Devotional—The Struggle of Sanctification—The Walls of Jericho
In Joshua chapter 6, God gives Joshua the leader of the Nation of Israel specific instructions on overtaking Jericho. “Now the gates of Jericho were tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go out or in” (Joshua 6:1). Although the people feared Israel, they placed their confidence in a fortress of high walls surrounding the city.
“But the Lord said to Joshua, “I have given you Jericho, its king, and all its strong warriors.” (Joshua 6:2)
It was Joshua’s faith and strict obedience to God that brought Israel victory over a people who felt they were unstoppable because of their wall. God did not give Joshua the details of how they would get beyond the wall to defeat their enemies. He gave marching orders! Nor was there any hesitation from Joshua, the priests, and the soldiers in following God’s command to march around the city one time on six consecutive days. On the dawn of the seventh day, marching seven times, blowing trumpets, and shouting a great shout [verse 20] is when our Warrior God caused “the wall to fall down flat.”
Like the Israelites, we will be given the fiery trial that places us in front of an impenetrable spiritual wall. Either we choose God and obey His specific instructions or like Achan who disobeyed by taking a garment, silver pieces, and gold [Joshua 8:21], we make sinful decisions by giving into our desires. Joshua chapter 8 describes the punishment for Achan taking spoils from the war and burying them in His tent. Though we may view the destruction of Achan and his family as harsh, disobedience is a heinous act and willful rebellion against God.
Many believers who love God cannot fully surrender because of one obstacle. Acts of disobedience–the unequally yoked relationship, secret worldly habits, never witnessing to others, and not giving tithe and offerings hinder them from fulfilling God’s plan and purpose for their lives. Sadly, these Christians rationalize their failure to obey by counting their works, Bible study, praying, attending church, and occasionally helping others as pleasing to God.
Yet, God extends His love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness. The Holy Spirit gives us warnings when we are outside of the will of God. The Righteous Red Flags alert us of our sinful condition. We cannot judge ourselves. Fulfilling the desires of our carnal nature always result in compromise and disobedience. As time passes, we become desensitized to the sin of disobeying God. When we can habitually sin and not feel remorse, we lose the anointing of the Holy Spirit in our lives and God turns us over to a reprobate mind.
Obedience to God is a decision that reveals our love, humility, and reverence for the Omnipotent Creator. Not only does God cause our walls of tribulations to fall, but He has promised to guide us every day on the Path of Righteousness. The reward of eternal life is only for the faithful. Pray daily to follow the will of God. Surrendering to God will always lead us to victorious outcomes.
Prayer: God, we ask You to search our hearts and reveal any obstacles that prevent us from being obedient. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.