Tag: Jericho

Jericho Lesson 6

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Sharing the 7 lessons I learned on my Jericho Walk, I’ve been asking: Do you have a “Jericho” in your life: a blessing you believe God wants to give you, but you feel unable to achieve on your own?

Read Joshua 6:1-20. Ask God to speak to you and show you what He has for you in this passage. Is there a Jericho, a blessing, a gift He wants you to have? How do you need to be obedient, trusting Him to bring the obstacle down? Are you prepared to go straight up and take hold of it?

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Following the example of Joshua’s battle, I walked around a nearby lake for 7 days.  Once each for 6 days and then 7 times the seventh day.

 

 

Shofar-Israel-001Halfway through my sixth lap, I heard an unusual sound. God brought friends to join the walk all week for their own personal “Jericho”  situations.  One friend brought her Shofar, a Ram’s horn, and was blowing it as she and each of the other women finished their seven laps. That was our Trumpet Blast. just as Joshua had done.

I could faintly hear each one give a shout when the horn was blown as their Jericho walls fell. They were overjoyed and filled with excitement! I shared in their victory from a distance and congratulated them as I came around again for my final lap.

20190526_215702I was the last one with still a lap to go.  Trying hard to motivate myself, I thought of the world’s wisdom: “Focus on the goal.” “Keep your eyes on the prize.” The goal in this case was seven laps, one more than I felt I had in me.

Thinking about the distance I still had to cover was so discouraging. It was overwhelming to even imagine myself fifty feet from where I was! Then I tried focusing on all I had already accomplished: the six laps completed. That just made me more tired!

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The wisdom of the world may not motivate you.

 

 

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Turn to God for motivation and support.

 

I looked up and asked God for help. It was as if He said, “I’m right beside you. Let’s take one step together. Focus on where you are, and take a couple of steps to get to the bench. Now a few more to the fence.  Now to the flower bed.” It really helped to just be where I was, not thinking about all that had come before or would come after.

I teach Childbirth classes. What I tell labor loaches to do when Mom is in labor is to motivate and support her wherever she is in the birth process. Since you don’t know how long it’s going to last, you can’t give a time countdown.

labor 1Even if you could, it might not be helpful. Trying to be supportive, you might say to a mom in hard labor that she’s only got twenty more minutes to go. In her heart, she is totally defeated because she feels she has only ten minutes of energy left. The truth is, you deal with what you need to deal with right in front of you, and the time or distance factor works itself out.

So when it gets hard, I encourage coaches to have coping strategies for three to four contractions at a time. That way, you make intervals of progress towards a goal without focusing only on the goal or the time it takes to reach it.

board-1273117_640This is exactly what God did with me. He coached me, motivated me right where I was. He moved me little by little around the lake till the end was almost in sight.

Is there something that feels overwhelming in your life?  Ask God to show you only the very next step. 

And ask Him to help you take it. 

 

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Father in heaven, thank You for loving us, and for giving us purpose in this life.  Thank You that when the going gets tough and we don’t think we can make it, that You come along beside us and coach us to win the battles we face, whatever they are.

Whatever each of us is in the midst of, protect us from feeling discouraged.   Help us each see the next tiny step we can make to keep us moving forward.  And give us the courage, the energy, the whatever we need to take it with You.  Amen

 

Jericho Lesson 4

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Do you have a “Jericho” in your life: a blessing you believe God wants to give you, but you feel unable to achieve on your own?

Following the example of Joshua’s battle, I completed a Jericho Walk.

As I walked on the 7th day circling the lake 7 times, God continued teaching me lessons.  Check out the last 3 posts to read the first 3 lessons..

tree-933075_640I had completed four laps and by now the sun had risen in the sky, but because of cloud cover, the sunlight was not direct.  It was, however extremely bright.  Looking towards the sun, there were parts peeking through, but the thin clouds were so brightly illuminated they were glowing!  God was showing me something new.

Seeing the brightness reminded me that we, as Christians, are to be light in the world.  But the sun is so bright!  I told God that I couldn’t possibly be a sun.

It was as if God heard my comment and replied with, “You don’t have to be.  But see how much brighter it seems because the clouds are scattering the light?  And what are clouds made up of?  Tiny droplets of water!”

His revelation brought tears to my eyes.

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I can do that!  I can be a drop of water!  I can reflect and magnify the light God illuminates my life with to others!  That is so doable.  And not threatening at all.

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All you have to be is Yourself.   A drop of water!      

 

droplet-161679_640How uplifting!  God won’t demand something impossible of you.  But He can use who you are, who He created you to be, to show His love, His mercy, His grace to others.  Whatever is happening in your life, God will equip you.

 

You never know when times of frustration and waiting will bear fruit in the growth of perseverance or preparation for action.  Or times of prosperity will reap a harvest of generosity.  Or times of pain will cause strength and wisdom to grow in you.

You can trust that God will provide you with what you need, even before you know you need it.

Could it be that He is calling you to simply be yourself?  Even a small drop of water can reflect and magnify the light He is bringing into your life, to those around you.

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Let me encourage you to take a walk.  And ask God to speak to you.

Then be quiet, wait, and listen.

 

 

Jericho Lesson 3

Joshua_Jericho_1024Do you have a “Jericho” in your life: a blessing you believe God wants to give you, but you feel unable to achieve on your own?

Following the example of Joshua’s battle, I completed a Jericho Walk.  Check out the last few posts to read more about it.

Besides the big victory I was walking for, God met and taught me lessons along the way.  These came when our group circled the lake 7 times on the seventh day.

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Lesson 1 came when God reminded me that when I step out in faith, I need to wear His spiritual armor to protect myself from outside attack.

prayer-888757_1920Lesson 2 showed me that my own inner thoughts and fears will work against me.  That solution is to pray for God to remove those things from me and to hold on to His promises.

After those realizations, there was more spring in my step and I felt a physical heaviness lift.

By this time I saw that 3 of my friends were a lap ahead of me.  Knowing I would never catch up, I turned my thoughts to what else God have to say to me.  It was as if I could hear Him asking why I was out here.  Was it to simply plod thru the exercise of circling the lake?  To race in competition with my friends?  Or was it to connect with Him?

So I asked Him to speak into my heart, and whatever He had to say, I would listen.  It was as if He could hear my thoughts about not being in the lead, and dealt with this idea first.

chalk-board Lesson 3

It’s not a competition

 

 

elephant-1090828_640Accept who God has made you to be.  And thank Him for who you are. Don’t compare yourself with others, or the life they are called to or the gifts or talents they have.   Accept God’s love for you – just the way He created you.

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I could hear God saying to me, “Go at your own pace.  Take breaths!  Stretch!  You don’t have to match your sisters’ walk.  It’s not a competition or a race.  Just be with me.”

That was so freeing.  To hear that God wasn’t disappointed in me because I wasn’t in the lead felt incredibly unexpected and liberating!  I had put that burden on myself.  To know that it wasn’t part of God’s expectation freed me from the shame and judgment I had placed on myself.

Now I could be joyful in the knowledge that the longer I took, the more time I would be spending with God!

armwrestlingSo much of our life is spent comparing ourselves with others and ranking our performance.  Men compare jobs, incomes, physical strength, intellect, cars, houses and material possessions; then often glean their self-worth from how they rank against those around them.

Women will gauge their success by their career versus home choices, their physical appearance, their children’s behavior and successes.  Even Christians will compare ministry participation, or missions’ involvement, or spiritual gifts.

Then we place ourselves on some kind of ranking continuum, and it affects our attitudes, our behavior, and our sense of worth.

But what God is saying is “I love creativity!  And I made you each different intentionally.  I love you and I’m pleased with you regardless of who else I made, or how I made them!”   It’s something we don’t often hear.  But then, how often do we make the time to listen?

We walk the path God puts in front of us, in the way He made us to walk it. 

For the next two laps I focused on listening to what God had to say to me, unhurried.  I drank in His encouragement.

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I encourage you to make time this week to get alone to ask God to speak to you.  And be prepared to listen.

Carve out some time.

Maybe take a walk.

Jericho Lesson 2

Joshua_Jericho_1024We are in a short series about The Jericho Walk.  Do you have a “Jericho” in your life: a blessing you believe God wants to give you, but you feel unable to achieve on your own?

Following the example of Joshua’s battle, I completed a Jericho Walk.  Check out the last 3 posts to read more about it.

 

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Besides the big victory I was walking for, God met and taught me lessons along the way.  These came when our group circled the lake 7 times.

After I prayed God’s spiritual armor on, my first lesson, I felt much more protected from outside attack.  With a renewed and energetic step I began the third lap.

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But soon, discouragement arose again.  This time, not as random thoughts from without like before, but as fears from within.  What if my own body was not strong enough to walk seven times around the lake?  Had I bitten off more than I could chew?  I had never walked around the lake so many times in one day.  I should have trained for this and worked up to it.  What if I really couldn’t finish what I started?  What if I shamed and humiliated myself and disappointed God?

 

 

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The baggage you carry will drag you down.  Your own thoughts, feelings, and inner fears will work against you if you let them.

 

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Ask God to remove all that is in you that does not honor or glorify Him!

 

 

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Pray that He will help you take thoughts captive and not feed your own fears of weakness, inadequacy or unworthiness.  Hold those thoughts up to the truth of scripture. Your success in this endeavor depends on God, and His strength, His might and His power.  Not your own.

I looked up Hebrews 10:23 in the Bible I was carrying, and personalized it:  “I will hold unswervingly to the hope I profess, for He who promised is faithful.”  My hope is in Jesus Christ, and it is by His hand and His faithfulness that I will take hold of what He has promised me.

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When I did that, I felt physically lighter on the next lap.  There was more spring in my step, without the heaviness of before.

I truly felt that God had given me this directive to do the Jericho Walk, just as he had told Joshua what to do to take Jericho.  So my being obedient was more important than my own physical ability.

When God directs your path, trust that He has prepared you.  Your success will not depend on your own ability, but on God, whose promise is faithful.

  • What is your Jericho?
  • Where will you walk?
  • When will you start?
  • What will you shout?

Jericho Lesson 1

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The last two posts told about my Jericho Walk, and asked if you have a “Jericho” in your life: a blessing you believe God wants to give you, but you feel unable to achieve on your own.   Following the example of Joshua’s battle, I completed a Jericho Walk.  Check those posts out.

Besides the big victory I was walking for, God met and taught me lessons along the way.  They came when our group circled the lake 7 times.

As we began to walk, our paces spread us out.  We weren’t far apart then, but it was clear I wouldn’t be at the head of the line.

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Soon thoughts of whether I could catch up by the end began to dissolve into panic that I wouldn’t be able to finish at all.

 

My heart began to race.  Halfway around the first lap, I had the distinct thought that I would have a heart attack, literally, before this was done.

 

first-responders-3323385_640Rather than question this thought, I began processing how God might use this turn of events – I could witness to the ambulance and Emergency Room people!   Telling them all about the Jericho Walk would be a great way to get the word out and share God’s love and plan for their lives too.

Perhaps the local papers or tv stations would do a story on me – even a heart attack couldn’t stop her!  Or maybe I would just die.  My thoughts were running wild and my heart was pounding harder.

Then, it became clear: this was not God speaking to me.

chalk-board-303457_640Satan will attack you!  And if your mind is unguarded it will run away with those thoughts.

Any time you step out in obedience to God, the enemy will try and defeat you with whatever means he can.   And the thoughts and fears you have may not be your own, but a form of spiritual attack to dishearten and oppress you.

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Pray on the armor of God.

 

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At that point, I began to pray on the spiritual armor from Ephesians 6.  The helmet of Salvation protects your mind and thoughts, and bears the insignia of God Almighty in whose army you fight.  It allows you to take every thought captive to God and hold it up against the truth of His Word.  Instead of taking that first thought captive, I accepted it as a real possibility.

The breastplate of Righteousness, forerunner to the bullet-proof vest, protects your organs, heart for instance, and allows the enemy’s bullets and glancing blows to bounce off.

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The belt of Truth helps you discern truth from the lies and deceit of the enemy. I should have taken that lie and rebuked it with scripture “God has not given me a spirit of fear.” 2 Timothy 1:7 So I didn’t need to fear an imagined harm.

When we put on the shoes of the gospel of peace we say we are ready for God’s marching orders.

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And we take up the shield of Faith and the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God.  Our head to toe protection can repel the enemy’s launched attacks.  And speaking God’s Word in prayer and praise can launch attacks of our own.

After I prayed the armor on, I felt much more protected from outside attack.  With a renewed and energetic step I began the third lap.

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Remember that when you step out in faith for God, you need to be armed for battle.  And you can trust that God’s armor is the best.