By Joseph Odongkara
(This was a shout of obedience and a shout of Victory. Spiritually, the ‘shout’ had everything to do with the wall falling down flat, but, physically and materially, it had no effect at all, as would be obvious. The wall falling down flat was strictly a Miracle of God.)” (Joshua 6:5)
The city of Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world, and its fortress, barred Israel’s entrance into the Promised Land. The Lord had brought them through “forty” long years in the wilderness, and now they had crossed over the mighty Jordan, signifying that their wilderness days were behind. What a Miracle that was! God would reach down from Heaven, and with His Mighty Hands, push back the waters of the Jordan, so that all of Israel could walk through on dry ground. What a sight that must have been! With all of Jericho looking on, God would perform a Miracle right before their very eyes. How long it took for God’s People to cross, we don’t know, but we do know that the waters stayed separated as long as was necessary for every last Israelite to walk through from the wilderness side to the Victory side of Jordan. As marvellous as that was, as magnificent as that was, as stupendous as that was, there was still a Jericho wall standing before them. These massive walls that enclosed some seven acres, with a mighty army standing ready, obstructed the People of God from entering into the Promised Land. How many Jericho walls are standing in your way?
TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES
Understandably, Joshua, upon crossing the Jordan and seeing these colossal towering walls looking down upon them, was unsure as to what to do. While walking alone, he gazed up before him, and there standing in front of him was a Man with a sword drawn in His Hand. This Man was a Pre-Incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Joshua’s first response was, “Are you for us or against us?” Joshua did not recognize Him at first. But, the moment that Jesus spoke and told him exactly Who He was, Joshua recognized Him as Lord. Before we can experience the Victories needed in our lives, we must first come to a place of total and complete surrender to Christ. How did Joshua do this? How did he come to a place of total surrender? By obeying what was told to him by the Lord. Jesus declared unto Joshua to remove his shoes at once, for the place that he was standing was Holy. What was the reasoning behind this statement? During the time of our Text, and even before then, it was customary that when a person who owned a piece of land sold that land to a prospective buyer, the owner would remove his shoe, hand it over to the person buying the land, as a gesture stating that he is now relinquishing control of the property, and it no longer belongs to him. By Joshua removing his shoes, shows us that he was, in essence, saying, “I am no longer in control of my life, and I surrender any claims upon my life unto You.” What a statement! Once again, let me state that before we can experience the Victories needed in our lives, we must FIRST come to a place of total and complete surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. This must be done without question. Joshua would have never seen the walls of Jericho come down if he had not surrendered unto Christ. They could have tried in their own ways and power, and total defeat would have been the result. Many are still holding on to themselves, thinking that they know better than the Lord, or they simply refuse to let go, and let the Lord have control of their lives.
I CAN TIE MY OWN SHOES
As an example that I would like to share this. One Sunday, years ago my youngest child, Sam, who was three years old incidentally, could not tie her shoes. That day, I was getting her ready for Church, and it came time to tie her shoes. As I was trying to get the laces ready to be tied, she immediately threw my hands off, and proclaimed that she could tie her shoes herself. I tried to tell her that she did not know how to do that, but she had to do it her way. Finally, I removed my hands from her shoe, and told her that she was more than welcome to try. After a few minutes of her trying to tie her shoelaces, she became so flustered and frustrated, that she began to cry, “I can’t do this! Daddy, help me!” Of course, I immediately tied her shoe, consoled her, and told her that daddy can tie your shoes much quicker if you would just let me help you. It is an event and one day of her life that she recalls to date in her twenties.
That sounds like too many Christians. The Lord wants to help us, He wants to work things out for us, but many times we tell Him that we can do it ourselves. We push Him away, thinking that our ways are much better. In a way, many Christians begin to make plans for their lives without the Leading of the Holy Spirit, and then we tell God to bless those plans, which He cannot do. The Holy Spirit must initiate whatever is done in our lives.
After trying to do it our way, we get so frustrated that the situation is not working out to our liking, so now we finally call upon Him to help us. Not only would it have been much easier to say, “Lord, have Your Way in my life,” it would have spared us the difficult times and the failures. However, we do not come to that place quickly or easily, but all Christians will, sooner or later, have to come to a place of complete surrender to Him. We must keep in mind that all Victories have been won by Jesus Christ and what He did at the Cross, not by us.
We cannot do anything to win these Victories and, in fact, we cannot win these Victories at all. God cannot give Victories to man, for man is sullied by sin and, thereby, disqualified before we ever get out the gate. God can only give the Victory to Jesus Christ, for He was the Ultimate Sacrifice for sin, paying the sin debt in totality, wiping away sin, and removing the guilt of sin, past, present, and future. We can experience these Victories by simply placing our Faith in Christ and what He did at the Cross, which guarantees the help of the Holy Spirit, Who will bring about the Victories that are needed in our lives (Romans 8:2).