When a Battle Isn't a Battle
|Joshua 6 (NKJV™)|
|1||Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in.|
|2||And the LORD said to Joshua: "See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.|
|3||"You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.|
|4||"And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.|
|5||"It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him."|
|6||Then Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD."|
|7||And he said to the people, "Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the LORD."|
|8||So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the LORD advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them.|
|9||The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets.|
|10||Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, "You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, 'Shout!' Then you shall shout."|
|11||So he had the ark of the LORD circle the city, going around it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp.|
|12||And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD.|
|13||Then seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually and blew with the trumpets. And the armed men went before them. But the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets.|
|14||And the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. So they did six days.|
New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved.
If you want to see God do the impossible, you have to believe He can, then take the steps to make it happen. Those steps may seem scary and crazy at first and people around you may not understand, but God can do things that we can't even dream up. Fight the battle knowing that it’s already won!
Calvary Albuquerque is regularly host to special guest speakers. This series includes messages from many great Bible teachers including; Pancho Juarez, Mike Finizio, Don McClure, Bill Welch and others. These messages can be purchased as CDs from our online store, or by calling 1-800-922-1888.
I'm so glad to be with you guys this morning. Thank you so much for coming. As Pastor Skip mentioned, my wife and I moved two years ago to start a church in Clarksville, Tennessee and many of you guys have been supportive and encouraging and praying for us and we're so thankful for that. It's always a blast to come back to Albuquerque. It feels like a homecoming and I'm so excited to share God's word with you guys today. I would like to say that although I've moved to Tennessee, I have not forgotten the value of green chili, okay. I would also like to throw this out there that so far, I'm shooting four for four, every meal I've had, it's had green chili in it, okay. So I haven't forgotten, all right. Because in Tennessee, they warned me if I'm getting the spicy and it's like sweet tomato paste. That's what it really is. Hey, would you guys join me in prayer?
Lord, we're excited this morning and we believe we're here in this place and we are about to open Your word and our hearts because we believe that You can speak to us right now and You will. And Lord, I pray that this morning would be far beyond just a get-together, a social event or even just some reading or some studying God, but You would do heart surgery on us and that You would open our hearts to what You have to share with us this morning. Give me Your words. My words don't change any hearts, only Yours do. And God I pray that You'd speak through me now. In Your name we pray, Amen.
Well I remember one time, I met a kid for the very first time here at Calvary. I kind of knew who he was. He had never met me. I knew his family. And he ran up to me completely out of breath. And he's panting and he asked me a question I've never been asked before. And he goes, "Kevin, I've got to ask you a question. How many fingers and how many toes do you have?" And I was like, "Oh, I have 10 of each." And he goes, "Okay, thanks. See you later." And he ran off. And I was like, "Man that was weird." So I saw his mom later on that day somewhere at church and I said, "Hey your son asked me today, how many fingers and toes I have. It's so weird." And she laughed. And she said that earlier that week, they have been reading in II Samuel 21 where David killed a giant in battle who had 12 fingers and 12 toes. And he was sure that I had descended from the line of giants. And I was here and he was really relieved to find out that I'm just a normal human being, so that was good for -- on all accounts.
Now, I've had you turn in your Bibles to Joshua Chapter 6 or if you haven't, you should go ahead and turn there. Joshua Chapter 6 is all about a story that I'm sure you're familiar with. And although the Book of Joshua mentioned some giant humans in our story today, we're going to look at a battle that takes place involving some giant walls. Even if you've never read the Book of Joshua, you've probably heard or you're probably somewhat familiar with a battle that took place at a little city called Jericho. In fact, if you grew up in Sunday school or go into church at a young age, you've probably even sang the song. Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and there were hand motions and everything that went with it, but the title that we often refer to it as the battle of Jericho. In my mind, it's so ironic because what we're going to see today is that there are times when a battle isn't really a battle.
A battle is not a battle when God has already determined the outcome. And that's what we're going to see in Joshua Chapter 6 this morning. Because all the way back in the beginning of the book, God had told Joshua, the leader of Israel who had taken over for Moses, he said, "Wherever you step your foot, I'm going to give you that land." Joshua 1:5, he said, "Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. No man will be able to stand against you all of your days. I will never leave you or forsake you." And so the book of Joshua is all about these epic battles, epic defeats and God's people rallying together, united under their leader following the Lord, marching together in victory claiming what God has already rightfully given to them as the victory.
And so we're going to see this morning how oftentimes there are battles in our lives that we think our battles but really, God has already given us that victory. Because we cling to the New Testament promise that if God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31. And so by the time we get to Joshua Chapter 6, the first five chapters have been all about God preparing his people for what's next in the land of Canaan. And by Chapter 6, Israel psyched, Canaan is panicked and Chapter 6 is where it all goes down literally. We're going to see three things this morning about this battle. It's not really a battle.
Here's number one, an unnerving obstacle that Israel is up against. Chapter 6 Verse 1 says this, "Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in." So the Canaanites, they had seen and heard a lot of what Israel had done in the wilderness, how God had brought down these amazing kings and leaders and nations. And they had heard about that, but they did not want to experience it. And so we just read in Verse 1 that Jericho, it says, "Was securely shut up." Now when you think of secure, I don't want you to think of just like a dead bolt and a do not disturb sign, okay. That might secure your hotel room but that's not what was going on here at Jericho. There was a reason that Jericho was known and was famous for, its walls. Let me give you a brief description of these walls. There were two walls surrounding Jericho.
First off, you also need to know that Jericho was built, was founded on a hill. So even without the walls, it would be a bit intimidating to walk up to because it was already towering over those who were below. But then it was also surrounded by some big walls. The first wall was a six-foot thick mud brick wall. So I want you to think of a little sheetrock wall that you could punch through. This thing was six feet thick, solid mud brick, 12 to 15 feet tall. If you were able to get past that, which nobody really could, there would be a 15-foot slant upwards and then a second wall that was twice the size, twelve feet thick mud brick, 20 to 26 feet tall. Obviously, a very unnerving obstacle for anyone to face. In fact, I wonder if 40 years prior when the first band of spies went into Canaan, I wonder if these were some of the walls that they saw and they thought, although God has given us this land, I don't think we can do it. They came back and the spies told the rest of Israel, 10 of the 12 spies gave a bad report. And they said, "The cities are big, they're well-fortified and I don't think we can do this." So they chickened out.
Well 40 years later, they're up against the same enemy. And I think this is a good point for us to take a phrase that we often hear and sometimes often use even as Christians and put it to rest this morning. This is my goal that we would leave not using this phrase any longer. Let me tell you this phrase. It's a phrase that I believe comes from a twisted form of Scripture that maybe you've heard, maybe you've used. Here's the phrase. Are you ready? It goes like this, "God will never give us more than we can handle." You heard the phrase? Okay. I think it comes from I Corinthians 10:13, it's a twisted version of it. Here's what I Corinthians 10:13 says, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you maybe be able to bear it."
Now let's do some biblical, some mental inventory and try to figure out if this is really a biblical phrase, okay? Let's just think back just in Israel's case, about a few things that they've gone through. Let's think back to the book of Exodus, if you've read it or you've been here on Wednesday nights and Pastor Skip taught through it, you know the story. It was a miraculous intervention by the Lord to rescue His people from Egypt. He led them through the wilderness and one of their first stops was the Red Sea. And they found themselves either blocked in or surrounded by the Red Sea and the pursuing Egyptian army. Let me ask you. Was that more than they can handle? Absolutely, it was.
How about later on? God got them out of that. He led them through the wilderness. Years later at the beginning of the book of Joshua, they're standing almost ready to go into Canaan and there's one barrier. It's the flooded Jordan River. We read in the beginning of the book of Joshua that the river was overflowing its banks. Now, I want to make sure we have the proper perspective of a flooding river, because as New Mexicans, you're at a bit of a disadvantage. I didn't come from Tennessee to diss your river but let's just be honest. The Rio Grande isn't exactly the real Grande, right? Because even if it floods, you could probably dog paddle your way across the river in a few strokes and you would be fine. But the flooded Jordan River is a major obstacle. If you want to get 1.5 million people across a river that's overflowing its banks, I would say, "It was much more than they could handle."
How about now, they're standing in front of Jericho, these two huge, mud-brick walls, sizing up the walls. I would say this enemy is more than they can handle, that's just Israel. So maybe what we need to do is take that phrase and reword it, so that it's more biblical. Here's how we could reword it and try to remember this, so you could write it down. A simple way to reword it, instead of God won't give us more than we can handle, let's make this biblical, God will often give us more than we can handle, so that we're forced to turn back to the only one who can handle it. He often leads us to a place where we're forced to turn back to Him.
So maybe this morning, you're standing in front of your own Jericho, your own enemy that seems too big to conquer. It's too scary; it's too hard, it's impossible. I don't know what it is for you, a struggling marriage? A financial issue? A loss of a job, that's very prevalent right now? Oh, an addiction? Let me just make it clear, God didn't cause those things in your life, but He's allowed them and He will allow them so that we will be driven back to our knees in a place reminding ourselves, "God, if You don't step in, I will fail at this." And God often led His people to that place and that's where He often allows us to be as well, because the Bible says that, "We will walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but our shepherd walks right beside us."
Jesus himself said, "In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world." As Christians, we will often face unnerving obstacles and God is all about marching ahead of us, giving us the victory. Life is more than we can handle, so we need to turn it back over to the one who can handle it. That's an unnerving obstacle that they're up against but God often uses a unique strategy to overcome those obstacles and that's the second thing that we're going to see this morning, a unique strategy.
Where I live in Tennessee is within driving distance from an IKEA furniture store. I love IKEA. The cool thing about IKEA is this whole experience. You can drop your kids off; they have child care, go get a cinnamon roll, go explore the store, I mean you can go bankrupt in that store. It's so amazing, all the cool stuff. The cool thing about buying furniture from IKEA is that you bought furniture from IKEA, that's the cool thing. The bad thing is, you're the assembly guy, right? And you open up the box and it's just full of pieces and parts and all that stuff. And if you know anything about me, you know I'm not the most mechanically-minded guy. I can't tell you how many things, bikes and bookshelves I've assembled and then reassembled, because I looked at the picture and realized I was wrong. My four-year-old is like, "Dad, I think the handlebars are on backwards." I'm like, "No they're not. The picture's wrong, just pedal backwards, you'll be fine. Don't worry about it."
The great thing is, though when you buy something that you have to assemble, it comes with all the pieces normally, the screws and sometimes it even include the tools and it comes with the instruction book, with pictures for guys like me. And we pulled that thing out and it has a picture of exactly what we want the end result to look like. You follow all of these steps, here's the systematic order to make sure that you've accomplished this.
One of the many things that I love about serving the Lord is there's no instruction book that He follows. There's no recipe that He goes by, there's no playbook. God is completely unpredictable. You might be going through something very similar to what your -- a friend or a family member is going through, but He might give you victory in a completely different way than He does with them, this is the way that God works. He's not nailed down to a specific way of doing it and it's always an adventure when we follow the Lord.
Here's Joshua in Israel, standing in front of Jericho and I'm sure that there were lots of military strategists who would have their own opinion of how they should take down that city. Like, "Let's build some siege ramps and scale the walls. Or maybe let's surround the city, not let anyone in or out for months, years if that's what it takes and we'll starve them into submission." But God has a different plan, a unique strategy. Look at Verse 2, "And the Lord said to Joshua: See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king and its mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do in six days. And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of ram's horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times and the priests shall blow the trumpets.
It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up, every man straight before him."
Did you catch how Verse 2 is worded? He says, "I have given Jericho into your hand." It's a future event, described as though it's already happening. It's already taking place. As God's people, we fight battles differently than anyone else. We don't fight necessarily for the victory, we fight from the victory. The victory is already been won. We claim that victory, the cross, the empty tomb stands as a perpetual reminder to us that Christ has come and defeated the power of sin and death and we fight from the victory of the empty tomb. That our Lord died in our place and rose back to life and He has crushed the satanic kingdom, we fight from that victory.
God has already given the victory into their hands and so, we find out for the next week, Israel will be marching around Jericho daily. We kind of think a vulture circling its dead prey. Israel will be circling its enemy that's basically as good as dead. Another thing you might have noticed was all of the number sevens throughout the text. Seven priests, seven trumpets, seven days, circle the city seven times on the seventh day. Throughout the scripture the number seven hints at or a symbolic of completion or totality. God is hinting at complete annihilation of Jericho. God doesn't do leftovers, aren't you glad for that? God doesn't do partial victories or almost wins. When He goes in, the enemy is completely defeated. And again, that's another thing that we cling to.
Another thing that I find interesting about God's strategy here are the trumpets, okay. Let me explain why this is interesting. Because normally, a priest would have two horns or trumpets that they would choose from. There was this silver trumpet, the silver horn and then there was what we read about here, the ram's horn, okay. The silver horn, was used when something important was taking place. They wanted everybody's attention, especially when they were under attack or they were about to go to war. Their priest would pull out the silver trumpet and when that blast went forth, the Israelites knew, we need to pay attention.
The other horn, the ram's horn was primarily used for festivals and celebrations. So it almost seems like that in this case, they should use the silver horn, not the ram's horn. So, what's up with that? Now, let me help you understand this in our modern day thought process, okay. I brought a modern day version of the silver horn, a silver PE whistle, okay? You know how this goes, right? If I blew this, you know what that sound means. You think police officer, basketball coach, PE teacher, right? Because you don't normally hear this unless it's something that somebody wants you to pay attention to, listen up, there's something important that needs to be done or said, when we hear that, that's the imagery that is conjured up in our minds.
Now, I also brought a modern day version of the party horn, okay. All right, so it goes something like this, right? Do you get the idea? Now, if I marched around blowing this, number one you just think that was weird, right? But the image that would come to your mind is, "Okay, where's the party hat? If I follow these guys, they're going to be cake. Whose birthday is it? And it's a little early for New Years." When you hear this, when you see this, you immediately think of a party, so why is it that God would use the party horn when they're going to war?
Well, I think Jericho was far more about a celebration than it was a war. This was much more of a parade than it was a military campaign, because you remember in Verse 2, God had already given them the victory. And they were simply celebrating before the victory had actually than theirs." And this just reminds us all this morning that, we always have a reason to party when we're serving the Lord. It's always a celebration. Whatever season you're in, you can cling to the promise that the victory is yours through Christ Jesus. He's given us that promise and we cling to that and there's always a reason to celebrate, God's about to do something amazing.
He'd already told them the outcome or at least told Joshua Verse 5, "The wall of the city will fall down flat." But did you see what Israel's part in this battle was? This epic defeat Verse 5, "It shall come to pass when they make a long blast with the ram's horn. And when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout and the wall of the city will fall down flat." All they had to do is march, blow and shout. And they were guaranteed the victory.
Let me ask you, do you think God was relying on the volume of their shout or trumpet blast to bring down the walls? Like maybe if there's enough decibels that hit the walls then they'll come crumbling down. We could shake them down. God is not into that, that's not what He is doing. He simply wants to give His people a voice in the victory. It's how it works with our daughter, she's four. Her name is Emery. Every once in a while, I'll walk into the kitchen on a Saturday morning and she'll run up to me, "Daddy, I made you chocolate chip pancakes." Four-year-olds do not make chocolate chip pancakes. I think we all know that. Four-year-olds eat sticks of butter. Four-year-olds go swimming in the batter. Four-year-olds put aprons on and get chocolate everywhere else and the apron is clean. I don't know how they do it but that's what they do.
And so I know what really happened when she says she made me pancakes, is that my wife made the pancakes and she took all the credit, right? That's what really happened. But we don't mind, we love the mess. We love involving her because we just want to give her a hand in the end product. It's the same way with us. Because let's just be honest, God could do the work of spreading the Gospel far more efficiently, without us getting in the way. He doesn't need us. He's not relying on you or me but He wants to involve us. He wants to use the gifts that He has given us, our voice, our hands, our feet, our faith. He wants to employ those as the agents of change in a fallen world.
And He wants to give you an aye of voice in the victory. Not so that we can claim the victory for ourselves as though it's something that we did, but that we would have a part on it. We would have a hand in it and God is all about that. Cities are not conquered by marching. Walls do not crumble because of trumpets. No war has ever been won because somebody shouted loud enough. But God wants you a part of the victory and He wants to employ you in this battle.
God is always using unique strategies to conquer and he tackles impossible enemies in unprecedented ways. This is just how He works. Here's the third thing that we see in action here, it's an unwavering faith. Now I want you to think before we continue to read. I want you to remember that we have a very unique viewpoint in this story. If we were at a concert, it would almost feel like God is center stage, spotlight performing, Israel's in the crowd, just kind of singing along, lifting the lighters.
Joshua is just running back and forth backstage, kind of working the details and coordinating some things. But we're maybe backstage and we're watching everything. We have TV monitors. We see multiple viewpoints. We're hearing every conversation. We're sometimes even listening in on prayers that are being said. We need to remember that we have that very unique viewpoint because we know how many days they're going to march. We know what the end result will be. And we have to remember as we continue to read that Israel hadn't yet had a chance to read Joshua Chapter 6. They were still living it out. This took a lot of faith to do what they were supposed to do.
Look at Verse 6, Joshua, the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, "Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord." Now as we read, remember all of the details that God has already given Joshua and notice how many he leaves out when he communicates with Israel. Verse 7, He said to the people, "Proceed and march around the city and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the Lord."
So it was and Joshua had spoken to the people that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns before the Lord, advanced and blew the trumpets. And the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them. The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets. And the rear guard came after the ark while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. Now Joshua had commanded the people saying, "You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth until the day I say to you, 'Shout!' Then you shall shout."
So Joshua receives instruction from the Lord. He gathers the people that get in formation and they begin to march. This is faith in motion, which is so important for us to grasp because -- especially if you're familiar at all with Joshua, you know that Jericho Chapter 6 is the first of the battles. They've spent the first five chapters of the book just explaining all the preparation that they've done. I'm teaching through the book of Joshua right now at my church back in Tennessee and it took us 10 weeks to just get through all of the preparation leading up to the battles. Preparation and prayer -- don't get me wrong, they are vital to the process but the time comes when we have to put our faith into motion and step out.
Prayer and preparation are important. They're vital but they're not enough on their own. Follow me on this. I meet some Christians who I view -- I kind of feel are missing their opportunities to be used by the Lord because they're sitting on a couch praying for God to use them. Meanwhile, God is trying to tell them, "I'm trying to use you but you're still sitting on a couch." Right? Like keep praying, that's good but get up and do something. Use your gifts, use your passion, use the things that God has given you to go and make a difference. Put one foot in front of the next and just get up and move. Begin following the Lord. Put your faith into motion. Many of you know -- but I'll just forewarn you in case you're not aware, when you take a step of faith, don't expect a supernatural feeling, okay? I can speak from experience. Probably, you're not going to have like a warm, fuzzy feeling or your face starts glowing or anything like that.
I can tell you, when I quit my job here as middle school youth pastor over two years ago to move to a state that I've never lived in, to go to a city that I had visited twice to do something that I had never done, it did not feel supernatural at all. It felt scary. It felt full of doubt and questions, felt a bit delayed but I knew it was right. I knew that the Lord was in front of me and I could rest assure and you can too, that any step of faith is far from natural. It's a gift from God because the natural man does not take steps of faith. We're creatures of habit. We do what we know.
And so if you're taking a step of faith and you're following the Lord, it is a gift from God. And so that's exactly what Israel began to do. Sure, there were probably temptations to doubt and to back out but they marched ahead. And so they begin marching around the city. Now Jericho is a bit of a small city. It was only eight or nine acres but of course very secure. It would take about 30 minutes to walk around the city.
So we read in Verse 10 that except for the rams' horns and the marching feet, there was no sound coming from this procession. They weren't to say anything. Verse 11, "So he had the ark of the Lord circle the city going around the city once, then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp." So day one, check. You've got six more to go. Verse 12," Joshua rose early in the morning. The priest took up the ark of the Lord. The seven priests bearing the seven trumpets -- " you know the drill. Verse 14, "On the second day, they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. So they did it for six days."
One commentary I read said, "Never before and sell them after this historic event, did the thermometer of faith rise this high in Israel." This is a monumental moment for the nation. Every morning, Israel would wake up, the army, the priests, they would approach Joshua, "Okay Joshua, this is our day. This is battle day." He goes, "Yeah, it's battle day. Get your hiking boots, we're marching." That's all he said. They said, "Okay, Joshua we trust that you're hearing from the Lord. We're going to follow your command." So he goes, "Okay, march to Jericho, march around and come back." Day one, day two, day three, this is all that they did. And remember, He gave them very few details. He told them the formation. He told them the order of who is leading and then he just said to march once around and come back. He went with them.
One thing that I'm sure was vital for them, was something that was set up in their camp. Just a few days prior, they had seen God do a miracle at the flooded Jordan River. God had dried up the riverbed and about a million and a half people had crossed over a dry riverbed, completely miraculous work of the Lord. Before the water flowed back, God said, "I want you to take a few guys and I want you to go into the dry riverbed and pull out some of the boulders that used to be unaccessible. And I want you to stack those up in your camp. And I want you to never forget that I can do the impossible."
I want those things to be a visual sermon to you. They were set up in their camp, and so I'm sure that everyday as they set out to march around Jericho and they came back, I'm sure that there were questions in their minds, "How long is this going to go on?" "When are we actually going to do something here?" "When is this marching going to end?" But they came back to the camp and they saw those rocks that were previously swallowed by the flooding Jordan River and they realized, "Man, God can do the impossible, I just need to keep marching." We need those visual reminders in our lives.
God's past victories in your life are keys to the future battles that lie ahead. There will be more battles, do not forget God's faithfulness. Hold on to that, cling to it, write it down, give yourself a visual reminder however, whatever that looks like and never forget how faithful God has been. I'm sure this was a long, six days for them but God is never in a hurry. He's precise and he's accurate with his timing. And so, they employed this unwavering faith to conquer the city and whether you're from Albuquerque or Clarksville or wherever it is that you live, watching this or hearing this message, if you want to see your city conquered for the gospel of Jesus Christ, it will take unwavering faith. It will take an army of people like right here in this room that this morning would stand up and say, "I'm going to put one foot in front of the next and follow Jesus Christ. And I believe that He is able to use even little old me to be a part of something great, something eternal", that's how the gospel conquers a city.
Now I don't think that it's any secret, what happens to Jericho's Walls. Day seven, lap seven, they pull a London Bridge and come falling down, that's a spoiler alert, that's what happens, okay? But, let's not focus so much on the walls coming down. I want to just rewind one lap, okay. I want to take you to day seven, lap six, and I want you to think mentally where these guys were at. If it takes 30 minutes to march to Jericho from their camp and 30 minutes to march around, by lap six they had been marching for three and a half hours. They have been blowing trumpets for three and a half hours. I hyperventilate when I blow up my daughter's kiddy pool, okay? That's a lot of blowing of trumpets. Three and a half hours, and I'm sure they were worn out, they were tired as the marched around the city, and I'll bet the people in Jericho continue to make fun of them, they're yelling things, maybe throwing things at them.
The walls are strong as they've ever been. They don't see any visual progress that they've made, literally following God for them looks like walking in circles and it feels like they're wasting their time. I'm sure, there had to be doubts, there had to be questions in their minds, "Have you been there?" "Have you been completely worn out wondering if it's even worth your time to continue to follow the Lord?" Like, "I believe this was the direction God originally told me to go but I'm not seeing any progress here. I don't know if this is worth my time. I'm worn out. I don't know if I should keep going." What do you do when you find yourself in that place? Let me tell you, take another lap. The victory is right around the corner.
I've been praying for you today, this weekend that today would be day seven for you. Day seven, that you would today trust God for the victory. Now, day seven might look different for you than it does for the person next to you. Day seven for you might today look like you take one more lap, God is just looking for an ounce more obedience and the victory is yours. And you finally overcome that thing that you've been trying to battle for so long. Or day seven for you, might look like it dawns on you, it doesn't matter how much, how long I keep marching, I'm going to keep marching. God told me to march, I'm going to march. Maybe that's what day seven looks like for you. Whatever it is, remember that God is not intimidated by your battles.
I don't know what it is that's weighing you down today. I don't know what's heavy on your shoulders. I don't know what it is that you feel like you can never overcome but I want to remind you today that if Jesus Christ could overcome the power of sin and death with the cross and the empty tomb, nothing stands in His way. Whatever you're up against, God is faithful, and God is able to take that thing down. A battle is not a battle; you can clap it out, amen. A battle is not a battle. Well God had already told us what the outcome will be. Would you guys join me in prayer?
Jesus, we recognize this morning that you are far greater than any enemy that we will ever encounter. You took down. You crushed to the satanic kingdom at the cross and at the tomb. God, we cling to that. We thank you for it. If you are for us, no one can stand against us. Lord, only you know what every person in this room, including myself is dealing with. And I pray that this morning, you would draw people to victory in you. And Lord right now, I just want to ask specifically that you would speak to hearts, you would remind them this morning that you would -- you are able to give them victory over whatever it is that they're dealing with in their life. If you guys would, just keep your heads down and your eyes closed, I want to give an opportunity because I believe that there may be people in this room who -- you're struggling with something and you've come here not really even knowing if you should keep going to church. Or if this whole following Jesus thing is even worth your time or maybe you've never, really understood that God could give you victory.
And I want to present you with a chance this morning to raise your hand here in just a moment and say, "I need to give my life to Jesus Christ. I need victory, I found nothing but loss and backstabbing and emptiness in the world and I need to claim victory in Jesus Christ." He's able to overcome. And if that's you this morning, with all heads bowed and eyes closed in this room this morning, I want to ask you right now to raise your hand and in just a moment, as we sing a song. Let me ask you to come forward, I'm going to ask you to publicly, with the rest of this church family here, celebrate a decision that you're making to surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Is there anybody in this room who needs to commit their life to Jesus Christ and claim that victory over an addiction, a struggling marriage, something that you feel like you can never overcome on your own and you know it's only Jesus? Unless He steps in, you'll fail.
I see one hand in the back, amen. Is there anyone else? Another hand in the back, praise God. Thank you so much over there. You can put your hand down. I see your hands. Is there anyone else? In just a moment, I'm going to ask you to come right up here, we're going to pray for you as a church body and celebrate with you. Because the best decision you could ever make, committing your life to Jesus Christ and I believe that there maybe more in this room, this morning. If you're online, if you're in the balcony, if you're here in the room, I want you to just think about what God is speaking to you right now. Is there anyone else? You need to raise your hand.
God, we come before you and we feel you moving in this room. We believe that there are people here who have been conquered by the world. And this morning, they're ready to step out of that chair, walk forward and be conquered by Jesus Christ. Let their enemies come tumbling down. God, I pray that you'd speak to the hearts of those who have raised their hands already that you would bring them down to the front here in just a moment so I could pray with them. Or to pray that you would raise up an army in this room of people who are excited about the gospel and what you've done in their lives. Thank you Jesus, for the victory that we claim at the cross and the empty tomb, we cling to that this morning. In your name we pray, amen.
Would you guys all stand. We're going to sing a song and as Kenny sings a song, with those of you who raised your hand would come right down here. We want to welcome you and in just a moment, I want to lead you in a prayer to give your life to Jesus Christ, we're ready to celebrate with you. As he sings, would you join us right up here? Come on down. Amen, you see what God is doing in this room this morning, isn't this amazing? You know the Bible says that when there's one repentant sinner, the angels in heaven are having a party, I think it's like a blow out party right now in heaven. This is awesome. This is so cool.
So here's what I want to do this morning, I want to lead you guys in a simple prayer. This is not code words to get into heaven. This is simply a prayer that you're going to be saying from your heart to Jesus Christ. He hears you and he is ready this morning with open arms to embrace you just as you are. Addictions and questions and baggage and all, and He wants us to take that and break it and help you to move on and be a part of what God is doing here in the city. So if you guys would repeat this prayer out loud after me, we're going to say this to the Lord and dedicate your lives to Jesus Christ. Are you ready? Repeat this after me.
Dear Jesus, I commit my life to you. I'm broken, I've made mistakes but I believe you can save me and I commit my life to you. Thank you for dying in my place and rising again, fill me with your spirit and use me, in your name I pray, amen.