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

Saturday, October 06, 2012

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

Joshua 5:13-6:21

TEARING DOWN THE WALLS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THIS IS MY PRAYER!

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

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOSTLIME 10/9/2012 7:38AM

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

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CAVEPRINCESS65 10/6/2012 8:18PM

    emoticon Vic
With His Grace!

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ANHELIC 10/6/2012 12:06PM

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

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

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DIANER2014 10/6/2012 10:32AM

    Thank you for your uplifting words! God bless! emoticon

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