I went through a season in my life where I was praying about a certain situation, but nothing seemed to change. It was as if my prayers were hitting a glass ceiling and not reaching heaven. I knew God had plans for my life, but I felt like they weren’t happening quick enough and were unattainable. I felt like I was up against a wall. I became discouraged, complacent, and started to grumble and complain. My attitude became, “What’s the point of praying and believing? Nothing’s changing.” Everything within me felt dry and numb. I became content to stay right where I was in my pity party until one day, God instructed me to go reread Joshua and the Battle of Jericho.
The Israelites were a difficult bunch who were known to grumble and complain about food, safety, water, and even questioned Moses’ leadership skills. Let’s not forget their rebellion against God, which landed them wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. After the death of Moses, Joshua is appointed leader, and was given the daunting task of getting these wandering nomads across the Jordan in preparation to possess the city of Jericho.
The children of Israel had finally resolved to do whatever it took to reach the Promise Land and crossed Jordan. From their camp in Gilgal, they could see Jericho, the greatest obstacle standing between them and the Promise Land. The city of Jericho was surrounded by 3 different walls with the highest wall being 46 feet higher than the baseline, giving the city an identity of being impenetrable. Joshua and the Israelites had a decision to make: go in and take the fortified city or continue staring at Jericho wondering what the Promise Land would be like. Ultimately, Joshua and the Israelites decided to obey God’s marching orders and they conquered Jericho.
The conquest of Jericho is a perfect example of how to overcome obstacles and challenges that separate us from the promises of God. Through rereading the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho I was able to find some encouragement for the wilderness I was in. Like the children of Israel, I was tired of doing things my way ending up with the same results. I decided I wanted God and His promises more than I wanted my way and timing. I learned some things from the battle plan God put into place which led to the victory over Jericho. I don’t know what Jericho you’re currently facing, but here are 5 ways to overcome obstacles that would keep you from the promises of God.
Five ways to conquer your Jericho
- Trust that God keeps His promises.
It is in times when we are facing impossible situations that God is able to reveal His faithfulness to us. Joshua had witnessed, first-hand, the many blessings of God. He walked across the Red Sea while the Egyptian army was in pursuit of his people. He witnessed God’s perseveration of the Israelites for 40 years in the wilderness providing water, quail, and manna from heaven. He followed a pillar of clouds during the day and of fire through the night. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves about what God has done for us in the past and believe He can do it again for our present circumstance.
Numbers 23:19b says, “Has He ever spoken and failed to act? Has He ever promised and not carried it through?” Joshua placed his trust in God and with expectation believed God would deliver into their hands the city of Jericho just like He promised (Joshua 6:2). If we flip forward to Joshua 21:45 it says, “Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.” When you know who is on your side victory is always eminent. Take Him at his word, my God is FAITHFUL!!
- Obey God’s instructions.
God could have easily spoken the word and the walls would have collapsed, but He chose a different way. God gave Joshua specific instructions on how to conquer Jericho. The Israelites’ men of war were to “march around the city once for six days and on the seventh day seven times while seven priests blew rams horns before the ark of the covenant” (Joshua 6:2-4). For the Israelites marching around the walls was an unconventional way of handling business. No doubt as they circled Jericho they wondered how marching and blowing rams horns was going to take care of those massive walls. Yet, they heeded the words of God’s servant, Joshua, and followed them precisely.
When we choose to obey God, and do what He says, even when we don’t understand, we take the limits off of God. The Lord says in Isaiah 55:8, “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts…And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.”
The Israelites wandered the wilderness for 40 years because they failed to obey His commands. Despite being delivered from the Egyptians and witnessing the power of their God, they chose to revert back to their old ways. Sound familiar? When they finally decided to take God at His word and obey his commands their obedience led to an epic victory and the defeat of Jericho.
- Keep marching and believing.
It’s easy to grow weary when you feel like your prayers are not being heard, and you’re circling your Jericho but nothing is happening. It’s when we come to the end of ourselves and our resources that we find out who God truly is.
What if the Israelites stopped on lap six? They would have forfeited their first victory in the Promise Land. The greatest tragedy would be for you to stop short of your victory happening. The Israelites marching orders were out of the ordinary and lasted seven days. Your marching orders may look different than the person next to you and last longer. I urge to keep marching, keep believing, keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. Your victory is right around the corner!
- Shout until the walls come down.
“When the people heard the sound of the rams’ horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed” Joshua 6:20. The key to Jericho collapsing was the loud shout of worship. Praise and worship was their spiritual weapon that brought down the natural wall they were facing. The same goes for any wall, obstacle, or stronghold we may be up against. Our praise and worship unlock doors, tears down strongholds, and gives us breakthroughs. “Victory is a shout away!”
- Pursue and possess your promise.
God told Joshua that Jericho was already given to them but they needed to go and possess it (Joshua 6:2 & 5b). Victory was guaranteed, but it was not automatic. Once the walls collapsed the men of war charged the city. God did his part but they had to do their part for the plan to be complete. This was faith being put into action. God has all kinds of promises available to us but we have to do our part and claim and appropriate them.
The Jericho you’re facing may look impenetrable, but the God of the impossible is ABLE to do exceedingly abundantly above all the we can ask or think. Stand on His word, obey His instructions, keep marching, praise Him through it all, and watch the walls come down and the promises of God unfold in your life.