We move toward our most dominant thoughts. When our thoughts harmonize with God’s Word, His power can work through us. Using mental pictures from God’s Word causes the reality of His promises to lodge deep into our hearts. We must plant the seed of His promise and purposely cultivate it exactly the way a farmer would. This seed will produce a bountiful harvest as we willfully nurture it.
Israel had been defeated for 40 years by the enemy of their own imagination. They were like grasshoppers in their own sight. Their halfhearted service to God had limited them. They lived under a reproach. There was, however, a new generation ready to respond to any direction God might give. They were no longer a nation of wandering vagabonds in the desert, but a people determined to take the land that belonged to them. Their thoughts were finally in harmony with God.
As Joshua considered his course of action and wondered how his untrained men could take such a formidable fortress as Jericho, suddenly he saw before him the Prince of the host of Jehovah. Joshua fell on his face in His mighty presence, and at the direction of the Prince, he removed his shoes from his feet, for he stood on holy ground.
The Prince assured Joshua of victory over Jericho before giving him the detailed plan. “Jericho and its king and all its mighty warriors are already defeated, for I have given them to you” (Joshua 6:2 TLB). Notice how God focused first on the end result. Then He instructed Joshua on how to obtain that victory. They were to go repeatedly around the wall of Jericho, led by the Ark of the Lord.
Many times we confuse this simple but important order of progression. If we have the wrong end results in mind, we will only misunderstand the details. On the other hand, if we do see the end results but never press in to discover the details or the plan, we will remain with only the hope of God’s promise, but not the reality.
Joshua knew that not only was Jericho’s overthrow divinely commissioned, but also that God was empowering the Israelites with His wisdom and strength. Israel looked at a city that appeared to be impenetrable, but Israel had come in the Name of the Lord their God. The great walls of the city could restrain them no longer.
To the last detail, the Israelites followed the instructions they had received. Thirteen times they compassed the city, without speaking. The only sound was the reverberation of the priests’ trumpets made from rams’ horns. The same trumpets were sounded every 50 years to declare the year of Jubilee. Now, they announced the presence of a conquering God and His mighty people.
After the seventh time on the seventh day of marching, the priests blew the trumpets again. This time, the people shouted as loudly as they could. Because they had obeyed God’s plan, the walls of Jericho fell flat at their feet. The city was taken. Israel was vindicated, and they experienced the promise God had made to them.
There may be walls that have restrained us. There may be barriers of wrong thinking that have prevented us from experiencing the goodness God has freely given. But at the shout of God’s Word from our lips, negative thoughts and strife, thoughts of failure, or thoughts of lack will begin to crumble. Jesus has announced our deliverance. The trumpet of Jubilee has sounded. Now let the shout of victory be declared!