DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
Several years ago I was visiting with two young men from Nagaland, a northeastern region of India. God had moved there in a mighty way, sending revival to the area. Almost the entire population had come to faith in Christ. The Holy Spirit blew through the region with mighty power. I asked these young men about the characteristics of the churches.
They said there were two very distinct results of the revival. First, the churches were filled with praise and adoration to God. Second, the churches were characterized by prayer. I asked these two young Christian leaders what they thought was the difference between the churches in Nagaland and the churches in the West. They had an interesting reply: “The churches in the West have an agenda and they ask God to bless it. In Nagaland, we ask God to establish the agenda.”
God’s Spirit pierced my heart. It’s so true about us in the West. We will develop a strategy and die by that strategy. We’ll ask God to bless the strategy — and even ask Him to use it for His glory. That’s good if it’s His strategy. But all too often we begin with our planning instead of prayer and seeking God’s face. His strategy could look much different than ours.
Such was the situation with Joshua. To an outsider, God’s plan for taking the city of Jericho must have looked ridiculous. He told the children of Israel, “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 all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in” (Joshua 6:3-5). This wasn’t the kind of strategy that anyone could just think up, then ask God to bless. From beginning to end, this was God’s strategy.
Several key principles about God’s plan are important for us to understand. First, God gave the children of Israel a promise. The Lord told Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men” (Joshua 6:2). God’s strategy always begins with a promise from God. His plan always triumphs —because it’s His plan. When we begin to understand God’s plan, we can act and work with a great sense of confidence. If we know that what we are doing is His strategy, we can rest assured of His promise to fulfill that plan. One of my favorite verses is 1 Thessalonians 5:24: “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
But Joshua not only had to trust in the promises of God, he also had to obey His voice — even when it seemed unreasonable. God told the children of Israel to march around the city. He didn’t say, “Get your weapons and go fight — fight with all your might.” No! God wasn’t looking for a people of great strength. He was looking for a humble, obedient people. That’s whom He blesses. He wanted them to simply “trust and obey.” There’s no other way to walk in victory but trusting and obeying God.
But one final principle was vital for their success. They needed God’s presence in all they did. They needed the promise of God and their own obedience to God. But that was no substitute for His presence. That’s why Joshua told the priests, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it” (Joshua 6:6). The ark of the covenant represented the dwelling place of God. If we are to succeed, we must have God’s presence before us, with us, and behind us. We need to seek His face and live in His presence. That’s a sure prescription for victory.
1) Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. 2) Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3) March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4) 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. 5) 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.” 6) So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant of the Lord and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.” 7) And he ordered the army, “Advance! March around the city, with an armed guard going ahead of the ark of the Lord.” 8) When Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the Lord went forward, blowing their trumpets, and the ark of the Lord’s covenant followed them. 9) The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding. 10) But Joshua had commanded the army, “Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” 11) So he had the ark of the Lord carried around the city, circling it once. Then the army returned to camp and spent the night there. 12) Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the Lord. 13) The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the Lord and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the Lord, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14) So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days. 15) On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. 16) The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! 17) The city and all that is in it are to be devoted[a] to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. 18) But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. 19) All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.” 20) When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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