Discover Your Personal Battle Plan
An abridged version of this teaching was published in the June/July issue of SpiritLed Woman Magazine. Below you will find the complete teaching.
Before you conquer your Jericho, you must seek God for his war strategy
Since 9-11 we are dealing with the fear that at any moment another city in America, or maybe our city, could have limited nuclear or biological warfare. Do you ever wonder what buses are safe for your children to ride, which malls to shop, which airplanes to take or even if it’s safe to open your mail? It’s essential that we hear God in these perilous times.
In addition to terrorism, there is renewed fear of financial shaking, stock market collapse, unemployment, fuel shortages and the terrible concerns of seeing our sons and daughters on the front lines of a raging war. It is feasible that in the next decade America could move into martial law, one world government, one world religion, and one world financial systems. We might trade our personal and national freedoms for global peace as the fear of evil alliances and the anti-Christ loom in the future.
When another city in America is attacked, and it surely will be, great fear will sweep our nation again. It’s no longer business as usual, we are moving into a season of war. It will be the best of times and the worst of times as we move closer to the end of time. Judgments are coming to the nations as the Lord shakes everything that hinders love for Him. It will be the greatest harvest of souls, accompanied with signs and wonders. It will be the greatest time of catastrophic bloodshed and loss.
Our God is well able to deliver His children who cry out for fresh daily revelation. Let’s look at Joshua who also dealt with giants in the land by pressing into the Lord and gaining fresh strategies. We need to do this for ourselves and our family—for today.
Are You the Moses Generation or the Joshua Generation?
Moses sent men to spy out the Promised Land and they returned with a bad report because of their fear of the giants. Instead of trusting the Lord, their hearts shriveled and they saw themselves as grasshoppers. They had a leftover slave mentality from Egypt and even God’s powerful signs, wonders and provisions weren’t enough for them to trust Him. Their grasshopper mentality resulted in their refusal to go to war and take the land. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, who believed the Lord could defeat the giants, the rest perished in the wilderness, even though the Lord’s plan had always been to bring them in!
Joshua’s Secret? The Secret Place
Joshua became Moses’ successor. He was in charge of taking the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. How was he prepared by the Lord for this mammoth task? He spent 40 years in the secret place—while in the wilderness! When Moses met the Lord in the Tent of Meeting, Joshua would stay around the tent and linger in the Presence–he loved the glory. Exodus 33: 11b says, “Moses’ young aide Joshua…did not leave the tent.” Numbers 27:18 refers to Joshua as one, “…in whom the Spirit dwelt.”
The Lord made covenant with Joshua and told him, “Everywhere you put the sole of your foot; I will give it to you. Be strong and of good courage and do not be afraid. For I am with you all the days of your life. I am going to give you possession of the land,” (Joshua 1:3-4). Then the Lord gave Joshua several instructions, among them was, “determine to earnestly seek God’s presence throughout your life.”
God Whispers Divine War Strategies to His Intimate Friend
Joshua inherited a huge responsibility. His intimacy with the Lord during the wilderness years prepared him to be God’s great leader and receive new, fresh, daily revelation. Let’s examine the specific strategies the Lord gave Joshua to accomplish his mission.
This first strategy was sending two spies into Jericho. These spies also needed to hear God’s voice because they would be executed if they were caught. They ended up hiding in a very unlikely place, but it was a door of deliverance for them. A prostitute named Rahab hid them and saved their lives. She even gave them strategies. At her suggestions they hid in the hills for three days before returning to camp. When these spies returned they brought a good, faith-filled report, “The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands; all the people are melting in fear because of us,” (Joshua 2:24).
The next obstacle to taking the Promised Land was getting everyone across the Jordan River. Unfortunately it was flood season and the river was overflowing its banks. But the Lord said, “Now is the time I want you to go through the Jordan.” I imagine Joshua was thinking, Lord, we’ve waited 40 years, can’t we just wait a little longer ‘till the waters recede?”
The Circumstances are Impossible
In the natural, it was impossible for them to cross, the timing couldn’t have been worse. But, Joshua received specific, divine instruction from the Lord, “have the people purify (or consecrate) themselves because tomorrow I will do great things.” Before we petition God for divine intervention we need to be inwardly clean and have hearts set apart wholly unto Him. True holiness flows from whole-hearted devotion.
Next, God gave Joshua specific details on how they were to cross the Jordan and also how to memorialize the event afterward--Have the priests carry the ark on their shoulders with the others following behind. As the priest’s feet touch the river, the waters will be cut off and gather in a heap. The Children of Israel will walk over on dry land. The priests will remain in the river bed until Joshua appoints 12 men, one from each tribe, to pick up a stone from where the priests are standing. Then built an altar, “so that all the people of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God” (Joshua 4:24).
Holy Covenant to Prepare for Holy War
Intimidated by their supernatural crossing of the Jordan, their enemies became afraid. Joshua 5:1a says, “…their hearts melted and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.” This was the optimum time to rush into battle. But the Lord said to wait.
The next instructions couldn’t have been popular with the men. Joshua must have thought he would be stoned by a mob when he brought the bad news—circumcision. Those born in the wilderness had not been circumcised. In the old covenant circumcision identified a male as a child of Abraham and qualified him for the covenant blessings.
These warriors were prepared to fight and the Lord made them vulnerable and weak. They couldn’t take down Jericho in their own strength, they could barely walk. And, they were convalescing in enemy territory. Why didn’t God have them circumcised before he brought them across the Jordan?
Radical Visitation for Divine Strategies
Next, Joshua received a radical visitation from the Captain of the Host. He said to Joshua, “See I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and fighting men.” Then He gave Joshua divine strategies on how to take down Jericho. Joshua’s first response to this unusual battle plan must have been, “Huh? Did you say trumpets? Don’t you mean spears, knives, arrows, shields and battering rams?”
Picture this--their fearless leader has returned with a heavenly battle strategy that will finally take them into the Promised Land. The anticipation reaches a fevered pitch and Joshua says, “Good news men, the Captain of the Hosts appeared to me.” The men whoop and yell, jabbing the air with their swords and waving their shields. “The bad news is, he gave me the battle plan.” Kicking the sand with his toe, Joshua mumbles to the confused soldiers, “Umh, marching, priests, trumpets, ark, shouting, walls fall down.”
We’ve pretty much become immune to the story of Jericho because it’s so well known, but stop and really see it again. What an incredible story. What a unique strategy. No commander on earth would plan for battle like that. What great faith to go to war when your front line of protection is a group of trumpet playing priests. But you know the happy ending, “…the walls came a tumblin’ down.” Also, Rahab and her whole family were the only ones spared. Who would think a prostitute would be used to protect and guide the spies and then marry into the lineage of Jesus! God’s truth is stranger than fiction!
Strategies for Slaying Giants
Return to your first love with holy jealousy. Spend intimate time alone with Him, (not attending church, not serving, not reading the current Christian bestseller) just the two of you. Cut fluff from your schedule. Lop off any areas of your life that aren’t God given assignments. The Lord wants you to spend long hours waiting in His presence.
Trust Jesus with radical abandon. Identify your daily fears; ask the Lord what the strongholds are and how to bring them down. Next, ask yourself what your perspective is about them? Are you more than a conqueror or a grasshopper trying to hide in the giant’s shadow? Don’t align yourself with the enemy because of fear. God is looking for a people who will not base their trust on circumstances, but rather on his eternal character. In the midst of nations being shaken, testify of the unwavering reality that His mercy endures forever.
Have an ear to hear. Hearing the voice of the lord is no longer just for the elite platform ministers, but rather a survival mechanism for us all. The Lord promises that his sheep will hear his voice and follow after him (John 10:3). Press in to hearing Him with the confidence that God desires to speak words of deliverance to you. Prayer,and worship accelerate our hunger and passion for Him.
Rest. Let Him give you a sound mind. He wants to give you peace in the midst of turbulent times. Did you know rest is a form of spiritual warfare? “For, in quietness and confidence shall be your strength,”(Isaiah 30:15); “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matt. 11:28); “Because you are my help I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me,” (Ps. 63:6-7). Do a study on the word rest.
Intercession. Pray without ceasing. Pray in the Spirit. He wants all of us to go into the war room and get fresh weapons for the new battles we will go up against today. Take comfort that Jesus ever lives to make intercession for you, (Heb. 7:25).
Feed your spirit on the goodness of God. Declare that by grace and faith in the finished work of Jesus you are an overcomer. Declare that God will crush the enemy under your feet. In the midst of circumstances we must stand and say, “The enemy shall be like grasshoppers in my sight! And, I shall have a different spirit, like Joshua and Caleb.” Feed on Psalm 91 and journal
God’s faithfulness in your life.
Ask for the lost. Ask Him how to knock down the walls to bring the glory of the Lamb inside fortified cities. There are Rahabs at your work and school that he wants to pluck from the rubble.
Lay aside differences. Do a personal inventory with our family and friends. Relinquish your rights and love each other as worship unto Him.
Living by Divine Strategies
In times of great weakness when Joshua could only depend on the Lord, the strategies he received were truly unusual and creative. The Lord required prophetic acts that would seem utterly ridiculous to the natural mind. Marching seven times around the city while blowing a horn and believing that the walls would fall? Preposterous! Hiding in a brothel? Scandalous! Our God is incredible, creative; moving with supernatural miracle power in the midst of our obedience and trust in him, even in the midst of what seems simple or ridiculous. But the Lord knew the exact timing and strategy to take down that fortified city.
He is also more than able to guide us like he did Joshua. In this critical season we need to love the Lord intimately, pray, fast and look for the divine strategies. To many of us, our global, local and personal situations look impossible. When our circumstances overwhelm us and when giants roam freely across land the Lord has promised us--bring a good report, the Lord is faithful, “I should by all means go up and take possession, for I shall surely overcome the enemy. The giants are but bread for me.”
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