Today’s Scripture:  “2 And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valor.3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him.”  Joshua 6:2-5

Introduction:

We are bringing this series to a close this week, but that doesn’t mean that our desire to live a surrendered life ought to stop when this series is over.  If anything, I hope this series has helped us to determine that we’re going to be diligent and endeavor to seek the Lord to help us to see and surrender areas of our lives that have yet to be fully surrendered to Him.

As  former United States Marine I finally found a scripture in the Bible that talks specifically about the United States Marine Corps and that’s found here in Joshua 6:2 when he writes about “mighty men of valor”…and that reminds me of something that one of our Marine Corps icons once said.  “Uncommon valor is a common virtue.” That was spoken by the great Chesty Puller.  There’s my shout out to the United States Marine Corps.

Anyways…I’m excited to be winding down this series.  I believe it’s been a good series for us to get into and good for us to think about…and hopefully work to apply to our lives.  So…let’s get into today’s message and see what the Holy Ghost is going to say to us today.

Today’s Message:

What amazes me about the story of the Fall of Jericho is that it just fell one day. Plain and simple. After the first day of marching, the Bible doesn’t say there were any noticeable cracks in the walls or shifts in the foundation. In fact, it’s highly likely that the people who resided inside those walls didn’t feel any different.

Yet, the Israelites marched.

When you receive that Rhema Word from God, you believe it by faith, and then you act upon it…then you too can bring down the walls of Jericho in your life too.  The problem with the Body of Christ is that they may receive, and believe in that Rhema Word from God, but in today’s microwave society if God doesn’t instantly do something…we decide that maybe it really wasn’t Rhema Word after all, and furthermore that since God didn’t answer or operate on our time frame…He’s not going to.  We even say spiritual stuff like “it must not have been the right timing”.  No…friend…it was the right timing, but you grew weary in waiting upon the Lord…and therefore your impatience caused you to lose out on what God had planned for you.

Can you imagine what would’ve happened if these guys would’ve been like us?  Shoot…if we’re seriously honest we would admit that most of us wouldn’t have even lasted twelve hours into the march as we’d have thought that because twelve hours had passed that God wasn’t really ready to move on our behalf…and probably somewhere in the middle of that we’d start thinking that maybe we didn’t really receive a Word from God…we just made it up.

Friends…the march around Jericho lasted for seven days.  Like I just said we’d be lucky and super spiritual if we had a word like this from God and lasted seven hours…but like Mrs. Beall writes…day one came and went…nothing happened…but they knew they had that Rhema Word from God…and they marched.

The residents of Jericho probably thought that the Israelites looked ridiculous. I imagine there might have even been some “nanny, nanny boo-boo, stick your head in doo-doo” sayings thrown out.

Yet, they marched.

This is where a lot of us give up.  When the people around us see us believing God for something, and they know we’re believing God for something…but what we’re believing God for hasn’t happened to this point.  So…the people around us begin to say things like:  “Why don’t you just give up on this waiting on God stuff…it doesn’t work.”  After a while they see us still believing God for what He spoke to us, and no one as of yet has seen the results of what it is we’re believing God for…they start to get a little louder…and suddenly instead of trying to discourage us they begin to ridicule us…make fun of us…and again I have to wonder what would happen if God told us to march around something for seven days today…most of us may even make it for a while…but I venture to say that many of us would again grow weary…start listening to the people around us, and before you know it…we’ve talked ourselves into quitting…and we again lose out on what God spoke to us that we’d have.  Not the Israelites though…they kept on marching.

I figure quite a number of them wondered if Joshua was a lunatic. Wondering how in the world marching could make some walls fall down had to be a lingering question in their minds.

Yet, they marched.

As the people around you start talking to you about how ridiculous you look waiting on God that long for Him to do what He said He would do…the devil begins to chime in with them doesn’t he.  So…not only are you growing weary in the “seed-time-and-harvest test”, you’ve started listening to ungodly (and sometimes even godly counsel) tell you that this thing that you’re believing God for isn’t going to come to pass…after all there isn’t even a crack in the foundation yet, and then the devil starts talking to you as well.

He says stuff like:  “Are you sure you heard this from God?”  “Maybe you really made this up on your own.” or “Don’t you think if this was really from God you’d have what you’re believing Him for by now?”  Many of us by now…would’ve stopped marching…but the Israelites knew they had a Word from God…and they took it by faith into the very depths of their souls…and they kept on marching around those walls…knowing that nothing was happening yet.

I bet some of you have been marching for a while. Those seven days seem to feel like seventy years to you. Your legs are numb yet they keep moving. Your neck and shoulders are carrying more weight than they were intended to carry but you press on.

Anyone ever grow weary in waiting upon God…or am I the only one?  Yes…friends…I’m again no different from anyone else.  The things I’ve already written about as far as having people ridicule me for believing God for something for so long that they start making fun of you, and even trying to discourage you.  Hearing the devil ask you questions about whether or not what you’re believing God for was really a word from God or something you just thought up in your own imagination.  I didn’t write that because I’ve no idea what it’s like to be in that position…and can I be real enough with you to say that I still grow weary in waiting on God still.

Listen…if I’m to be real, genuine, and authentic…then I can’t be super spiritual and sit here and write in this message that I would’ve lasted the entire seven days.  There is an age-old principle that works no matter if you’re a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven or not.  That principle is seed…time…harvest.  I’ve talked about this principle before, and it’s worth repeating here.

Farmers don’t go out at the beginning of spring planting their crops expecting to reap a harvest over night do they?  No.  They till the fields to clean off all the garbage from winter.  They plant the seeds.  Then the seeds need time to cultivate, they need to be watered, some of them need to be pollinated, they need sunlight, and they need time to grow and mature into fruit producing plants.  Farmers understand the principle of seed, time, and harvest because they know that the seeds they plant probably won’t be ready to be harvested until maybe August or September depending upon rain, sun, and other conditions needed.

So…I would be a hypocrite and a liar if I tried to tell you that I always stand firm through times of seed, time, and harvest when it comes to things from God.  I’d be a liar if I said that I am always good at waiting upon God…even when it appears as though absolutely nothing is happening.  No…friends…the truth is I’m just like every one else.  Some times I am successful in waiting upon God…and some times (even now) I fail miserably.

Listen…just because I do this doesn’t mean that I do everything God wants me to do exactly right.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t make mistakes, that I don’t miss God, and that frankly it also doesn’t mean that I’m some how on a greater level than you.  I may be called to be a pastor…and I may be embracing the ministry that God’s called me into…but that doesn’t some how put me on a pedestal or mean I’ve reached some great plateau…the only thing it means is that I know there’s a God-given job for me to do…and I’m doing it.

I bet some of you have been marching for a while. Those seven days seem to feel like seventy years to you. Your legs are numb yet they keep moving. Your neck and shoulders are carrying more weight than they were intended to carry but you press on.

I have most definitely been in these shoes.  I know exactly the feeling that’s described here, and I can be honest and real enough with you all to admit that I have come up short in waiting upon God some times…and I believe that one of the things He’s going to show me is all the times I missed Him…and how different things could’ve been had I not grown weary in due season.

You and I were placed on this earth to bring our Heavenly Daddy glory. And lots of it. Your tumultuous circumstance may be the very catalyst that helps someone see Jesus. I really only have one thing left to say to you.

March on. And one day, your walls will fall, too.

I wonder what it was like to be there with them as the walls of Jericho came crashing down at the end of that seventh day?  I can imagine the faith that sprung up in the hearts of all that were there.  They endured the test of seed, time, and harvest.  They endured ridicule and all the lies that satan could throw at them.  They marched no matter what…because they marched on that Rhema Word they had from God.

You know…every time I find myself in a place like this my first thought is to give praise and glory to God for bringing to pass what He spoke into my life…but shortly there after is the thought of what it would be like if I would trust God in everything the way I did the times that I know He’s done exactly what He said He’d do…even if it didn’t happen over night.

Friends…if what we’re believing God for is too big for us to get on our own…then what we’re believing God for is too small.  Yes…He wants to help us with the little things just as much as the greater things, but in general…as was preached to us this past Sunday…we put unnecessary limits upon God…and a lot of it has to do with believing small.

We serve a big God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above ALL that we could ever think, imagine, or ask.  He is far greater than any dream that we can come up with.  If He can bring down the walls of a city for the Israelites…He can do the same for your life…but the key is when you and I get that Word from God…we need to wait upon Him.

In closing, I’ll leave us with one of the greatest passages of scripture ever recorded about waiting on God.  It’s one I’m sure we’ve heard many times, and probably seen on many screensavers…but one that I believe fits in with what we’re talking about today.

28  Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.29  He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. 30  Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;31  But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. Isaiah 40:28-31 (Amplified Version)

Points for Pondering:

  • Have you grown weary in an area of your life?
  • Do you feel like you have stayed the course and nothing has changed?

Be A Doer Not Just A Reader:

  • I know how hard it can be to wonder if God even sees how faithful you are. When these moments rise up within you, speak Galatians 6:9 over yourself.
  • “And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” Galatians 6:9 (AMP)

Conclusion:

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.  Galatians 6:9 (AMP)

28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not faint or grow weary; there is no searching of His understanding.29 He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and [selected] young men shall feebly stumble and fall exhausted;31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired. Isaiah 40:28-31 (Amplified Version)

Waiting upon the Lord can some times become one of the most difficult…yet most rewarding times in our lives.  It may produce hardships, persecution, and times where the enemy can attack us the most.  I’ve been there, I’ve gone through it, and some times I have failed as well.  However, if we can hang in there like the Israelites did…there will be a whole lot of shouting once the walls come down.  We can do it friends…whenever we’re in the midst of marching around our own walls of Jericho…we need to remember the Word of God speaks to that too…and that He will come through…if we trust and obey Him.

I love what God says here through His prophet Isaiah:  “Have you not known?  Have you not heard?  The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow faint or grown weary; there is no searching of His understanding.”  If you’re feeling down, weary or faint…try speaking Galatians 6:9 or Isaiah 40:28-31 to yourself…I know the next time I find myself believing God for something…and I find myself growing weary or faint…I am going to do this myself…and see just how much different things can be…Amen!?!

Who’s with me?  Who’s going to join me in using the Word of God to encourage ourselves in the times where we feel like nothing is happening?  Who is going to become a mighty man or woman of valor with me?

Prayer:

Father, I pray for those who may be in the midst of marching around their walls of Jericho today.  I especially pray for those who may be growing weary, and wondering if You’re really going do to what You spoke to their hearts that You would do.  I pray that You would renew our strength, and that You would remind us that You’re in control.  For those of us who have maybe grown weary I ask that You would give us a reminder of what You spoke to us…and help us to hear Your voice.  In Jesus’ name…Amen & Amen