Why am I not walking in victory?
Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings. Therefore the people of Israel cannot stand before their enemies… Joshua 7:11-12a
This verse is extremely important to me and to us as believers. According to the verse above : “Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them:” they cannot stand before their enemies. Wow, the LORD is so clear here, why? I believe because He’s always clear, His Word, has not been given to us to cause us to stumble, but to stop us from stumbling away from Him. He clearly tells us what we need to find the joyful, victorious blessedness of living for and with Him. It is our own sinful nature that would chose to walk against Him.
So what can I learn about my own life as I meditate on this? I can see I have an enemy, satan and all his demons, I also have the enemy of my own carnality. So when I am not putting the LORD first, loving him with all my heart than I cannot fight, I cannot stand against those things that my flesh would be drawn to, nor do I have the strength to stand against the devils devices which he would love to destroy me with. Thank You JESUS for your words that keep us focused on the straight and narrow road and you have given us Your .
In the old Testament JESUS was no different than He is in the new, however because of the old and the new we are given very views of His character and the way in which He thinks about our actions and what goes on in our hearts. We know that absolutely GOD the Father and our LORD JESUS CHRIST, loves us, and He loved His people back then. If you have given yourself over to the work of the cross, as the final atoning sacrifice made for your life, you come to trust, whether you understand everything or not, that what He says is true, and you can look at the actions in the old testament and believe without doubt that there is always a right and holy reason for His actions. He always put off carrying out punishments as long as He could and warned His people if they continued to sin against Him that He would have to act. He was clear and to me that is love, He didn’t and does’t want us to fail to stand with Him in all His glory as Kingdom children.
So we see here in Joshua a definite and clearly spoken statement that the reason that Joshua and his men did not succeed in battle was because they had not followed His explicit directions or commands.
Joshua was on His face crying out to GOD about this, and rather than seek GOD for why this happened, began with statements such as this, “And Joshua said, “Alas, O Lord God, why have you brought this people over the Jordan at all, to give us into the hands of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would that we had been content to dwell beyond the Jordan!”
Over the many years of working with those who are struggling desperately with issues of the flesh, and watching their bouts of taking on an absolute defeated spirit as they sit under the blanket of accusations the devil has fed their minds, it is hard to imagine how prevalent and relentless this battle is between darkness and light, especially in the those who call themselves Christians. And I think the thing to emphasize in this statement is it is taken onto themselves or ourselves, because it is something we will all go through until we strengthen ourselves in the Truth of our salvation. The devil can tempt, but it is with our own evil desires we are enticed and dragged away into the place of sinful doubt (James 1:13-15). It is not a real place of hopelessness, or should I say one that needs to last forever, though it feels like it, but it is a place created by our own struggle with Truth and the willingness to believe it. Our doubt does not change the work that was done on the cross, and Truth is Truth no matter what we choose to believe for we are given the HOLY SPIRIT upon salvation to bear witness to the Truth. ( Eph 1:13, 1 Jn 5:6) Doubt does not diminish the power of Truth, but does create a sense of hopelessness that the devil is wanting believers to stay bound by. Even if he cannot steal your salvation, he wants you to doubt the validity of your own salvation, for it is impossible to please GOD without faith and the devil knows that (Heb 11:6). For this reason it is critical, yes critical, that as a followers of JESUS CHRIST we stay in the Word of GOD seeking the HOLY SPIRIT’S revelation of GOD’S Word so that we own the Truth of GOD to dispel the lies the enemy of your soul is trying to get you to believe. The LORD spoke to me years ago during a fierce spiritual battle, “You cannot be deceived if you “know” the truth,” and He didn’t just mean academically, you have to “know” it in your heart as you endeavor to live it. That journey produces a wisdom found no where else. It produces understanding and in Job 28:28 it says; “And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the LORD, that is wisdom; And to depart from evil is understanding”. Living out your faith and growing in His Truth produces a healthy fear of the LORD, and with that is wisdom and understanding. And the fruit of that is steadfastness to His Truth.
However, though there be battles throughout our Christian walk, as believers we should clearly walk in the confidence of the victory over such lies. And even when the lies almost sound convincing, we should have strong Christians that can speak Truth, powered by the Holy Spirit, Truth that will cast down such imaginations in the heart of those struggling. There are times when the battle seems too tiring to go alone, and though the LORD never leaves or forsakes us, He has given us the fellowship of other believers so that we can help one another as we walk through these battles of life. No human being has the ability outside the Spirit to speak the kind of Truth that can pierce a heart, but when we are in CHRIST and walking after the Spirit and not after flesh the power of GOD’s Spirit in us is capable of speaking Truths that can pierce the heart of a struggling brother or sister in the LORD. (James 5:19) This is why it is important to be part of the fellowship of believers, and not try to be a lone ranger for JESUS. Isolationism is another lie of the devil to try to separate us from those who will be able to speak life against the death that he will attempt to breed in a believers heart and mind.
Lies come to us in the form of deceiving accusation, and there is only one place of origin for all accusation, and that is the pit of hell. Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10). However in my journey as a servant of the LORD, many, many of the people GOD puts before me to serve are being tossed to and fro questioning and struggling with thoughts that come to their minds. Then as they dwell in these thoughts it begins to affect their hearts and they are really immobilized as Christians. They doubt themselves, they doubt GOD’s forgiveness, they doubt His love, they question their salvation and really the list is as long as people are different. Yet even tho their fears and doubts may have a different slant to them, which the devil tries to use as a means to cause them to feel too different from others, and that the basic truths of GOD do not apply to their situation, the devil tries to convince them their situation is so different that GOD’s truth, that applies to everyone else doesn’t apply to them and that they are basically unforgivable. How silly this may sound on paper but just let the battle be in your head and see how silly it feels. But there is a remedy!!!!!!! JESUS has broken the condemnation of sin in the lives of those who are in CHRIST JESUS and follow after the Spirit and not after the flesh. (Romans 8:1)
So here is what we have to know and believe; JESUS does not condemn, the time of judgement is not upon us yet, the devils accusations will always lead your thoughts to a sense of condemnation, judgement, hopelessness and a sense that there is no way out. He cannot cause you to doubt, he is only banking on your own insecurity in your faith, your own lack of understanding as a believer to try to reason (as Eve did in the garden) your way into full blown doubt rather than to stand firm on what GOD’s Word says.
JESUS says in John 12:47-48 “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day”. Understand that JESUS brought the Truth as spoken to Him by the Father, He brought it that while there is still time as many as possible would believe before the door of grace is shut. The Word revealed to our heart by the HOLY SPIRIT will bring conviction, and the conviction of sin is not brought to condemn, but to bring a sense of the hopelessness of sin outside of CHRIST and the hope found in the finished work of the cross. He offers us the opportunity to see the condition of sin in our lives and offers us a way out. The devil shows you your sin and tries to convince you there is no way out. The HOLY SPIRIT works through the Word of GOD to reveal your sin and the hope offered through the life of JESUS CHRIST, so as a believer, to avoid growing in the knowledge of the Word of GOD you are setting yourself up to be a mark for the Devil. Someone that the devil will work hard to confuse and hope you will trip yourself up with doubt, just as a hurricane stops moving and batters relentlessly the area it hovers over. By chosen ignorance of GOD’s Truth you set yourself up for endless accusations hovering over your life that can cause your heart to move further away from GOD out of fear, rather than develop the wisdom and understanding that reading his Word and trying to live it will produce, drawing you closer to GOD and building a wall around your salvation that becomes impenetrable by lies.
All deception relies on some level of Truth to get those who hear to follow. Notice all the trends of Christianity have crowds of people following, like sheep to the slaughter, and that is because what they preach has some aspects of truth to what is said, just enough to draw the weak in who know little of the Word of GOD. They hear, and bank on all they hear to be truth because they recognize a little of it. BUT NOT TRUE! Look around these places, those who are anchored in the Truth are no where to be found in these crowds. They are labeled with all kinds of negative labels because they know and choose to stand on only the Truth.
Where do you want to be standing, on the Narrow road? Or on the path that is wide? Matthew 7:13-14 says; “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it”. This is a choice, which will you make? The LORD is fully open and accepting of you with your sin, not accepting of your sin, but will take you as you are, and He desires to teach you and convict your heart so that you can clearly see all that is offered to this dark and dying world through the LORD JESUS CHRIST, our soon Coming King! Galatians 5:1 says; “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” As believers we are not to be caught up in the entanglements of doubt, and sin, but to believe the Truth of the Sciptures as revealed by the HOLY SPIRIT, that in Him is Freedom from the condemnation that law brought upon our sinful natures.
I pray that we will hunger, hunger after the LORD and all that He is and all that He has offered to those who believe. May He continually strengthen His body and may His body move upon this country living out the life of our individual callings wherever He may place us, standing firmly in His Truth, Holding fast to the cross where Life begins and ends, for our LORD said as He gave up His Spirit, IT IS FINISHED! We need look no further than that cross the instrument of death that brought life and redemption to a dark and dying world for all who would Believe!