Faith, promises, Waiting

Around and Around I Go

Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” Joshua 6:1-5

Jericho. The first city in the Promised Land. The beginning of God’s blessings.

For forty years, the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness because of their lack of faith, because they had chosen to look at the giants in the land rather than trust that God was able. Now, it was time for battle, time to take possession of the land that God had promised. They were on the verge of the land flowing with milk and honey. The excitement had to be building, knowing that the time was near. They would soon experience God’s blessings after enduring a difficult time of testing and trials.

The people of Jericho sensed the trouble brewing. They closed the gates tightly and hunkered down. They knew that God was on the side of the Israelites.

Joshua was now in command. He was bold. He was courageous. He was a fierce warrior. And, He had faith. If you remember, he was one of only two spies that had been confident that God would give them the victory if they would trust Him and be obedient—forty years earlier. As opposed to looking at the giants of the land, he and Caleb kept their focus on God—the One who would deliver the Promised Land into their hands.

I can almost hear the conversation between God and Joshua:

“Joshua,” says God, “here’s the battle plan. I want you to march around the city.”

“Umm…,” says Joshua, “Could you say that again? I don’t think I quite understood you.”

“March around the city, Joshua,” God repeats.

“I don’t really think I’m understanding your command, God,” says Joshua. “Can you give me a little better description?”

“You heard me just fine, Josh. March around the city. Follow my directions. Trust me.”

“We are going to look completely foolish,” Joshua protests. “Don’t you think it would be better for us to charge the walls, to burn the city?”

“Joshua,” God says, “Trust me. I’ve got this. Just walk in obedience and leave the rest to me. I know what I’m doing.”

“Well, God,” Joshua begins, “I really can’t see what you’re doing here, but I will choose to trust you. You have been faithful to me all my life, and you have promised that this land is ours. I am terrified. I feel like a complete fool. But, you told me that you have already delivered this city into our hands. We will march around the city just as you say.”

So, Joshua led the people as they marched around the city. I’m sure they were filled with anxiety…and excitement…and fear…and faith…and doubts…and…

And guess what? God brought the walls down in response to their faith and their obedience—just as He had promised. It was the first victory in the Promised Land, and God has always been faithful to do exactly as He said He would.

Today, I am standing outside my Jericho. I am looking at the walls and gates, and they are closed up tight. They appear impenetrable. But, I have circled my Jericho in prayer for two years. I have clearly heard God’s voice telling me that victory is certain, that He has already delivered it into my hand. I feel like a fool believing that Jericho can be delivered into my hands, but I hear God calling to me to trust Him, that this is His battle not mine. I am choosing to believe Him, to trust Him, to walk by faith and not by sight. Although I can’t see His hand, I can’t understand the battle plan, I know that I can trust His heart.

Despite the pain and the fear and the anxiety, there’s also an amazing sense of excitement. You see, I prayed over a year ago that God would help my unbelief, that He would help me to take Him out of the neat little box I’ve kept Him in all my life. I’ve asked Him to do in me and through me bigger and better things than I could ever ask, dream, or imagine.

And God has heard and is answering those prayers.

He is answering those prayers through trials and tribulations where my faith is stretched and tested. He is answering those prayers by taking me into situations where I have no control, where only His intervention can bring about the desired results.

I feel certain that when God causes the walls of my Jericho to crumble, I will know that it was definitely something only God could do. He will receive ALL the glory! When I see His faithfulness to keep this promise, I will be ready to stare down the next city in my Promised Land, the next giant in my journey. I will be ready to see God pouring out His power and might in my life.

God has clearly told me that the time is near. I am circling in prayer and praise, proclaiming that God has already given me the victory.

I don’t know when. I don’t know how. But I do know WHO.

My God. My Promise Maker. My Promise Keeper. The One who finishes what He began.

Lord Jesus, I often feel foolish clinging to this promise you have made me. But, I have tested the spirit for over two years, and you continue to reassure me that the promise is from you. Therefore, I will cling to you, to your character, to your faithfulness. I will choose to walk by faith and not by sight. I will choose to continue marching around my Jericho in prayer and praise until you bring the walls down. I know that you are doing an amazing work in me so that you can do an amazing work through me—the very prayer I voiced at the beginning of this journey. I am terrified and yet excited. Give me enough faith to continue this journey and the strength to keep on marching until you bring the walls down!

6 thoughts on “Around and Around I Go”

  1. Thank you for this. I am in exactly the same situation. Even though our circumstances may not be identical, God is absolutely telling me over and over again “I got this. Trust me” in that amazing quiet, strong voice. I had not related my situation to Jericho, but I see now the similarities. I know God has a promised land for me and in his time the walls will fall and I will see. There are times I feel so weak that I don’t think I can make it and there are times that I doubt that there is a promised land. But through your words today God has spoken once again to say, ‘see, I tell others the same thing. Trust me, I’ve got this’ Thank you soooo much for opening your heart to share God’s word. You put a smile back on my face today. I will pray for you. That you will have the strength to continue your march and that God will continue to reveal himself to you. Your promised land is coming!

    1. Thank you so much! I am right there with you. This very week, I’ve been so ready to quit, throw in the towel, pretend as if I had never heard God’s voice. Through His reassuring voice, I continue to hear, “Hang in there…I’m still in control.” It is so stinkin hard, though!

      If you haven’t read it, your should pick up The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson. It’s a great lesson on praying through to fulfillment.

      Thanks for the prayers, and I will be praying for you as well!

  2. A few years back, God told me to make my march around Jericho. Literally. My husband was in jail – he had a drug problem, and was so bound by it that I had to get a protection order. He was in jail because I had him arrested. The DV counselors called and told me that he would be arraigned at a certain time, at the jail he was in one day and I felt God telling me to go drive around that jail 7 times and pray and He would bring down the walls of the battle I had been fighting for my husbands life, our marriage and so much more. At this point I was desperate and felt a little crazy – but I was all in. I thought it meant they would keep him in jail long enough for the drugs to get out of his body and his right mind to come back. I drove around that jail building (on city streets) praying like what I am sure must have looked like a crazy woman. I did it seven times. And then I went home. And then I got the call that they were letting my husband out that day. I thought I must have mis-heard God and that I just acted a little crazy. I wasnt sleeping, or eating. It made sense that I was getting a little delusional with all that stress. That is until I talked to my husband months later and he told me the story of what happened to him that day. You see, we still had a protection order so it was some time before I could talk to my husband in person again. I had not told him (or anyone) yet the story of what I did that day. We were talking after he was home one day and I asked him what brought him back to this point. He told me that just before his arraignment that day (the time I was driving around the jail) that the Spirit of God fell on him in his cell, and broke through his drug haze and he fell on his face in that cell and started to pray. The words that my husband used when he was telling me this story was to say *God broke down the walls in my mind that were keeping me from hearing Him*. I knew instantly then that I had heard the voice of God that day. That after driving around 7 times, that God did bring down walls that day just as He had promised – He just did so in a way that I did not expect. It took years for the drugs to get out of my husbands body, and lots of struggling and many more difficult times as God has been healing our marriage (even to this day) – but God has always been faithful in all that He has promised. I doubt sometimes, and am working on that – but He has moved mountains for my family with just a mustard seeds worth of Faith. I look forward to hearing what He will be doing in your life!!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing! I, too, have done a literal prayer walk/drive around my promise…Actually about seven with the last being seven circles! Although I haven’t seen the walls fall immediately as you have, I know that I was led to literally circle my promise. I have no idea what God has done in response to those prayer circles, but I know that one day it will all be clear.

  3. Wow! I too have received a promise beyond my wildest dreams. And I have also had times especially within the past couple weeks where it seemed that perhaps I conjured up the entire idea. I have also been going through a crisis of belief and was trying to reconcile the promise with current circumstances. After reflecting on God’s work and where He’s brought me, it became clear that it is in fact a promise from God. The promise seems so off the wall that at present I have only told one individual. I have no clue how God will pull it off; it seems so improbable with so many roadblocks but I fully believe that He will deliver. Like you, I need to put my focus more on Him than the promise itself. Seeing that there are others that are in my shoes is very encouraging. Thank you for your blog!

    1. I think God is working to raise up a remnant of believers who will believe for bigger things than we could ever hope or imagine. I think He is building faith in us, about to unleash His power so there is no doubt who He is. I am hearing from believers everywhere who are clinging to a promise they know is from Him and yet is so impossible that our faith is being stretched greatly. I am beginning to see that God is the God of the Impossible–that He chooses not to step in until it is so completely impossible that all glory is given to Him (more on that in the next few weeks). We are living in exciting times where God is trying to get out of the box that we have put Him in. He wants to show up and show off! I’m excited to join you in prayer as you wait for your promise! He is faithful!

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