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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

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. 2-3 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.

“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.
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.


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.


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!


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


Have a great weekend!
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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!

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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

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.

“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!

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!


  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!!!
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KIMPY225 10/11/2012 2:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SAINTBETH 10/11/2012 11:38AM


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

    emoticon Thank you for sharing!
Jesus is my ROCK!

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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

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


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

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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


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)
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!

“ 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.
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.

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.

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!


  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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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

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”.


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.


“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

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!


  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


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KIMPY225 10/9/2012 10:37AM

    Thank you very much!
Have a lovely Tuesday!
emoticon emoticon

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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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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

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.

“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."
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."

"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."

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!


  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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