner nearly destroyed the church at Corinth,( 1 Cor. 5).

You might think your sin is insignificant, but it can ruin your church and sap it of its power. It can devastate your family and leave totally ruin in its wake. It can destroy your life and leave you broken and defeated! ( Eccl. 9:18).

No Christian can sin without affecting other Christians or even lost sinners. You can't grow cold without lowering the temperature of those around you. The testimony of the church is reflected in the lives of every believer in the church.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Church’s One Foundation” By Samuel J. Stone (1886)

The church's one foundation
is Jesus Christ her Lord;
she is his new creation
by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her
to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her,
and for her life he died.

2. Elect from every nation,
yet one o'er all the earth;
her charter of salvation,
one Lord, one faith, one birth;
one holy name she blesses,
partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses,
with every grace endued.

3. Though with a scornful wonder
we see her sore oppressed,
by schisms rent asunder,
by heresies distressed,
yet saints their watch are keeping;
their cry goes up, "How long?"
And soon the night of weeping
shall be the morn of song.

4. Mid toil and tribulation,
and tumult of her war,
she waits the consummation
of peace forevermore;
till, with the vision glorious,
her longing eyes are blest,
and the great church victorious
shall be the church at rest.

5. Yet she on earth hath union
with God the Three in One,
and mystic sweet communion
with those whose rest is won.
O happy ones and holy!
Lord, give us grace that we
like them, the meek and lowly,
on high may dwell with thee.

THIS IS MY PRAYER!
Loving Father, Glorious God! From time to time we need to be reminded and restored. Help us to fix our eyes, not on what is seen, but what is not seen. Help us to fix our eyes and hearts and minds on Jesus. Remind us that our troubles here on earth are temporary. Enable us not to give up but to seek You and Your help. Help us not to become discouraged and disappointed with life. Show us how to deal with life by turning to You for guidance and instruction. Thank You for continuing to watch over us as we strive to live and bring You praise and glory. These things we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen!

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!
PS: I’ll be back on Oct 22nd! See You Then! Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 10/21/2012 9:22PM

    Thank you Vic for this lesson. I have been struggling to believe that He will come through for me. I know my problem is doubt at times when I don't see anything happening. Waiting is hard to do.

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IAM_HIS2 10/19/2012 8:21AM

    Thank you for this powerful blog...you certainly said what is so needed. I am thankful for your blog of truth and wisdom. Thank you for being willing to follow God's will. God bless you.

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ANHELIC 10/13/2012 10:20PM

    Thank you Vic for another awesome lesson. We really need to stay close to God and walk his way. People around us can see Jesus in us rather than us just talking about it and living the opposit. The love of God will shine through us.
Thank you for sharing Vic and may you and your wife have a wonderful holiday and be save and in God's care. Come back to us. We will miss you. God bless you both. emoticon

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SAINTBETH 10/13/2012 11:37AM

    American needs to get back to God. We could start by not celebrating pagan holidays like Halloween. blessings, beth

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DIANER2014 10/13/2012 9:13AM

    Thanks Vic! emoticon

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JUDYAMK 10/13/2012 8:43AM

    I always tell Mom there is nothing left but prayer when we are struggling, giving thanks even in hard times,praising Him for all he has given us. & the most important is keeping in His Word. When we fail to not look in God's Word we start to stray to the ways of the world. My most beloved brother Bobby that has cancer is always telling us he is in God's hands & to stop worrying about him instead be praising God for all he has given us. I fall short of many things so thank you this morning as I go on my way to work for your Bible message
Judy

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BIGDOG18 10/13/2012 6:57AM

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 10/12/2012

Friday, October 12, 2012

JOSHUA, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Today’s Hymn, This Is My Prayer, Fri, 10/12/2012

Joshua 7:1-26
SOME THINGS CAN’T BE HIDDEN, Lesson 14a

Israel has just been involved in a great military conquest. They witnessed the amazing defeat of the city of Jericho. They marched around a city thirteen times over six days, they shouted, they blew their trumpets, and the city walls fell flat. They conquered Jericho without firing a shot! They are still basking in the glow of that great event. They are sure that they are unbeatable. They are certain that every obstacle in their path will be moved out of their way.

Verse 1, however, reveals the truth that God is upset with Israel. Israel thought that everything was all right. They thought that they were standing on the edge of a great string of victories that would see them conquering the entire land of promise. The word “but” in verse 1 signals a change of fortunes for Israel. Up until now they had been blessed and used greatly of the Lord, but now things have changed! They thought they were unstoppable, but what they did not know was that there was a serious problem in their midst. There was one man among them who was causing a problem for the entire family of God.

The same scenario is still possible today. We are all members of one body,( 1 Cor. 12:27). We all know that when one member of the body has problems, the entire body suffers with it.

The same thing is true in the body of Christ, (1 Cor. 12:26). Your spiritual temperature has a profound effect on the entire body of Christ. You are not an island unto yourself. What you do affects the entire church body. We will see this truth illustrated in this passage today.

My desire in teaching this message is that we would examine our hearts and our lives. If there is anything in any of us that we think we have hidden away; anything that we think is covered, I want us to get that issue settled with the Lord today. We can and this passage tells us how.

The fact is, there are some things you just can’t hide. If you eat raw onions or garlic, others will know about it. If you stop bathing or using deodorant, you won’t hide that for long. If you eat Cheetos, your orange fingertips will give you away. If you try to hide sin in your life, your secret will eventually get out, because your sin will affect you and all those around you. ( Num. 32:23b), “...and be sure your sin will find you out.” ( Psa. 90:8), “Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.”

We might not want to admit it, but we all know that sin causes problems. It causes problems for the one sinning and it causes problems for everyone around them. It’s like throwing a pebble into a pond. ( Song 2:15).

Most of us are just like Achan from time to time. We allow sin into our lives; we try to hide those sins; and we try to cover them up. When we do, we bring pain and trouble into our lives. These verses teach us that “Some Things Can’t Be Hidden”. Notice with me the truths revealed in these verses.

v. 2-5 ISRAEL ENDURED A TERRIBLE SLAUGHTER

v. 2-3 Israel Was A Determined People –Israel was still basking in their victory at Jericho when they looked toward Ai. They were certain that a little town like Ai would be no problem for such a great army. Israel was a confident people, but a closer look reveals that their confidence was misplaced. In verse 3, they believe that just a few soldiers are needed to secure a victory in little Ai. Israel was guilty of resting in their past successes.

Israel did not realize it, but they were living through one of the most dangerous times of life. The time just after a great spiritual victory is a dangerous time. Often, like Israel, we will be overconfident and believe that we can handle any battle that comes our way, (Pro. 16:18). When we believe like that, we are about to suffer our greatest defeat.
Confidence is a good thing as long as one’s confidence is in the right place. When we are walking with our hope and our confidence in the Lord, we will be victorious; but when our confidence is in our ability and in the power of our flesh, then we are destined to fail, (1 Cor. 10:12)!

v. 3-5a Israel Was A Defeated People – When Israel went up to Ai they suffered a terrible defeat and 36 of their number were killed. This must have been devastating to the Israelites.

The ramifications of this defeat. Because there was sin in the camp, thirty-six men
died. Thirty-six sets of children lost their fathers. Thirty-six mothers lost their sons. Thirty-six wives became widows. It was a very high price to pay for sin.

When we take the time to look more closely at their actions, it is easy to see that they made several mistakes.

1. Nowhere in this passage does it even hint that Joshua and the people of Israel sought the will of God for dealing with Ai. They didn’t even pray about the matter. If they had, God would have revealed the problem before people died.
How many times are we guilty of jumping ahead of the Lord and His will? We will rush headlong into life and expect the Lord to bail us out of the messes we make. It is far better to consult God before we make the mistake than it is to expect Him to clean up the mess afterwards.

2. They didn’t take the Ark of the Covenant into the battle. The Ark symbolized the presence and power of God. They went into the battle in their own strength, without the power of God, and they failed!

Here is an area where we could all use help. We try to live the Christian life, fight the flesh and the devil in our own power and we fail time after time. What’s the reason? We do not take the time to strengthen our walk with God!

When we are walking with the Lord and in His Word as we should be, we can be confident in the battles of life and face our enemies in the strength of God. We fall when we fail to utilize the whole armor of God,( Eph. 6:10-18).

Who killed the giant, David or God? David himself answers that question in (1 Sam. 17:47).

3. Israel had their confidence in their own power and not in the Lord. They were not walking by faith, but they were guilty of trusting what they could do.

How many times have we suffered defeat because we believed we could take care of matters ourselves. We can’t do the job! We all need the Lord if we would enjoy spiritual victory in our lives,( Phil. 4:13; John 15:5).

4. Israel was not willing to put everything they had into the job they were called to do. In verse 3, the spies who went to Ai returned and said, “...make not all the people to labour thither...” The city of Ai was located at about 1,700 feet above sea level. Their camp in Gilgal was located at about 800 feet below sea level. It would have been a climb of some 2,500 feet. It would have been a very tiring climb. The people of Israel could not see the point in all the fighting men having to work so hard. They did not see the task at hand as being worth the effort it would require!

When we start looking for ways to get out of our responsibilities before the Lord, we are headed for trouble. He is worth every ounce of our effort. ( Gal. 6:9).

v. 5b Israel Was A Distressed People – After their terrible defeat at the hands of Ai, the people of Israel are feeling the same fear their enemies experienced,( Josh. 2:9; 5:1; 6:1). This is one of the major problems with sin. It defeats you and leaves you feeling broken, used and confused. Nothing is right in the life of a believer while there is sin in his heart!

Have you ever had a time like this in your spiritual life? I have and most of the time, they result from allowing other things to displace God in my life.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Til The Storm Passes By” By Mosie Lester (1958)

In the dark of the midnight have I oft hid my face, While the storm howls above me, and there's no hiding place.'Mid the crash of the thunder, Precious Lord, hear my cry, Keep me safe till the storm passes by.
Chorus
Till the storm passes over, till the thunder sounds no more, Till the clouds roll forever from the sky; Hold me fast, let me stand in the hollow of Thy hand, Keep me safe till the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispered, "There is no need to try, For there's no end of sorrow, there's no hope by and by" But I know Thou art with me, and tomorrow I'll rise Where the storms never darken the skies.

Chorus.

When the long night has ended and the storms come no more, Let me stand in Thy presence on the bright peaceful shore; In that land where the tempest, never comes, Lord, may I Dwell with Thee when the storm passes by.

Chorus
THIS IS MY PRAYER!

Heavenly Father, Most Holy God! Sometimes we have a fear so strong in us, that it terrifies and paralyzes us. That is what sin can do to us. It is at times like this that we need Your love, for Love drives out all fears. It is in times like this that we need to trust in You to not only remove our fear and fill us with Your Love, but also to remove the obstacle that is causing it and bless us with Your strength. Help us to walk in faith with Jesus every day and enable us to keep our eyes and hearts on Jesus. This we pray and ask in His Wonderful name. Amen!

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

PS: My wife and I are going on vacation to the OZARK and we will be gone Oct 14 thru Oct 21. We will continue our lessons on Oct 22. Thank You All for your love and support! God Bless each of You. Vic.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

POETLKNG2LOSE 10/21/2012 9:30PM

    Thanks Vic for this lesson. I had a lot of trouble with fear before God delivered me from it. You are right it can paralyze us.

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FERGSGIRL2 10/12/2012 1:38PM

    Thought provoking and eye opening lesson, thank you.
Enjoy your vacation and God bless you with safety, fun and restoration!

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KIMPY225 10/12/2012 12:52PM

    emoticon

Have a great weekend!
emoticon emoticon

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NADINEL 10/12/2012 9:54AM

    Thank you for this lesson, Vic.
Have a wonderful, safe time with your wife on your vacation.

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ANHELIC 10/12/2012 8:36AM

    Thank you vic for another great lesson, hymn and prayer. Yes, we must rely on God's will and help before any challenge. Alone, like the Israelites, we will be defeated. I am grateful that God is with us and here to listen to our plea for help. I have learned in the past without God we do not have peace. Thank you for sharing.
Wishing you and your wife a happy and safe vacation. You will be my prayers for a safe return home. God bless you both. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/12/2012 8:36:55 AM

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TONYVAND1 10/12/2012 8:02AM

  Thanks , How true that what we do does not only effect ourselves but the entire body of Christ. Great study

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SANDRALEET 10/12/2012 7:49AM

    We are to proud of our self's We think we can fores our view unto others can lie be selfish self righteous love money power at any cast and wonder why things are mot working out We do not read and do God open our eyes and help us.

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LINDAMARIEZ1 10/12/2012 7:25AM

    Have a fun time Vic! Be safe!

linda emoticon

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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!

SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!

  
  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

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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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