“The Lord said to Joshua, ‘I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors’” (Joshua 6:2).
Let me set the scene. The Israelites stood outside the strong and fortified city of Jericho. Jericho was protected by two walls running parallel, each of which stood about fifteen feet apart .
Jericho was no illusion. There it stood, fortressed, barricaded, impenetrable. To physical sight, taking Jericho appeared to be, at best difficult, and possibly hopeless. Imagine you stood that day looking at the city that had to be conquered before you could fully possess the Promised Land. It was cities like Jericho that had convinced ten of the twelve spies that had scouted the land that Israel could not take the Promised Land (Num. 13:28). Fear activated by the sight of such an intimidating obstacle had already stolen forty years. Everything your eye can see tells you that this is a lost cause.
When God spoke to Joshua and called him to battle, notice the tense of the verb. “I have given you Jericho.” Done deal. Finished work. Just waiting for the people’s faith-fueled obedience to bring that completed promise into their experience.
The writer of Hebrews tells the story in a few well-chosen words: “It was by faith that the people of Israel marched around Jericho for seven days, and the walls came crashing down” (Hebrews 11:30). “ When the people obeyed the Lord’s command—“marched around Jericho for seven days”—the walls fell.
When the promise of God comes into contact with our faith-fueled obedience, a combustible explosion of power results on the earth. Walls fall. Obstacles disappear. Enemies flee.
You may be looking at a Jericho today. There may be something in your life that looks too big for you. Your enemy might be pointing out all the reasons why your obstacle will win the day. Remember this: when God calls you to battle, He has already won the victory. The only way your Jericho will stand is if you believe your perceptions instead of God’s Word and slink away, leaving your victory unclaimed.
Father, teach me to walk by faith and not by sight. I believe You, not my own perceptions and interpretations. I receive Your victory.
“How shall I feel at the judgement, if multitudes of missed opportunities pass before me in full review, and all my excuses prove to be disguises of my cowardice and pride? “ (William Edwin Sangster)