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Saturday, August 4, 2012

VISION + FAITH + ACTION = VICTORY

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Vision+Faith+Action=Victory
Joshua 6:1-20
by Pastor Mark Taylor
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
 Philippians 4:13
In the life of an individual, a church, a family, or an organization, God has a purpose and plan. But Success does not “just happen”.  There are many places in God’s Word where we are given formulas for success and victory in every area of our lives.  The recorded event of the fall of Jericho is one of those victories that seemed “impossible” until God showed up.  Vision+Faith+Action=Victory.  This is the formula that God has used over and over again with His people.
Jericho was a fortified city. There were two walls that surrounded the entire city, and each wall was posted with armed guards. The outer wall was six feet thick, and the inner was  twelve feet thick. As far as mere man was concerned the walls were impossible to break through. But, with God all things are possible! The walls fell flat before the children of God.
God told Joshua:  “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be confused: for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9).  There is probably a great wall separating you from something you want to accomplish in your life.  If it is God’s will for you to succeed in your vision, these words are for you.  The first step is to make sure we have prayed and asked if our vision is God’s vision for us.  Our prayer should be: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven.” (Matthew 6:10).  We need to pray as our Lord Jesus prayed:  “...not as I will, but as you will”  (Matthew 26:29).
The children of God, under the leadership of Joshua, are about to enter the land of promise. By faith, they were to cross the swelling Jordan River by following the ark of God as it was carried by the priests. God had already told them that the land was theirs for the taking, and that their possession of the land was limited only by their vision to obtain it.
Jericho was a strong city which had closed its walls and gates to the people of Israel. Jericho must have looked to Joshua like an “impossible” enemy.  God promised, however, “I have given into your hand, Jericho, its king, and the mighty men of valor.” (Vs 2).  When faced with an overwhelming task such as overcoming a city’s walls without firing a single offensive weapon; it is imperative that we trust the one directing us for his knowledge of the victory already won  Getting  the right vision involves prayer, worship, and waiting.  
The orders were, to say the least, unusual.  Walk around the city for six days, blow horns, shout and march all seemed to be militarily crazy. Almost a mockery of traditional military attack plans. But then again, if this were a normal attack then how could God get the glory? The command was to go around the city six times; six being the number of man.  The seventh day was to be the day of victory; seven being the number of God and the number of completion.  
The marching and preparation are symbolic of prayer and meditation before doing as the Lord has directed.  Prayer is our communication/conversation with God. : “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us, and if we know that He hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”  (I John 5:14-15).   Prayer is communicating to God that we trust him and are truly seeking His will
After we have our vision clear and in line with God’s will, we must have faith.  “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Joshua received a command from God. He was given a vision. He responded in faith.
 “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were walked around for seven days” (Hebrews 11:30).   Not by force, firepower, finances, or fighting...but by FAITH.
There is no doubt but that there are walls of obstacles that rise up before us.  It is not up to us to devise the plan of how it will all happen. It is simply up to us to lay hold of God’s vision for His will in our lives….to have faith that God will provide every means to do whatever He leads us to do…and then to respond in faith.  Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.  Faith is the belief in God’s ability to accomplish the impossible. Our Lord said: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  (Matthew 19:26).  A flawed vision is one in which we expect to have everything easy, and fail to realize it takes work to bring the vision to pass, even one given and orchestrated by God.
There is no such thing as a online course for swimming. If you want to swim you must get in the pool. Faith requires getting wet. And God can’t steer a parked car!.  He requires you to start the engine and get behind the wheel.  If you want to see God work in your life, you must take action.  “Faith, if it does not have works, is dead, being alone...” (James 2:17).
Vision+Faith+Action=Victory.  This is the formula that God has used over and over again with His people.
There are many blessings which are ours. There are blessings which God has given us in Christ.  They are there for the taking, but blessings which will only be enjoyed when we begin to wage war and conquer the Jerichos of our life.   The Children of Israel had to conquer Jericho before the land could be possessed and the blessings enjoyed. And we too as Christians have to wage war against and overcome those Jerichos of personal sin which stand in the way of our entering into a fuller and deeper and richer experience of the Blessings of our inheritance in Christ.  The Christian life is a life of conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil.  We are meant to be waging war against the enemies of our soul.  Sin and unbelief will block our way from going on into the deeper experiences of spiritual blessing.
Let us all get a vision, live by faith, and take action as we walk with the Lord Jesus Christ each day.  We will then rejoice as we enter our promised land called Heaven and hear our Savior’s Words:  “Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many.  Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:21).

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