If there’s anyone I know who is comfortable being uncomfortable, it’s Christine. I mean that in the best way. She’s always bravely sharing about the gritty, not-so-fun parts of life on Precepts and Life Preservers. But she also always bluntly calls us to come with her, nearer to Christ, and to the comfort He provides while stretching and convicting us. Be blessed by her words today.
Life likes to bring along impossible battles, doesn’t it?
They span a variety of things that threaten our very faith, and our very purpose. Or at least, that’s how it feels.
Infertility. Chronic illness. Job loss. Depression. Divorce. Natural disasters. Oppression around the world.
Maybe you were like me this week, needing to get through something and you felt ill-equipped. Like it loomed over you, solid and imposing and you gathered what little battle gear you have knowing the enemy rolled its eyes at how futile your little pile of armor was.
But sometimes we need to change our definition of armor, of doing battle. After all, we have a Mighty King who thrives on conquering the impossible.
The Father has me camped out in the book of Joshua lately, and the timing is no coincidence. Joshua faces the impossible. Like, major impossibility at every turn.
He’s supposed to fill the shoes of one of the most compelling leaders ever. He’s supposed to get an entire nation of people to a new land inhabited by a people so fierce that they stop the entire bulk of Israelites in their tracks and have them considering going back to captivity. He’s supposed to devise a way to scale massive sets of walls built one atop the other while facing an army of defenders.
I love when the Almighty directs us to His Word and places us right where we might witness His provision span thousands of years. The same Jericho-provision given Joshua lays waiting for us right now.
We stare up at our own personal Jericho and wonder the best way to assess it, approach it, scale it, win it, own it.
What gear do I need? What kind of armor is going to make a difference? What’s my big plan, Stan?
We worry, we get ready to pass out, we become frantic, we’ll take advice from anyone, we despair, we become stubborn.
Meanwhile, He waits to complete the provision He’s already said is ours, if we’ll just follow His instruction so that we might witness His glory in all its fullness.
He waits for us to heed His instruction. And He waits for us to let Him do battle while we step into our only role.
To praise Him.
Yep. We get to praise.
Our weapon is lifting our voices and hearts.
Our armor is the victory declaration of His Provision.
Your Promised Land that looms large? He has said it’s always been ours. We just have to step into it.
“Be strong and of good courage… do not cower. Do not heed your fears. Take the land I have given you to possess.”
And how do we take the land?
We lift victory-praise. We surround, we encircle our Jericho with shouts of His mighty faithfulness and glory. We shout with everything in us that He’s got this. We march and shout and sing and trumpet His goodness until He reaches a mighty hand beneath our battle ground and with one shake reduces it to rubble.
“Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king, and its army. March around the city once, with all the armed men flanking the priests. Do this for six days. Have the seven priests carry trumpets of ram’s horns in front of the Ark of the Covenant. On the seventh day, march seven times around the city, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast, have the all the people give a long shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.”
And do not for a moment think your praise will end your battle, beloved. Your praise itself does not bring your Jericho down.
Your praise is the proof that your God is about to bring your Jericho down!
“The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded all the people, ‘Shout!!! For the Lord has given you the city!”
He will reduce your Jericho, your battle, to rubble… to stepping stones that will take weary feet into the Promised Land.
How do we know we have this same promise?
The same hand that brought down Jericho is the same hand that shook Golgotha and rent the veil with His Son’s last breath. It’s the same hand that wrenched keys of death from our enemy and freed every captive. It’s the same hand that beckoned Christ from the tomb.
This is who faces our battles. That verse in 2 Chronicles 20:15 that says the battle is the Lord’s? It’s our truth for today, more so than ever.
Psalm 22:3 says the Lord inhabits the praises of His people.
Look at Acts 16 and see how praise created an opening for God to break shackles, open jail cells, even saved the jailer.
Psalm 149:5-9 says,
“Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them— this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the LORD.”
So weary friend, unsure about the looming impossible…
He excels at impossible.
And He’s got the battle if we’ve got the praise.
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