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April 30, 2021 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. In this case.
He clearly is on that side but this encounter leads. I think of the very first point that I want to make this morning is this when it comes to bringing down strongholds in your life you need to know who fights about another. You have to know who fights about joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world. Pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana doing pastoral Gebhart now is once again he shows us how God's word meets the world doing the book of Hebrews in the New Testament the writer of Hebrews basically says that all of us as believers have a choice to you can live your life in the wilderness, recommit your life and the promise you can live what he calls the faith rest life and he warns us that if we don't do certain things will never get into the promised land or living a life filled with joy and peace and hope.
So in chapter 12 he says to us in two versus what's our responsibility.
What is it we need to do and he says therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. When I read that verse, I think of those two things lay aside the encumbrance, but I think especially of the sin that so easily entangles us, have you noticed that about yourself. If you find yourself struggling with sin the same sin for months for years. Some of us for decades the same sin just keeps coming in that sin, that sin is going to stop us from ever living the kind of life.
The Christ intends for us to live. Tony Evans. He calls these kinds of sins. The strongholds he said of the enemy in our lives. Eventually, the reality of it. I want to open your Bibles 1st to 2nd Corinthians chapter 10 second Corinthians chapter 10 because there the apostle Paul tells us what's really going on.
Once the fight that we really have. How difficult is this for us. He says in verse three, he says, for though we walk in the flesh when Paul says that it just means we live in the moment. This is the real world.
Although we walk or live in the real world we live in the flesh. He said although we live in the flesh. He said we do not war. Interesting word.
We do not war according to the flesh.
He said for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses for the destruction of fortresses that Greek word is often translated strongholds just what Tony had said so. He says there that the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.
He said we are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God were taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. James Montgomery Boyce writes that he says look if you're a Christian, whether you know it or not. During the Lord's army. And you're engaged in a war and he says were many enemies strongholds are going to have to be conquered. The question for us, then would be this. How do we bring down the strongholds in our life.
How do we finally deal and bring down the strongholds in our life. The sin that so easily entangles us stop this and never getting the kind of life that we really deserve as we follow Jesus Christ and is a great lesson for this once again in the book of Joshua. I made over turning about is not a Joshua chapter 5 in verse 13. This is our fourth sermon on lessons from the book of Joshua, an incredible book in the context now is that across the Jordan there standing right out the outside looking at Jericho. That's what they're doing is they're looking at Jericho, you can just imagine without a doubt, you can just imagine what's going on and Josh was mind about 2 million people here most fortified city in that part of the world how we do it, how do we take this our people never fought against the fortified city, but all we have no experience in this we probably don't have what we need. We don't have ramparts and things like that catapult anything how to how do we do this is probably looking at the city he's kind of just contemplating, and then this happens now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand and Joshua went to him and said you force are you are you with the adversaries when an interesting encounter here. He's thinking about what am I going to do. He looks up and he sees this warrior with a sword in his hand, and it's an interesting divine encounter. That's one thing about the Bible you never get the same kind of encounter Moses had a burning bush. A beta man, a donkey talk to him if you want to. If you went to the gravesite of Christ. There is a shining angel. There are all kinds of ways God encounters people and you can see what happens here because what he has. Here is he see something is not a ghost, not a vision is not a spirit, and are surely in a moment is not an angel. He see someone in verse 14 he said no. Rather, he said I come now captained the word as is not in the text. Capt. of the host of the Lord know what's Joshua's response. Joshua fell on his face to the earth and the bow down and he said to him, what is my lord to say to his servant. He worships him now you know it's not an angel, never in Scripture.
Do you ever wash worship and angel, that even in heaven. John tried to remember in book of Revelation, the angel told him to stop doing it.
There's only one ever worshiped.
And so we got an idea who this is. Notice your dinner. It gets becomes complete. In verse 15, the captain of the Lord so said the Joshua remove your sandals from your feet for the place where you are standing is holy. Joshua did so just like the burning bush to theophany encounters the son of God standing there in his moment of trying to figure out how do I do with this stronghold is fortified city. What is it that I do and David had his Goliath.
Elijah had his Jezebel. The apostles had the Roman Empire something formable in her life, a stronghold that you can't get by and so do you said why stronghold, fortress, I keep going to the same thing I keep doing the same thing.
I can't get past this.
This becomes very difficult for me. He has Jericho is an amazing thing when you think about it how difficult it must be Jericho is a series almost more circle than a square. A series of stone homes with walls around that the walls are 7 feet thick so you're not likely to knock him down there 16 feet high. They were that for a while, but they decided to build another one on top of that will only build 8 feet higher so the 7 feet thick and a 24 feet high Jericho to the east has a thick thick force. The palms when you go north, there's a suitable there were like Senegal and to the west. You have this very steep ramparts go up toward the city from a valley so he is trying to figure out how do I deal with this. What is it that I do to handle it and he sees this man. What was interesting to me was the question that he asked in verse 13 are you force are you with the adversaries. What you expected him to say Florida doesn't it doesn't say that notice new American Standard there says no.
A lot of the other translations.
I think do a better job and say, neither he said I'm the captain of the host of the Lord. This important point. We often make this mistake.
You and I often believe the gods always on our side as were child of God is always on our side and he's here to help me with my agenda, but I think I would say no I'm on my side. See, I'm on my side I want you to be on my side I want you to follow me in this case.
He clearly is on that side but this encounter leads.
I think of the very first point that I want to make this morning is this when it comes to bringing down strongholds in your life you need to know who fights the battle, you have to know that you have to know who fights the battle so often think about this. A lot of Christians are like a lot of people in our culture and how effective do you think New Year's resolutions are is amazing when you start reading. By the way of the diet plans and the exercise machines. A cell in the first couple weeks of January every year. They may hang close on them for the rest of the year and up in a yard sale somewhere because it doesn't work like that. You're never gonna take on the strongholds in your life.
With more effort never to have is not for you at all.
That's why he shows up and says to lift up your eyes look at me she Jericho is really formidable. It really is.
But he says but how much more my and Jericho. See you when I have the presence of God in our lives says I'll never leave you nor forsake you. No matter what it is you're trying to deal with. He wants to you. To lift up your eyes and see in their I'm right here. You see I can do this. I want you to know that in John 15. That's why said get on the binding of the branches is if you abide in me and I knew you bear a lot of fruit, but apart from me you can do nothing.
There's nothing you been doing your own Paul understood that in Philippians 4 said I can do all things through him and strengthens me. He lifted up his eyes, he saw that he saw it for what it really was. He understood the way this work you never face strongholds along. No wonder the psalmist said in Psalm 46 the Lord of hosts is with us gotchas. I'm always with you. I'm always there, no matter how big the obstacle seems I want to think about you like what are the obstacles in your own life when Rome struggles are you facing a Jericho -like challenge with walls to high on the walls to thick Jesus is that the prize book right here so that's the first thing we need to know now to verse 20 pieces when it comes to breaking down strongholds you need to follow my directions completely missed that you need to follow my directions come completely if you want to take on a stronghold. That's what he says.
Notice verse one he says now Jericho was tightly shut.
Because of the sons of Israel. No one went out. No one came in. The Lord said to Joshua C. I've given Jericho in your hand with its king and valiant warriors.
What is he, I'm just giving a Jericho not know it is a go get them.
Don't go getting Joshua go after those people should know I give it to you. It's a done deal.
It's God's will that all of us succeed in doing with the strongholds our life. He wants all of us to overcome the strongholds when Jesus and of come to give you life and give it you abundantly. He wants all of us as children of God to have a life of joy and peace and hope all of us.
You see any says I'll give it to you. I've already given it but then he says look all I'm asking from you is a follow my plan completely verse three you shall march around the city. All the men of war circling the city once and you should do so for six days also. Seven.
Preshow carry seven trumpets of rams horns before the ark and then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times in the preshow blow the trumpets and it shall be that when you make a long blast with a ram's horn and when you hear the sound of the trumpet. All the people shall set out with a great shout in the wall. The city will fall down flat and the people go up every man straight ahead. So Joshua the son of nun called the priest and said, take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests carry seven trumpets rams horns before the ark of the Lord. Then he said to the people go forward and march around the city and let the armed men go on before the ark of the Lord and it was so. And when Joshua had spoken to the people of the seven priests carrying seven trumpets rams horns before the Lord went forward and blew the trumpets and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them in the arm and went before the priest who blew the number of trumpets and the rearguard came after the ark, and they will continue to blow the trumpets know this is goofy. What kind of scene is this you have these different groups. You have seven priests with thorns. You have all the priest there during the ark of the covenant, you see many of the Army's 40,000 by the way there an army in the inner margin run, then you have 2 million people walking around any just system is what I want you to do.
I want to just go walk around the city and the bullhorn men I want to do that six days and run some they want to do. Sometimes now I don't know you're probably not an expert in military tactics but does that sound right to you to that sound like the way you take on a fortified city like Jericho.
You see, that's an amazing thing. He says know that that's the way this is going to have to be notice verse 10 but Joshua commanded the people, and said, you shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor read a word proceed out of your mouth until the day that I tell you shout than usual shop. No talking. 2 million people. No talking number how many kids are in this group. Many people can even keep your kids quiet in the car hi are you going to keep them quiet marginally said no talking no one will talk all they hear inside.
Jericho was 2 million people for million feet just bouncing through this just walk day after day, the first thing that God says if you want to bring down a stronghold silent shut up don't talk.
You see, the silent let God do what God does she. It's an interesting thought because a snoozing not the case when were really struggling with the problem when we want to do a talk when I tell everybody about our problem job at first you just be silent is an interesting thing when you think about it from that point of view, you know all the sunbaked days all these terrible things because of this is crucial that you do this to your place and goad me to Psalm 46 Psalm 46 versus 10, 11, probably to my favorite verses in the Old Testament, especially 10 this mean sons of God's point of view. The new American Standard says cease striving, I like the King James better just be still required. Cease striving, what know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth the Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Silent be quiet stop talking to.
This is hard for us. We don't really want to do that we want to talk about this. He says don't do that. The machinery another verse go with me to Exodus 14 Exodus 14 verses 13 and 14. You know the story of the Exodus is happened the plagues of happen there on the run, they come to the Red Sea and now the Egyptian army is in hot pursuit and their view is were all going to die. That's their view is nothing we can do sees here Egyptian armies there. When we do that's a stronghold you see that that's something that scares the daylights out of them.
In verse 13 it says Moses said to the people do not fear stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which is accomplished for you today for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent silence, facing adversity, silence. Let the Lord fight for you.
Remember the worst adversity. Jesus faced with the whole rest and everything the mock trials and they were all wrong right illegal wrong. How much to talk about that how unfair they were not a word. It says he never spoke a word, they beat him.
They slapped them they spit on him.
He never spoke a word, silence because I gonna let you work. You see it's an interesting aspect from our point of view. Can we remain in that sense. Silent as this goes on.
Now back to Joshua know what I find so interesting about this is that as the story goes on. You see something that happens completely different. It says in verse 11, so the ark of the Lord was taken want to see something at once and they came into the camp and they spent the night in the camp.
Now Joshua rose early in the morning and the priest took up the ark of the Lord, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets of rams horns before the ark of the Lord went on continually and blew the trumpets and the arm and went before them and the rearguard came after the ark of the Lord while they continue to blow the trumpets. Thus, the second day they marched around the city once and returned it And I did so for six days. What do you think of you and I were walking one of us would've said you really think there's been doing Munich is good this is what seat one of the things he never told the people he told the priest it until the people. How many days are going to do this is to describe Mark again today. Just imagine the inhabitants of Jericho the first day there and tear. They are terrified of the Israelites and they want to margin run to someone's blow.
Nothing happened. They went back to the first day they were just like overly going to do was the second day of psych. What are they doing.
By the third day the trash talking starts you cowards what is a stupid, what you doing to do it day after day, so I said when comes down to this.
You have to follow his plan don't follow it come sleep never to just doesn't work like that who said I have to phone completely passed through Gebhardt on the radio ministry of fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you dislike of the sum of the method one more time.
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