Everywhere I turn, I encounter people who feel like they have walls in their life. Walls of bitterness. Walls of insecurity. Walls that keep them from reaching their God-given potential. We also have walls of division within our country and specifically our churches. I was sharing with a friend about the vision God has given me for our 4-month old church plant. We live in a rural area where the ethnic lines are drawn. Whites worship in their churches, African-Americans worship in their churches, and Hispanics worship in their churches. Call me crazy, but I believe that these walls of division can be broken down (even in a rural southern community). This friend reminded me that I am called to break down walls. I never thought about it, but I know that my calling will require no less than a miracle from God in our community.
What about your walls? Your personal walls? The walls that protect you from being hurt by rejection or whatever you fear? God wants to demolish those walls, so I want to look for just a moment at Joshua 6 where God demolished the walls of Jericho and the principles that can apply to us.
- God sets His people up for a breakthrough (v. 1). In this verse, no one could come out of the city and no one could go in. God’s plan was for the Israelites to conquer Jericho, but the walls were in the way. God set up a miraculous plan to demolish the walls that prevented victory for His people.
- The strategy will make no sense to you, but obey, work, and wait (vv. 2-7). Imagine God telling you to walk around the perimeter of your city once a day for 6 days in a row. That would be exhausting. It wouldn’t make much sense. Nevertheless, God gave the orders, so we must obey, do the grunt work, and wait for Him to bring about the victory. The waiting is the hardest part, but no growth comes apart from waiting and building spiritual muscle.
- The road to your breakthrough always involves acts of worship (vv. 2-7). In these same verses, God gave specific instructions regarding the ark of the covenant. John Waller sang it best when he sang, “While I’m waiting, I will worship…while I’m waiting, I will not faint. I’ll keep running the race, even while I wait.” Keep doing what you know to do while you await the victory.
- Silence precedes a breakthrough because we need to be focused only on God (v. 10). Here, the people of God were instructed to be silent. It is only in the stillness that we hear God’s voice. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Even Jesus withdrew from the crowds to get alone with the Father to pray. If He needed it, we DEFINITELY need it!
- Praise God BEFORE you see the breakthrough (v. 16). The Israelites were instructed to shout BEFORE the walls came down. The praise preceded the victory. This is faith…praising God even when we cannot see the results.
- Sinful thoughts and behavior will delay your breakthrough (v. 18). The Israelites were given clear instructions for things to avoid. They should have known this from their delay in entering the Promised Land because of disobedience and unbelief (among other sins). God will do whatever it takes to get our attention when we are living outside His will. We should not obey for selfish reasons, but many of us can testify that sinful thoughts and behaviors added unnecessary steps to our journey and delays to our breakthrough.
- Breakthroughs are permanent acts of God to take you to another level. God was only moving His people forward when He gave them Jericho. He wants to do the same for us. He wants to grow us and use us to break down the personal walls and the walls that we encounter in life.
Do you feel trapped? What is blocking the breakthrough in your life today? Unbelief? Laziness? Impatience? Distractions? Sinful attitudes and actions? Today is the day to surrender and see God begin to knock down walls in your life!