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Monday, February 2, 2015

All Fall Down



Jericho. Strong and impenetrable, they blocked the Israelites. Just beyond lay the Promised Land, but first Jericho had to be taken. 

The mighty Israelite warriors were geared up to take it. Joshua, their leader stood before them to give the battle commands. But they were strange commands. 

Once everyday for six days they would march around the city with the Ark of the Covenant leading them. On the seventh day, they would march seven times. They had to keep silent the whole time-no charging the city, no shouting, just silently marching. 

Even though it made no sense, they obeyed and circled the city as commanded. On that last march around the city, they shouted and the immense walls fell flat. God had delivered Jericho into their hands. What looked impossible became possible due to their obedience and trust in the Great I Am. 

My personal Jericho was my prodigal husband. My heart was crushed, it was a hard thing to accept. 

The walls of my Jericho seemed impenetrable, unmovable. They loomed over my life casting a shadow over me. I struggled and resisted, rushing the walls with my sword, cursing them! I wanted the walls to collapse now! That struggle went on, in vain for years. 

In the end I slumped against the wall, battered and bruised. My sword was broken off at the hilt; my knuckles were bloodied. Emotionally spent, I crumpled to the ground, tears of frustration filling my eyes. 

Why won’t the walls collapse? I wondered. I’ve done everything possible to make it happen. Now my strength is spent and all I’ve accomplished is to make a mess of things. In my despair I cried out to the Lord and I felt His presence near. 

I felt a gentle touch on my arm, and looking up, I saw Jesus standing there. I looked away ashamed, knowing I’d botched up everything. He had to be disappointed in my pitiful efforts. 

He spoke kind and comforting words that fed my faith, “My daughter, you have exhausted yourself needlessly. Are you ready to do it My way now? You cannot bring the walls down in your own strength. It is beyond your capabilities. I spoke the universe into existence; don’t you think that I can do this? All I ask you to do is circle the city with prayer. Be patient and let Me work. Be still and know that I am God. I will deliver this city into your hands in My time and in My way. My presence will go before you.”

I felt strength enter my body. I was overwhelmed from love that radiated from Him. I felt peace deep within. 

The walls were still standing, but they didn’t seem so intimidating anymore. My circumstances had not changed, but I had changed. My focus was on Jesus now, not on the walls. I became determined to see this situation through, but I resolved not to rush ahead of God. 

“I place my husband into Your hands,” I told God, “You take over now. I am so weak I can’t fix this, but You are strong and able. I have confidence in You.” 

I began to bombard the walls with prayer as I circled them. I followed the battle plans God gave me, even when I didn’t understand them. I kept my eyes on the One who leads me. 

At times I still messed up. I’d take my sword and rush the walls, screaming. These incidents happened less frequently as my faith grew stronger. In eleven years I circled the walls many times. At times I felt like giving up, but Jesus always touched me so I could walk on unwavering. He spoke words to feed my faith. 

Then I began to see cracks forming in the walls. This drove me to pray harder. 

One glorious day, on my final lap around the city, the walls crashed down. What seemed impossible was now flattened. I shouted with triumph to my God who promised deliverance. I had learned firsthand that whatever His lips promise, His hand will perform.
My husband’s returning to Jesus was a miracle. It was impossible for me to break down my husband’s spiritual walls, but Jesus could do it. I only had to get out of the way and let Him work. I am overwhelmed at what God had done in our lives. He desired a closer, deeper walk with me. He wanted my devotion, my trust and my heart. When He had that, the walls didn’t matter anymore. 

Do you have a Jericho in your life? Are you failing as you try to bring the walls down? You cannot do this in your effort. Get out of the way and allow Him to do the impossible. Obey, be patient, be still and know that He is the Lord. The walls will collapse, you will see it for yourself.