Hi! I’m Liberty, Nicki’s 16 year old cousin. Recently I read through the book of Joshua. While re-reading many of the familiar Sunday school stories found in Joshua, God revealed some new things to me. I thought I'd share them.
After wandering in the desert for forty years, the Israelites finally got the command from God to cross into the promise land! Though trekking through the wilderness for forty years couldn’t have been very fun, God was definitely with them the entire journey. He performed miracles for them. He spoke to them. He allowed a strong bond to form between Himself and His people. He gave them food. He taught them to depend on Him for everything.
What a great lesson that is in itself! I’ve never marched across a real dessert. But I have struggled through spiritual deserts from time to time. There are times when, no matter how hard I think I’m trying, I just can’t feel God. I crossed one of these deserts not too long ago. Then my pastor shared something with me. Perhaps God allows us to go through “spiritual deserts” to see what our response is. Will we keep pressing into Him, or will we give up?
Keep seeking the Lord! Although you can’t feel Him now, you will feel Him eventually. He is there, close as ever. He’s still your provider. He’s still your peace. He wants to see how earnestly you will seek Him. He wants that relationship with you.
Ok, let’s move on. The Lord commanded the Israelites to cross the Jordan River. Forty years earlier, they had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. Would God perform another miracle so they could all get across the Jordan? Yes! As soon as they stepped into the water, the river stopped running! They all crossed safely.
Then God commanded Joshua to take the city of Jericho. Jericho was big. Its walls were strong. But God had a plan. He came to Joshua and gave him these directions:
“Look, I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its fighting men. March around the city with your army once a day for six days…On the seventh day march around the city seven times and have the priests blow the trumpets as they march. They will make one long blast on the trumpets. When you hear that sound, have all the people give a loud shout. Then the walls of the city will fall so the people can go straight into the city.” (Joshua 3:2-5)
This is the point where I questioned myself. Deep, down in my heart, would I have beend able to do what God asked? Just imagine that you’re the one leading an entire people group through the wilderness. They’ve been homeless for forty years, and if this fails, they may never enter the land God promised them. Then an angel shows up, tells you to march in circles, blow a trumpet, and yell. What would you think?
What? Could I at least have a fall-back plan? Maybe some directions on how to plan a real attack, or siege, or something?
As I was reading this familiar story, and these questions came into my mind, another thought hit me like a bombshell. I’d already forgotten the miracle of the Jordan River! How crazy does it seem to step into a rushing river and expect it to stand still? But they did! If God could make the river stop flowing and allow them to cross, surely He could deliver Jericho into their hands, even if it meant marching around and shouting.
Fortunately for the Israelites, they didn’t forget what God had done at the Jordan River. After they crossed, and before doing anything else, they set up twelve stones as reminders of the miracle God had done for them.
So how does this apply to our lives? In life, we all face the city of Jericho. Most of us face lots of Jericho cities. They loom up before us, dark and formidable, and we wonder how we’ll ever conquer them. But if we’d only stop to think, we’d remember that just a while back, God helped us conquer the river.
Even though bringing down our own walls of Jericho may seem impossible, we’ve got to remember that God’s been doing the impossible since the beginning of time. And while all we see is the huge, dark wall before us, God is working in other ways all around us.
So no matter how endless the desert before you seems, no matter how violent the river rushes, no matter how high those walls loom up before you, don’t forget what God’s done in the past. Trust Him. Don’t doubt Him. He’ll pull you through.
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