AN INTERNATIONAL MINISTER'S MANUAL
By Rev. Jim and Carolyn Murphy
PART FOUR - OUR AUTHORITY IN CHRIST
TAKING HOLD OF GOD'S PROMISES
All of us are familiar with the wonderful story of Joshua's leadership over the Israelites after Moses died. I have read and reread the Book of Joshua many times, each time going deeper and deeper into the powerful biblical truths and principles contained in it. The Book of Joshua has everlasting truths and principles in it that every Christian, and especially those in Christian leadership, should know.
Joshua 1sets the stage for the rest of the book. Let's look at the first 9 verses.
After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' aide: "Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them--to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west. No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and verycourageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Jos 1:1-9 NIV)
From this Scripture we learn some powerful, spiritual truths that, if believed and acted upon, will take us into God's promises, just as they did Joshua and the people of Israel.
Let's review an earlier incident in Joshua's life. Remember when he was a young man and Moses sent him and eleven other men to spy out the land God had promised them? When the twelve returned, all twelve affirmed that there was great wealth in the land. They brought back one bunch of grapes that was so big it had to be carried on a pole by two men. They described other beautiful, large fruits and vegetables. They all affirmed that it was, "the land of milk and honey." Their description of the treasures only confirmed to the Israelites that this was indeed "the Promised Land."
So all twelve young men saw the promises of God in the land. But remember what ten of them went on to say after they told of the riches they had seen? They said that the people were like giants and the cities were fortified. They insisted that Israel was not able to take the land, thereby leading the people into unbelief. In other words, these ten agreed that there were wonderful things in the land God had promised them, but that because of circumstances surrounding them, the Jews could never enter into the land. And the people ended up agreeing with them.
But not Joshua! He and his companion, Caleb, were the only two spies that said that the giants could be beaten and the land could be taken. This is what they said.
"The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will swallow them up. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them." (Num 14:7-9 NIV)
In other words, Joshua not only believed in God's promises but he believed that they were attainable.
To deal with the unbelief of the people, God caused the Israelites to wander in the desert until all of those who had agreed with the ten spies were dead. They didn't make it into the promised land. But God, in His mercy, did not hold those under thirty years old accountable for this unbelief. So only Joshua and Caleb, the two spies who believed, and those under thirty ever entered into the land God had promised them.
How sad this story is. All who left Egypt as part of God's chosen people were given the promise by God that they had a wonderful land awaiting them. But the vast majority of those who received the promise of God never entered into His promise because of unbelief. I fear it is still so today. Often when God speaks a word of promise to us, we, like the Israelites of old, receive it with great joy. Then when we begin to encounter the opposing giants and the fortified cities, unbelief surrounds us like a shroud. Then, just like the Israelites, if we allow ourselves to enter into unbelief, we die never entering into the promise.
I want to digress a bit here and explain the difference between God's general promises to us and a specific promise God makes to us personally. The Bible is the word of God. In the original Greek it is called the logos. The Bible is full of God's promises of wonderful things for our lives. And if we live righteously, we can count on the blessings given to us in Scripture. These general promises are contained in the logos of God to us through all of Scripture.
But there is another Greek word used in Scripture which means "word" too. That word is rhema. The Greek text uses rhema as meaning concise, pointed words directed to a specific person. An example of a rhema in Scripture is when Jesus told Peter to leave the boat and "come." (Mt 24:27-29) This was the specific word to Peter which, because he believed it and acted upon it, enabled him to walk on the water toward Jesus.
So we can all rely on the logos of God, that is, the word of God in Scripture. The general promises we find in God's word are for financial provision, a healthy body, and so on. But we also, by the Holy Spirit, occasionally receive a rhema or specific word as a promise to us alone. If we take these promises, and if we believe them and act upon them, they too will come to pass.
Back to Joshua, I am sure that Joshua's absolute belief was one of the reasons God chose him to lead the Israelites when Moses died. Up to that moment, all Joshua's life he had been an aid to Moses. So, while Joshua had actually experienced the promised land for a very short time, and he had proclaimed that the enemies in the land could be beaten, he was untested. I think God was saying to Joshua, in effect, "Put your money, your feet, your possessions, and your reputation where your mouth is. Now go and do what you said could be done, defeat the giants and take possession of the land across the Jordan that I promised to give to you!"
Joshua had one great advantage over the rest of the Israelites, he not only believed that the land could be taken, he had said so out loud to the people and to Moses. He had proclaimed with his mouth the reality of the promises of God. God knew Joshua's strength and unswerving belief in His promises and God wanted that kind of a leader for the Israelites.
But God also knew there were obstacles to be overcome. He knew that Joshua would be tested in his beliefs. He knew Joshua would have to learn to fight to become a strong warrior against the enemies that were ahead in order to take the land. And God also obviously knew that Joshua would be scared and discouraged at times. That's why God gave Joshua such awesome promises before he even tried to cross the Jordan into the promised land.
Now let's examine the promises contained in these early verses of Joshua 1.
Promise One - I will give you every place where you set your foot. (v. 3)
These are not mere words spoken to Joshua for a one-time application. They are alive and active today and they are for anyone who has ears to hear and a heart to believe. This literally is God's promise to us that, spiritually speaking, He will give us every place where we set our feet.
This promise says that if we are obedient and walk rightly before God, we can be absolutely confident that He will give us the land He has pointed out to us to possess. This promise is for the stout-hearted souls who will dare believe God's word. This applies to anyone who hears and sees the promises of God and has the boldness to step out to apprehend them. Where are some of the places we set our foot? In our workplaces, our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, our cities, and so on.
Promise Two - No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life.
The first thing we notice about this promise is that God didn't say to Joshua, "No one will ever try to stand up against you." It says "no one will be able to stand up against you."
Of course they will try to stand up against you. In fact, they will try to come against you again and again, year in and year out. And who are "they"? "They" may include demonic forces, our own flesh, other people, or simply the circumstances we encounter as we live in this world. Everyone who presses on to enter into God's promises will have opposition. It must be defeated every time it comes up against us, in whatever form.
The fight always gets much harder when we encounter someone who is taking a stand against us and we look at them with our natural eyes. When we look in the natural world, that opposition, that person, that circumstance does seem like a giant. Remember the giants in the promised land? To the natural eye they were impossible to overcome. So if we limit ourselves to trying to fight our giants with natural means and weapons, they will overcome us and we will never enter into God's promises. If we choose to fight them with natural means we are doomed to failure.
But if we fight with our God given supernatural weapons of divine power, we demolish the strongholds of opposition.
"For the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Cor 10:4,5 NIV)
Note here that Paul tells us that the arguments and pretensions do not come against us. They come against the knowledge of God and His word in us! Paul clearly understood that the attacks were against his spiritual journey, and he knew how to counter them: take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ!
Promise Three - I will never leave you nor forsake you.
This is such a powerful, comforting promise. God was gracious to make this promise to Joshua and, in His everlasting love, He has made this promise to us as well. And never is a long time!
It's one thing to believe God when you are in an anointed meeting in the presence of the Lord and hear Him say, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." But its quite another thing to believe that promise when you are in the midst of problems and trials. We need to remember that our feelings are dependent on circumstances but that God's promises are not. It is impossible for God to lie. (Heb 6:18) When He speaks, He speaks truth. His word is truth. (Jo 17:17) His truth is never subject to circumstances. His truth stands independent of our feelings and circumstances. His truth is sovereign. So we can know with absolute certainty that God has never, and will never, leave us nor will He ever forsake us, no matter what the situation.
Let me say again that all three of these promises are to and for every believer. God's word is truth. It can be taken as fact. And remember our earlier discussion of the rhema of God to us. We can also take these rhemas as facts just waiting to happen. When God makes a specific promise to us, whether it is about a healing, a call to ministry, to build a church, that a wayward child will come to Christ, financial provision for our ministry and family needs, whatever that promise is, stand on it and watch God fulfill it!
God knew that Joshua was going to have strong opposition. For Joshua, his opposition were real, live giants and real fortified cities. That's how real his opposition was. God knew that Joshua would experience times of disappointment and frustration. These three promises were given to strengthen Joshua as he began taking steps toward the promised land. And we must make them our own as well. Every step taken becomes your spiritual territory. It is yours. No one can take it away from you. This doesn't mean that there won't be setbacks. It doesn't mean that there will not be times when it seems all is lost. It doesn't mean that there will never be discouraging times. In fact, the enemy will often come against God's word to you. At times you will have to fight to make His promises become a reality. That's why God told Joshua to. . .
I love this phrase. It, or a variation of it, occurs five times in just the first chapter of the book of Joshua. Courage is defined by Webster's dictionary as the attitude of facing and dealing with anything recognized as dangerous, difficult, or painful, instead of withdrawing from it. Why did God tell Joshua so many times to be strong and courageous? Because He knew that Joshua would be discouraged at times and afraid at other times. He knew that Joshua could never take the promised land on his own strength, he would give out. This was God putting backbone and spiritual courage into Joshua. Having courage doesn't mean that you don't have fear. It does mean that you will go on and do what God has told you to do anyhow, in spite of your fear! Over all that Joshua would do in the next many years, this word to be strong and courageous would ring clear and true as an overarching command to Joshua, his leaders, and all the people.
And this word rings with as much truth to us today as it did the first time Joshua heard it. We will never, I repeat, never really move into all the promises of God for our lives if we are not strong and do not have courage. Courage is that inner core of strength that will make us do things that under natural circumstances seem foolish. Without this God given courage, we will not get all God has for us.
Often, when we receive a promise from God, we sit passively and wait for Him to bring about what He promised. If we continue to be passive we will die without entering into the promise. You see, along with the promises God gave Joshua, He also gave him specific instructions as to how to enter into the promised land. Here are these instructions:
Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Jos 1:7,8 NIV)
These verses are more of God's instructions or commands to Joshua and the Israelites. In addition to telling Joshua and the people to be strong and courageous, He is also instructing them to 1) be careful to obey all the law Moses gave to them, 2) do not turn from it to the right or to the left, 3) do not let the Book of the Law depart from their mouths, 4) meditate on it day and night, and 5) be careful to do everything written in it.
This kind of changes things, doesn't it? We loved the promises - take every place we set our foot, God always being with us and never forsaking us, no one will ever be able to stand up against us, and we will be successful and prosperous! Wow, couldn't all of us jump up and down and shout, "Hallelujah" about that!
God is doing and will always do His part. Where it gets messy is when we realize that He is also telling us that we must do our part. First we must obey all His laws. Remember all the laws and regulations God had given Moses and the Israelites. There were the Ten Commandments, there was the command to tithe, to worship only one God, to live righteous and moral lives, and so much more, a lot of it in great detail. So, if we are to claim all the promises God made to Joshua, we also must accept God's commands and instructions under which those promises will be fulfilled.
God also told Joshua and the people not to deviate from the law and go to the right or left. So too, we must not get sidetracked or drawn away. That is the turning to the left or right idea. If we get distracted by whatever is in our life, we will lose the focus needed to take the promised land. And that thing that gets us sidetracked may not even be a sin. It may just be a job, a child, politics, or whatever, that causes us to turn to the right or left, thereby losing our aim. God also instructed Joshua and the people to know His word and meditate on it continually. Here too, that command is for us today. How can we obey God's laws and walk in His righteousness if we are not constantly reading, hearing, and meditating on His word?
So the structure of the battle plan God gave Joshua and the Israelites is really shaping up, isn't it? First He gives them His promises that they will take the land and that He will be with them all the way. Then He tells them that they must be strong and courageous during the journey. And finally, God tells them that they are to learn His laws, they are to meditate on them, and they are to obey them. God has, in effect, given Joshua his battle plan before Joshua even put one foot into the Jordan to try to cross into the promised land. God was laying the groundwork for the rest of the journey. If Joshua, the people of Israel, and if we today, follow these instructions, then we will win every battle that we enter and we will take the land and receive His promises.
So the first chapter of the Book of Joshua gave him his battle plan. As he prepared to enter the promised land he knew that there would be strong opposition from the peoples who lived there. We too, when we prepare to move into the promises God has given us, know there will be opposition. Let's now look at four natural events from the Book of Joshua from which I draw spiritual parallels. I will relate each of these events as a spiritual principle. I think these four principles cover the majority of the resistance you and I will encounter as we begin to enter into and apprehend God's promises.
Barrier One Natural/Personal Handicaps
All Israel was camped on the east bank of the Jordan. God appeared to Joshua and gave him instructions to take the people across the river. But in Joshua 3:15 we are told that when God gave Joshua the order to cross the Jordan it was at flood stage! That means the river was perhaps seven to ten meters deep and possibly half a kilometer across!
Why didn't God wait until the water level was at its lowest? I believe that God wanted to show Joshua and the people that the only way they were going to get across the Jordan was by His supernatural intervention. When we see how the Jews got across the Jordan, there can't be any doubt in anybody's mind that no man was able to pull off that feat. It had to have been God.
The morning that Joshua commanded the people to break camp and prepare to cross the Jordan, this is what happened.
"So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing. So the people crossed over opposite Jericho. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground." (Jos 3:14-16a,17 NIV)
How do you think those priests felt when they first realized that they were to pick up the Ark of the Covenant and start across that flooded river? Sure, Joshua had told them that as soon as they stepped into the water, the water upstream would stop and stand up in a heap. But it still took great faith and courage to follow this new and as yet untested leader, Joshua. Those priests no doubt realized that they could have drown if Joshua was wrong.
But they believed and obeyed, one step at a time. I think this flooded river represents the natural and personal barriers we see ahead of us when we look to the fulfillment of God's promises. I'm sure at least some of those priests wanted to just sit down and wait until the river stopped flooding. That's the "sensible, logical" thing to do, isn't it? But that's not what God wanted. He wanted His people to experience a supernatural miracle which only He could have produced.
Joshua understood that because he told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you." (Jos 3:5 NIV) And that's exactly what happened. The same holds true for us today. When we believe and obey, God does do amazing things among us!
I will tell you a true story I heard a couple of years ago from a pastor. This pastor had grown up with a terrible stammering problem. It was very hard for him to speak because he stammered so badly. As a result, he never wanted to talk in front of people. It was embarrassing for him as well as being very hard. But one day the Lord told him that he should begin to teach a Bible class. This man waited and God kept confirming it. The man tried to argue with God saying no one would even come because everyone knew he stammered so badly. Finally, the man decided he would obey God and announced that he was starting a Bible study although he himself believed no one would come. The first evening a few people did come and the man began to speak. As he opened his mouth to speak, the stammer left him and it has never returned! That man is now a full-time pastor of a growing church.
God gave this man the same battle plan we have outlined from the first chapter of Joshua. And as this man was faithful, his natural handicap notwithstanding, God brought him through to his promised land. But note, God did not promise the man ahead of time that if he would be obedient and begin a Bible class, then he would be healed. No. God just told him to begin to teach the class. Then all those present got to witness the amazing thing that God did!
Now just think what would have happened if that man ultimately decided he just couldn't do it. What if he concluded in his own mind that his stammering was too big a handicap and he didn't start the Bible study? I suspect that that man would still be stammering today and, if so, he surely would not be a pastor.
How many promises do we miss on our walk with Jesus because of the natural and personal handicaps that stand between us and the promises of God? Too many, I fear. It's time for us to believe, obey, and watch God do amazing things in the midst of the natural and personal handicaps we face.
Barrier Two Human and Demonic Opposition
So now we have Joshua and all the people across the Jordan. The next obstacle they encounter is the walled city of Jericho. I believe that Jericho represents for us the human and demonic opposition we will encounter as we move into the promises of God.
To briefly tell the story of Jericho, God told Joshua to have all the armed men march around the city once each day for six days. They were to have seven priests carry trumpets of rams horn in front of the Ark on each march. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times and the priests were to blow the trumpets. When the people heard the trumpets, they were all to shout. The account tells us that when the people shouted, the walls collapsed, the fighting men went straight in and the Israelites took the city and all the treasures it contained, killing everyone within the walls.
As we examine this story, the first thing that comes to mind is how seemingly silly God's instructions were to Joshua. I am a retired Marine and I can tell you that fighting men would not be impressed with simply walking around the enemy's fortress once each day for six days with a group of priests in the procession. These men would complain and grumble among themselves, saying they were tired, their feet hurt, Joshua was crazy, and on and on. In other words, God's instructions to Joshua didn't make any sense to the natural mind.
In truth, the weapons God gave Joshua and the people weren't natural weapons anyway. No natural weapon the Israelites had could even begin to penetrate the walls of Jericho. So they had to use supernatural weapons! And supernatural weapons are every believer's secret weapon in the supernatural realm. We know our fight is with principalities and supernatural powers, don't we? So of course we should use supernatural secret weapons given us by the Lord to defeat our enemies. That just makes sense. We may not understand it, but if we use these weapons, we can just believe, obey, stand and shout as the people did before Jericho, and see the walls come tumbling down!
I will give you an example I heard several years ago. There was an old, large building in downtown New York that was up for sale. It was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars but because it was in a bad part of town, it would be sold for less. A group of inner city Christian brothers went to the sale to try to buy the building for their ministry. A cult group showed up at the sale and began to out bid the Christians. The cult had more money than the Christians did and, in the natural realm, they would have gotten the building. But at one point, one of the Christian men stood up, pointed his finger at the cult group, and said, "The blood of Jesus is against you!" From that point on no member of the cult team could utter a word! They tried but they simply could not speak. The Christian group ended up buying the building at a greatly reduced price! If we would only believe and obey, we too can stand and watch the amazing things God does.
Barrier Three Human Sin
Now let's look at what happened to Joshua after he conquered Jericho. The next place to be conquered was a small town called Ai. I believe Ai represents for us today that unconquered sin in our life that stops the flow of God's supernatural power as we attempt to move into His promises.
Ai was so small that Joshua sent just a relatively few fighting men to conquer it and, to everyone's shame, they were defeated. When Joshua heard of the defeat, he fell before the Lord and said, "Ah, Sovereign Lord, why did you ever bring this people across the Jordan to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay on the other side of the Jordan!" (Jos 7:7 NIV)
My, how things have changed! Is this the same Joshua who declared to Moses and all the people that they could defeat all the giants in the promised land? Joshua is discouraged, isn't he? In fact, he sounds down right defeated and ready to give up, doesn't he? After all, he had just come from a mighty victory over Jericho and now a small group from Ai have defeated him.
But let's look at how the Lord responded to Joshua's cry. God said, "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it." (Jos 7:10,11,13 NIV)
Notice what is happening here. Joshua has been defeated in battle and he is discouraged. He tore his clothes, fell on his face in prayer and stayed that way until evening which means he was fasting, too. (Jos 7:4) God responded to Joshua's cry by telling him to get up and take care of the sin in the camp! In other words, God wasn't particularly impressed with Joshua's praying and fasting. The Lord didn't tell Joshua that because he prayed and fasted, God would give them victory from now on. Now, the prayer and fasting wasn't necessarily wasted. It made the way for God to talk to Joshua and show him the sin in the camp. But once Joshua knew of the sin, he was to get up on his feet and go take care of it.
If you have personal sin in your life, and by that, I mean an ongoing, lifestyle sin area in your life, you can fast and pray for a month and God isn't going to give you what you want. He will tell you to get the sin out of your life. He will show you how to do that, and He will give you the strength and grace to get the job done. But, by this example from the Book of Joshua, I believe with all my heart that we will never really come into the promises the Lord has given us if we continue to maintain a deep rooted sin pattern in our lives. God just doesn't work that way.
Note that it was only after Joshua found the man who had brought sin into the camp, and he had destroyed the man, his family, and all he owned, that Scripture tells us, "Then the Lord turned from his fierce anger." (Jos 7:26 NIV) After that, God told Joshua to go and fight the people of Ai again and, after the sin had been rooted out and destroyed, Joshua was victorious.
Barrier Four Human Effort Without God
Now let's look at the fourth barrier that keeps us from achieving God's promises. It is making important decisions without seeking God's counsel. This usually involves making compromises to try to get what God has promised, but doing it our way instead of God's way.
Joshua and the Israelites ran into this barrier when they encountered the Gibeonites in Joshua 9. We all know the story. The Gibeonites knew that the Israelites were going to kill them when they got to their land so they devised a scheme to trick Joshua and the people into letting them live. They sent some men dressed in old, worn out clothes, with old moldy food, and told the men to act as though they had come a long way and to try to make a treaty with Joshua.
Notice one of the first things the men of Israel said to the Gibeonites when they met, "But perhaps you live near us. How then can we make a treaty with you?" (v 7 NIV) Obviously the Holy Spirit was raising a warning flag with Joshua and his men, wasn't He? He had raised a doubt in Joshua's mind. But Joshua disregarded it. He and his men examined the clothes, animals, etc. of the Gibeonites and Scripture tells us, "The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord." (Jos 9:14 NIV, emphasis added.)
And this was the grave mistake that tainted Israel from then on. Three days after they had entered into the treaty, Joshua found out he had been tricked but he considered himself bound by his word. Oh, he tried to limit the damage by making the Gibeonites servants of the Israelites, making them wood cutters and water carriers. But what was really happening? Joshua had compromised God's word. He knew he was supposed to kill all the inhabitants of the promised land. Why? Because the inhabitants were idolaters, had strong ties to the demonic realm, were sexually immoral, and all the rest.
So even though the Gibeonites were servants, they brought their idols, their demons, their sexually immoral behavior, and all the rest into the camp. Joshua continued to lead, and the Israelites continued to take more and more of the land. But, spiritually speaking, the idolatry that first entered into Israel through Joshua's spiritual compromise represented the idolatry that was ultimately the downfall of Israel a few hundred years later. Israel never got rid of the idols and immoral behavior introduced into their midst by the Gibeonites.
We see the same principle at work when Abraham decided he had to help God's promise of a son along and he begat Ishmael by the servant woman who was not his wife. Ishmael caused trouble in Abraham's household and his descendants have been causing trouble even to this day. Spiritual compromise, making decisions, and trying to make things come to pass without seeking the counsel of the Lord is so harmful to us.
When we make spiritual compromises with God's word and/or His promises to us, we are bring into our lives a barrier to letting God guide us into the fullness of His promises for our lives, our families, our churches, and our communities. Always, always, always seek God's counsel whenever you make an important decision, whether it concerns your future, your finances, your family, your ministry, or whatever. God will always be faithful to guide us if we but seek Him.
So how can we avoid and/or overcome the hindrances and barriers we encounter when we prepare to get God's promises for our lives? First by meditating on God's word day and night, and by obeying all His laws. His words and promises to us should ever be in our minds, our thoughts, and our mouths.
We are to use our mouths to speak out loud God's promises. Say those promises aloud! There is great power and authority in the spoken word. We should be proclaiming God's promises to us every day, affirming them, and standing on them, regardless of the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
Then we are to do what God shows us to do as we take the land. Passive Christians never get very far. God has promised us that we will take every place we set our foot. So why not put our feet into as many places as we can, under the Lord's direction? Remember, the priests didn't whine and complain. They picked up the Ark and walked into the Jordan. It was as they walked that the waters backed up, not before.
And we are to continue to act, hand in hand with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, until we have achieved all the promises. Remember God warns us to not turn to the left or right, thereby becoming distracted and losing focus. We are to be like the fighting men at Jericho, when the walls came down, they went straight in and took the city. I am convinced that our lives can be filled with the amazing things God does if we but believe and obey! Praise His name!