Jericho was an incredible physical stronghold that stood in the way of the Israelites as they journeyed into the Promised Land. Yet after so many years of travel, through incredible displays of power and God’s unerring guidance of His people, it seems silly that He would lead them straight into that fortified city…surely there was another way around! For a long time this confused me.
Yet God looks at the Spiritual reality more than we do. There was a spirit of fear that resided in Jericho that needed to be defeated. It was this same spirit of fear that had caused the Israelites to turn back 40 years prior. This fear had built a spiritual stronghold in the hearts of the people that turned them into grumbling, complaining, fearful, negative, doubters. All of this despite the fact that their enemies couldn’t stop them, and the devil had no power over them. The spiritual stronghold of fear crippled them to a standstill. It was this stronghold that God wanted to tackle head on and defeat.
A spiritual stronghold requires a spiritual defeat. Knocking the walls of Jericho down would have done nothing against the stronghold of fear within the people. That fear would have lead them to their eventual defeat and calamity. The people had to do it God’s Way.
Whenever there are spiritual battles to be fought, God’s instruction is the same; worship Me. For the Israelites, the physical act of walking around the walls of Jericho and playing music took their minds of the enemy, and focussed their attention on Yahweh. For Peter as he began to walk on the water, Jesus told him to fix his gaze upon Him. When David submitted to the Will and Way of God, he defeated giants. Worship Him.
Worship is not just about music and song. Worship is our lives lived out in submission to the One who is greater than we are, allowing Him to change our hearts and minds, and then releasing Him to do a mighty work in and through us. Worship can only be done by faith.
This weekend I’ll be exploring the topic of worship as a means to defeating the strongholds in our lives. I encourage you to read Ephesians 3 as a prelude to what the Lord would have us receive from Him on Sunday. I pray that you will allow the Spirit of God to stir within you and to transform you from the inside out.