So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets…. And the people shouted with a great shout, [ and ] the wall [ of Jericho ] fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. Joshua 6:20
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, Paul says the people of God do not “war according to the flesh.” Our weapons are “mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” A classic example of fighting differently was when the “stronghold” of Jericho was taken by the Israelites (Joshua 6).
The world is not used to seeing God’s people act unexpectedly. So when the armies of Israel marched around Jericho for six days, and on the seventh day blew their celebratory trumpets and gave a shout of victory, they likely didn’t know what to think. Israel rushed over the collapsed walls and took the city. The same thing happened when Gideon used torches, pitchers, and trumpets to completely confuse his enemies (Judges 7). The armies were thrown into confusion and fled the scene.
Satan is the author of fear. When God’s people are courageous instead of fearful, their enemies — spiritual or human — are confused. Trumpets and shouts of praise are signs of victory by faith!
We should be always wearing the garment of praise, not just waving a palm branch now and then.
Does man have a free will? This question is one of the most frequently asked questions of theology. At times, it is not voiced as a question but as an objection to the whole idea of a sovereign God.
At the heart of the problem is the definition of free will. What are we saying when we assert that man has a free will? Stated briefly, free will simply means that man has the ability to choose what he wants. Such ability requires the presence of a mind, a will, and a desire. If these faculties are present and functioning in a man, that man has a free will.
Free will does not mean that man can choose to do anything he pleases and necessarily succeed. We may choose to fly without the aid of mechanical devices. We can fall through the air by ourselves, but we cannot fly through it. We lack the necessary natural equipment (in this case, wings) to fly. This does not mean, however, that we are not free. It does mean that our “freedom” is limited by our natural physical limitations. My will may be outvoted by the will of a majority or by some higher power. Such conflicting power does not eliminate my freedom but may surely impose limits on it.
One of the most important limits on my freedom is myself. If we examine the workings of the will closely we run into a point of irony that is often overlooked in discussions about free will. The point is this: Not only may I choose what I want, I must choose what I want if my choice is really to be free. Choice is made according to desire. Without desire there could be no free choice—certainly no moral choice.
Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God
God gave you a free will to choose. You choose according to your desires. Will your present desires lead to wise choices for the future?
For Further Study
Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live.”
Joshua 24:15: “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve theLord.”
Psalm 25:12: “Who is the man that fears the Lord? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.”
“When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, ‘Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.’ So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks. Joshua said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Be strong and courageous. This is what the Lord will do to all the enemies you are going to fight.'”
Joshua used the word “near.” In Hebrew, the word is “najosh.” One meaning of the word is “to approach the Holy of Holies.” It also means “leave your gods who cannot save you and approach God or draw near to the Holy of Holies.”
This was a command–“put your feet on the necks of these kings”–not a request. Another meaning of the word is “to offer or present.” When you approach the Lord in worship, you must have a soft heart, responsive to the Spirit, one that has moved from hardness to tenderness. Draw near to the Lord with a tender heart; He is the lover of your soul. Get into that place of high praise, the place of anointing where the glory of the Lord is, where the sick are healed and the captives set free.
When you draw near to Him, you are putting your feet on the Enemy’s neck. Today, I’m asking you to help me deal a mighty blow to Satan in the spiritual warfare for control of Israel.
Now more than ever we must support God’s Chosen People. I want to encourage you today to take your stand for Israel and the Jewish People by helping us make the Righteous Gentile Heritage Center a lighthouse and witness of Christian love to the entire nation of Israel.
We must make the next payment of $450,000 on November 30. Thanks to the incredible generosity of a dear friend of this work and Israel, we have a matching gift challenge that will double the impact of your gift today. That means we must raise $225,000 in the next five weeks. So far 730 friends have given $58,595. That means we still need $166,405.
With your gift of $50 or more, we will send you a softbound copy of my new book, “The History of Christian Zionism,” as well as the “any gift” offer: the Jeweled Scented Oil Set. Thousands of hours of research went into this more-than 800-page, two-volume work. It is a must read for every friend of Israel and the Jewish People. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, my friend of more than 30 years, received the first copy, and his brother Dr. Iddo Netanyahu is reading the copy I gave him right now! The Prime Minister said, “I believe that the Jewish state and modern Zionism would not have been possible without Christian Zionism.” If you are able to send a gift of $100 or more, we will send you the beautiful hardback edition.
With your gift of any amount, we will send you a Jeweled Scented Oil Set. This beautiful set of three, miniature scent droppers is made according to ancient traditions passed down for centuries in the Bible lands. Each bottle contains olive oil mixed with fragrant herbs and spices, including the mix of myrrh, aloes and cassia referenced in Scripture. The three scents are Spikenard, Psalm Maria, and Psalm Croix.
If you are able to send a gift of $250 or more, we will send you the scented oil set and a stunning Torah Scroll. In addition, your name or the name of someone you wish to honor will be placed on a special Scroll of Honor in the Righteous Gentile Heritage Center.
Perhaps you would like to do even more. If you are able to send a gift of $1,000 or more, we will send you the scented oil set and a large, silver-trimmed Yemenite shofar. I have one of these in my office, and it is amazing. We will also place your name or the name of someone special you wish to honor or remember in the Hall of Righteous Gentiles in the Jerusalem World Center.
Your support of the Jerusalem Prayer Team today allows us to continue our work on the Righteous Gentile Heritage Center, to stand up and speak out for Israel, and to meet urgent humanitarian needs among the poor Jewish people living in Israel. Thank you so much for being part of this vital worldwide prayer movement.
When Joshua was preparing to take the Israelites into the Promised Land, God gave him a promise: “The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” It wasn’t just the task that had Joshua worried. It was also a thirty-eight-year-old memory.
Two years after the exodus from Egypt, the nation arrived at Kadesh where Moses sent twelve spies into Canaan. After forty days, the spies returned burdened with the fruit of the land — and burdened about the warlike nature of the inhabitants. Ten of the spies warned Moses not to try to take the land because the giants that lived there would surely defeat them. To their credit, Joshua and Caleb disagreed, saying God would give them victory. For rebelling against God at Kadesh, the nation wandered in the wilderness thirty-eight years until that generation died off. Now Joshua would lead the second generation of Israelites against the next generation of Canaanite giants and their iron chariots.
Memories are powerful things. If God is calling you to do something, don’t let a bad memory stand in your way — “for the Lord your God is with you.”
Take courage. We walk in the wilderness today and in the Promised Land tomorrow. Dwight L. Moody
The Old Testament Book of Zechariah is filled with strange visions and important lessons for God‘s people. In chapter 3, Zechariah sees Joshua the high priest standing before the Lord. (This isn’t the Joshua who fought the Battle of Jericho; this is the Joshua who helped rebuild the temple in postexilic times). Evidently he was discouraged and feeling bad about himself. In some sense Satan was opposing and accusing him to God. But the Lord rebuked the devil. Then in his vision Zechariah watched as Joshua’s dirty garments were removed and he was dressed in clean clothes and a turban.
The devil is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10), but the apostle John tells us “we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1). Our adversary, the devil, wants us to believe God sits on His throne frowning at our every move. But God is working on our behalf so we’ll be successful and approved by Him.
If the adversary bothers you today, remember you have an Advocate — Jesus Christ the righteous.
We have an Advocate who …,because He is infinite …, can give His attention to an infinite number of children at any moment of time and can faithfully represent them as Defense Attorney before God, as need arises. J. Dwight Pentecost
“It’s time!” are the two words I recently heard from the Lord that have had an incredible impact on me. These two words have released in me a sense of faith and expectancy beyond anything I have known probably in years. It released a sense in me that things I have prayed about and put off for the future are now here.
I am not to cry out for revival or awakening as I have in the past, but I am to walk, act and speak in the realization that God’s time to act mightily on our behalf is here. Then, just recently, God showed me what I believe is the next step in moving more fully into this new season into which He has brought us.
God’s Call to a New Consecration
It was during our Tuesday night stream, and I spoke in passing about Elisabeth Elliot and how her husband, Jim, was murdered along with four other young missionaries by the Auca Indians of South America, whom they were trying to reach for Christ. Elisabeth and some of the other wives later returned to this same tribe and led to Christ the very men who had murdered their husbands.
As I told this story, I began to weep, and I had this clear realization that God is calling us to a new level of consecration. At the same time, the words of Joshua as he was about to lead Israel into the Promised Land were brought with force to my mind: “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Josh. 3:5, ESV). A new consecration is necessary if we are to fully enter the new season to which God has brought us.
What Is Consecration?
Consecration is the giving over of a thing or person completely to God. A friend recently pointed out that there is an element of destruction in many of the Old Testament passages about consecration. Idols must be destroyed, and consecration may involve the destruction of things in our lives that are not pleasing to God.
Consecration may look differently in your life and mine, but as we give ourselves unreservedly to God, He will take—and maybe destroy—the thing that is distracting us and keeping us from fully loving and obeying Him.
I recall as a young man and new believer having to lay my musical abilities and aspirations on the altar and give them completely to God. As a young person, I loved to play and sing country-rock music in parties, bars and other unsavory settings. When I gave my life to Christ, I put it all away for a time—but then I began to slip back into playing the old songs when I would stop by the homes of old friends and they would want to get out the instruments and jam. But even as I would play, there was a struggle going on inside, for I knew this was the one area that had the power to pull me away from the Lord. It was an idol that had to be destroyed!
Then one day I received an invitation to do a gig that was very appealing and attractive to my flesh and ego. I decided I would accept in spite of the struggle that was going on inside of me. The night after receiving the invitation, I went to church and experienced the hand of the Lord upon me in a powerful way, calling me to give myself and my music completely and singularly to Him.
At the end of the sermon, I went to the front of that small church and knelt before the Lord. I laid everything on the altar, giving myself completely to Him. I said, “Lord, if You will help me, from this moment forward, I will only play songs that bring glory and honor to You.”
That was my consecration, and something astonishing happened on the inside of me. There came an incredible joy that seemed to consume me for the next several days.
I recall driving alone in my car and shouting at the top of my voice because I could not contain the happiness and joy that was bursting forth from my heart. The power of that temptation was broken, and from then on it was easy to say no. I have been completely free ever since. But the interesting thing is, even though I have no passion or desire for secular music, if I were to find myself in a situation where it would be appropriate to play a wholesome non-Christian song, I am free to do so.
Consecration Brought a Miracle
Many of you have heard the story of the miraculous healing of my brother, Pete, when three doctors said he would not live more than 10 minutes after he was run over by a farm tractor at the age of 7. It was a new and fresh consecration by my father that led to the miracle. When our dad heard those devastating words from the doctors, the only thing on his mind was that for five years he had ignored the clear call of God to preach the gospel. He had told no one of this call, for it seemed impossible since he only had a fourth-grade education and a family to care for.
But as they wheeled Pete away, my father stepped into a bathroom and made his consecration to God. Outwardly it looked simple, but for Daddy it was a very serious and heartfelt act. He raised his right hand and said, “Lord, I’m ready!” At that moment, the power of God fell, and Pete was instantly and miraculously healed. One of the doctors returned a while later and said, “Mr. Hyatt, there has been a Higher Power here tonight!”
Just before the children of Israel were to cross the Jordan and begin possessing their God-given inheritance, Joshua said to them, “Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” I believe consecration is a necessary prerequisite for fully possessing our God-given inheritance and entering the new season to which He has brought us. It’s time!
I urge you to go ahead now and offer yourself to God, no strings attached. Consecrate yourself to Him. Put yourself on the altar, and tell God that you and all you have belong to Him. Be assured that He loves you more than you can imagine. And as you give yourself to Him, He will bless you in ways you never thought possible.
Eddie L. Hyattis a seasoned minister of the gospel, having served as a pastor, teacher, missionary and professor of theology in the U.S. and Canada and having ministered in India, Indonesia, England, Ireland, Sweden, Poland and Bulgaria. His ministry is characterized by a unique blend of the anointing of the Holy Spirit with academic excellence and over 40 years of ministerial experience. Visit him online at eddiehyatt.com.
Copies come from an original. Examples illustrate truth. Foreshadowing is used to point to the future. To reach us, God has to make things simple. If He revealed all of Himself and heaven to us now, we would fall before Him in awestruck fear.
This world is temporary and any roots and security we build here will pass away. Adam and Eve left the Garden. Abraham was a nomad. Jacob fled from his brother. Joshua led the Israelites into a new land. Each of their lives reminds us of the transient and temporary nature of our lives. God gave the Israelites the design of the tabernacle to illustrate His holiness and perfection. The entire structure kept the holiness of God in view. It was made by human hands and was a foreshadowing of heaven, where God dwells in all His glory.
Our life here is a fleeting moment, but we can focus on God, His glory, and the eternity that awaits us when we trust in Him. Then our lives and actions will be gloriously transformed, serving as an example of all that God can do through those who trust in Him.
If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. C. S. Lewis