Can I make a confession to you?
Sometimes I quit too soon. I’ve quit when what I really needed to do was to just press on and press through. Sometimes I’ve simply gotten tired of trying. Sometimes I just got tired of the struggle. And you know what? I think I’ve missed many a blessing because I got so tired of the battle I just threw in the towel and quit ….
I don’t want to do that any longer. I’m taking my cues from Joshua today. Let’s look at that, shall we?
The battle plan to take the Promised Land was as simple as it was strange. The Lord gave specific instructions to Joshua as to how to breach the gates on Jericho because it was secured where no one could go in or out ..
March around the city of Jericho with all of the armed men. Do this in silence, once a day for six days. Then on the seventh day, walk around seven times with the priests blowing the trumphets. Have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and all the men can go right in (Joshua 6:1-5).
Now, that was a strange plan. God’s infinite ways often don’t make sense in our finite minds. Sometimes you have to be willing to look ridiculous and be radical to live a remarkable life ….
The choices you make when you feel God’s nudge will become the hinges on which your destiny swings. Each individual decision you make, to obey, or to ignore God’s promptings and directives, is a thread that weaves the tapestry of your life ….
Jericho was tightly shut up. Sometimes it can feel that our promises are tightly shut up. That doesn’t mean that we give up. That means that we suit up, step up, armor up, and keep moving forward ….
God said, “See, I have delivered them into your hands.” Notice that verb tense. God did not say, “I will deliever them” He said, He said, “I have delivered them into your hands.” He had already done it, but they had to obey and put their foot down to receive it ..
I love how God speaks in past tense to our present problems. He does that a lot if you pay attention to those little details when you read. For example; God doesn’t say “My grace will be sufficient” — No, He says, “My grace IS sufficient” My power IS made perfect in weakness” ….. You see, it’s already done and already waiting on us before we enter into any struggle! (2 Corinthians 12:9)
But here’s the conundrum: What do you do when what God says doesn’t match up with what you see? When all you see is a big wall standing between your promise and your present situation?
There will be times when you are doing everything you know to do, and you still don’t see any movement …
Remember: the Israelites walked around Jericho for six days, and as far as they could tell, nothing was happening. I’m sure it unnerved the people behind the wall, but as far as the walkers could tell, not one brick fell. I could just imagine myself there, getting tired, frustrated, and thinking to myself: “this is stupid, I look like an idiot” ….
This is where many give up — when they don’t see any progress. The son or daughter is still taking drugs…. The daughter is still living with her boyfriend unmarried…. The husband is still cold and aloof…. The bank account is still barely hovering on in double digits…..
I myself am feeling this. I am consistently, fervently, praying for healing from my PTSD, for restoration with family, for many more victories, yet still walking in struggle and feeling emotional and tired ….
“God, throw me a bone” I cry. “Show me a little something! Let me see just a hint of progress! Can I see one brick fall? And God says, “Keep walking … by faith, not by feelings” …..
Just because you don’t see God working does not mean that He isn’t. Jesus said, “My Father is always at work to this very day” (John 5:17).
The writer of Hebrews notes: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised”
Today, you might be on lap number seven and not even know it. Joshua told them to march around Jericho, but he didn’t tell them how many times they were going to have to do it. He just said to “march forward” and “remain silent.”
Supposed they had stopped on day six saying, “This is ridiculous. I’m not feelin’ it. Not one stone has fallen to the ground. I don’t see any progress. Those folks are probably in there laughing their heads off. I’m going home. I give up” ….
They would have missed the blessing. Truly I wonder how many times I have missed the blessing simply because I just stopped too soon. Perhaps you’ve wondered too:
* How much longer will I have to wait until God brings my prodigal home?
* How much longer will I have to struggle with this unbelieving husband?
* How much longer will I have to endure this dead-end job?
* How much longer will I have to go without a job?
* How many more laps will I have to walk around Jericho before the walls come tumbling down and I can take hold of my Promised Land?
I don’t know the answer to the question of how much longer, but I do know this, tomorrow could be the final lap. Don’t give up too soon. If you’re standing at that wall, don’t throw in the towel quite yet …
Can I tell you something?
Sometimes I get tired too; of writing; of posting messages in hope to encourage someone else, when at times I’m “not feeling it” myself. Sometimes, I just want to pull the covers up over my head and stay in bed, but as I sit down to write regardless of how I feel, I realize that something I say might be just what someone needs to take that last lap around her walled up promise for that day. So I write. And then someone maybe has the courage and sustenance to take one more lap ….
Keep going, my friends. Go back and read the story of Joshua and the fall of the wall of Jericho in (Joshua 5 & 6). I know it ends in a bloody mess. The Sunday school teachers left that part off the story. Don’t get stuck on that. Concentrate on those laps around the wall. Here’s a few things to ponder:
On what day do you think you would have started grumbling? On what day do you think you would have thought Joshua had a crazy plan? On what day would you have wanted to give up?
I hope this gives you hope! Keep going! Just one more day …. One more lap — who knows, it could be your last. So don’t you toss that towel!!!
Let’s pray ~
Father God, how wonderful it is to know that You have provided all that is needed and necessary to live a godly life in Christ Jesus. You grace truly is sufficient to face what struggles we might have to face and supply the strength needed. I thank You that no matter how difficult the circumstances that arise in our lives, nor how lonely the path may be, with Your grace and Your strength I never need walk alone.
I pray that You would provide all that I need to face today and that You would renew my mind and my spirit within me as I walk in Your love and obedience to Your Word today. Strengthen me in every way I pray; emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I thank You Father for Your Word and I rest in Your wonderful promise today that those who wait upon You shall have their strength renewed and will soar on wings as eagles. We shall run and not grow weary, and we shall walk and not faint. I praise You and give You all the honor and glory because You are my strength. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen …..