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Get Tough With Your Strongholds

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
June 26, 2022 3:00 pm

Get Tough With Your Strongholds

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's Aaron Graham Watts very often strongholds are just like goals and is just deeply embedded in your life on hold and keeping you from going forward.

Question and the answer comes in today's message from Joshua chapter 5 get tough with the strongholds in your life. There's an story installed wrong when she was just being established as a city she had become a military threat shall become a Roman Empire, but she was established in the southern part of Italy and there are some people to the north named Etruscans, who became threatened by her just because they saw her potential and they decided to attack wrong before she grew up into military power and could threaten them. Etruscans went south and they laid siege to the city of Rome which meant they effectively cut off all outside contact and the only option that Rome had was to either surrender or starve to death. The city of Rome is besieged and there were 300 young men inside the city of Rome that came up with a plan to save the city and one of the men was named Lucius and he was the one that was elected to go first and this is less the city of Rome. He slipped out through the city gate in a slip through the enemy lines in. He walked boldly into the heart of the enemy can't and he saw two men sitting on what looked like drones are both dressed in royal robes and one of them had a big box of gold coins at his feet anyways handing out the gold coins the soldiers while he was giving orders to everyone is amusing is walked boldly after this man and he pulled the sword out from underneath his cloak. He had met and he ran the man through it and is dead silence for a moment and then a voice screamed. Someone is just killed the king secretary and his job since authority is relegated to the wrong man is dragged before the ranking and the King demands your name and where you come from and me as this is going to tell you what my name is I will not tell you come from, and the king says if you don't ask, don't tell me your name and why you have gone where you come from. I'm going to burn you burn you alive in the fire is far burning beside the king and some users stick his left hand and he stuck it in the far in his own flesh began to burn and says oh he looked at the king and he said I will not tell you my name and I will not tell you what I've come in. The king was so impressed with his courage that he or use this would be let in response to his freedom is turned to the king, and he said since you set me free. I will tell you who I am and what I've come my name is Mrs. I'm one of 300 young men living in wrong and we have dedicated our lives to killing you and is if one of us comes and fails another one's going to come in is that when sales and another one will come out of nowhere and you'll know what our or how, but be assured okay you will die and the king was so afraid of you broke the siege he made peace with Rome and he went back up north, and Lucius and his friends saying the city because they decided to get with me not advocating anybody to go burn yourself in the far below what I am advocating that instead of traveling our sin and giving excuses for our sin and rationalizing and changing the labels that we give it to make it less like sin instead of tolerating it is sweeping on the rug. We need to get tough with the sin in our lives over the strongholds of sin in our lives. Would you open your Bibles to Joshua chapter 5, if we want to experience everything God has for us. We have to get tough with the strongholds in our lives and chapter 6 verse one tells us that Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one came out and no one came in and really is a picture of the city under siege like Ryan had been except the Israelites and laid siege to Jericho Jericho.

I just shut up because they knew the Israelites camped around them and they were afraid, and Jericho was an enemy fortress that was built on a hill. It was surrounded by two walls.

One wall was 6 feet thick. One wall was 12 feet thick walls were joined at the top with planks and houses were built on top of those walls. And because it was built on top of a hill that was bare. He'll spell away from the wall and no one could approach Jericho without being seen no cover for anyone who would approach the city and they had almost a 365 view of the entire Valley and so Jericho was really impregnable. It was absolutely a stronghold and it blocked the advance of the Israelites. They could going to Canaan, they could go farther into everything God wanted to give them until they did something about Jericho was blocking their progress. What is your Jericho was an enemy stronghold that sits right in your path and is keeping you from experiencing everything that God has for you is keeping you from advancing in the Christian life is keeping you from going forward in the Christian life strongholds can be something like an unbelieving spouse and you believe that because your husband or your wife is not saved that you are unable to serve the Lord is freely and as fully as you feel is calling you to serve and that's just sitting right in your path. Maybe it's a boss is very hostile to the gospel and you feel you could really have wonderful interaction with your coworkers you could share the gospel with them. Except for the hostility of your box and that's like a stronghold right in your Mets.

Maybe it's something within your own life like a deep-rooted bitterness toward some past injustice unforgiving spirit toward someone who has longed your children are your mate or yourself.

Maybe it's a habit of sin sometimes strongholds are very often strongholds are just sin with roots to your like tentacles and is just deeply embedded in your life. One of the strongholds in my life is been prayerless just being so busy that I don't make the time for that daily time with the Lord and I'll establish that habit.

And then I'll go off on a trip will get sick and habit will get broken.

I'll come back and it's just so hard to reestablish the habit until that prayerless mess. At one point has become a stronghold in my life.

Maybe for you it's lack of Bible reading, but lack of Bible study have been so accustomed to being said, the Scriptures, going to church listening what somebody else says about it that you so totally neglected Bible reading in Bible study.

It's become a stronghold in your almost afraid to read the Bible for yourself.

Maybe it's fear, fear of serving the Lord like we talked about that sense of inadequacy that is paralyzed you and cause you to be so afraid that your disability or not stepping out in service, Lord, unbelief can be a stronghold.

You just don't believe God will be to you who the Bible says he is. Maybe all different kinds of strongholds. I'm just guessing, hoping that I'll bring something to your mind, and God will pinpoint in your heart on your mind right now the strongholds that the enemy has in your life because that stronghold will block you from going any farther. It's interesting stronghold would, but on the other side of the Jordan, but the stronghold is on the West Bank is on the promise land side.

If you want to continue advancing and growing in experiencing everything God has for you can't accommodate the stronghold. You can't get around that you got to deal with it. It's got to come down to Joshua goes out to survey the stronghold. He's walking around Jericho and he sees these great big thick walls. He sees the hill where there is no cover. He walks all the way around and he sees all the guard towers at the top and houses and any must've been just overwhelmed is one thing to come through the Jordan, when God rose the waters that is another thing to bring down enemy stronghold full of soldiers and military machines and people ready for war and and as he walked around. He must've been thinking this is impossible have battering rams have a trained army major mentor just come out of wilderness living going in circles were 40 is taking a stronghold like Jericho is. He walked around he must've felt helpless and maybe was crying out in his God help us where we going to do. We can lay siege to Jericho without taking months and months, maybe years, and will have time is walks around Jericho.

Suddenly he sees a man standing in front of them. Man is dressed in full battle gear is stored is drawn. Joshua boldly goes right up to him.

He says are you for them or for us. Are you an enemy come out of Jericho to check out the Israelite camp or use a mercenary want to get hard on you going to help us to Jericho and the man says verse 13, when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up he saw the man standing in front of them with the drawn swords give me chapter 5. It is Santa Joshua went up to him and asked are you for us of our enemies are. He replied, but as commander of the Army of the Lord I have now come get Joshua went out and he's all focused on Jericho and he bumps into Jesus, the captain of the Lord is the pre-incarnate son of God and he's standing there in Joshua finds the first thing he has to do in order to get tough with the stronghold. He has threatened knowledge. The authority of the Lord because our Lord Jesus Christ is the Lord God all mighty he is mightier than anything you and I will ever face is not a stronghold in your life, not a stronghold in the visible world. The invisible world inside of you outside of you that is mightier than Jesus.

He has authority over all the strongholds are Joshua has to refocus his perspective and all focused on Jericho and setting his focus on the Lord who has the power over Jericho who has the power over the stronghold where your focus when you tackle that stronghold with his unbelieving spouse or pride in your own life or some habit of saying this deeply embedded in your life is your focus on the habit on this on the spouse on the person, would you put it on Jesus. Would your knowledge is over that stronghold in your life. Joshua has to refocus his perspective that he has to readjust his position. Lord is applied neither as commander of the Army of the Lord are now coming to Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and he asked him what message does my Lord have for his servant and we found Joshua falling down before the Lord. Somebody said that Joshua had to fall down before Jesus before Jericho would fall down before Joshua. Joshua just prostrated himself before the Lord and the Lord said take off your sandals because the ground on which you are standing is holy ground I must've brought back the Joshua's mind like spec is bringing back your mind is that seeing where Moses confronted God at the burning bush to member and to God, he said. Who should I say is sending me down to tell Pharaoh to let my people go, and in God's and that I am I am is with you. You tell Pharaoh I am dissension and it was a name for the eternal God. And when Joshua is told to take out the samples, the grantor, which is standing is holy, he surely must've been reminded of that scene that I'm sure Moses shared with him and he has the confidence, the encouragement that the great eternal and is within, but the question is not whether or not the great eternal I am is on Joshua side. The question is whether Joshua is on his side.

Joshua, the battle is the Lord's, and he with me. Are you with them.

Don't you know the question is not an can we use God for our own agenda. Can we use it for our own purposes but are we in line with what he's doing. So Joshua took office, sandals, and then it goes right in the chapter 6 when the Lord begins to tell Joshua how to take the stronghold. But you know Joshua still soundstill has a sandals all still on holy ground, and I thought you know when it comes to laying plans to get tough with our stronghold and we decided to really get serious about not going to tolerate it anymore. Were going to work with the Lord to bring a stronghold on this holy ground that the worship experience because that stronghold is keeping you from everything God wants to give you is keeping God from giving you everything he wants you to receive and so God wants to bring the stronghold down and is holy ground is a worship experience because he's going or mailed to you something of what you can do in order to bring down that you might receive everything that he has for you, Josh, Mr. readjust his position. He's on his face and worship before the Lord is holy ground. When you get tough with the strongholds in your life that's holy ground.

You're about God's business.

Many had to reassess his plan.

Verse two the Lord said to Joshua C. I have delivered Jericho into your hands along with his king is fighting the notice, the 10th is already done.

Joshua deliver them in your hand. You just have to go out and claim the victory and then he tells of how to do it and I don't know what Joshua's plan was, but I can assure you it wasn't what God told he was supposed to march around the city with everybody once a day for six days on the seventh day march around it seven times at the end of the seventh on. It was a blow the trumpet. Shout in the walls would come down not telling you that lupus, except that it was the Lord's plan is important to pray and seek God's counsel because so often the wisdom he gives us goes right against conventional wisdom doesn't goes against practical common sense God knows it works Joshua to totally reassess and explain what plan have you been making in order to bring down your stronghold. Unbelieving spouse and that spouse is a husband. I know women well enough to know all the little plans we come up with you on how were going to bring his Christian friend was like get invited to this thing were going to do all the things you know all these plans we have made some of the stronghold. Something with your boss or habit or sin in your own life and and we read books about how to tackle it and we go to counselors how to tackle it and we just need to fall on her face for the Lord and ask him for his counsel and his wisdom, and sometimes you have to totally reassess your strategy. Reassess your plan can be very different than the one that you come up with on your own.

So if you want to get tough. The stronghold would you acknowledge the authority of the Lord over the which means you have to refocus your perspective and readjust your position. Reassess your plan.

But secondly, when you get tough with strongholds. Would you just claim the victory God's Artie given it.

The Army gave the victory. Joshua Joshua just had to claimant and he claimed about doing for thing. The first thing was obedience.

I mean this is the hallmark of Joshua's life is wherever God tells them to do. He does once again God the Josh I want you to go out and he told them what the plan was immediately in verse six so Joshua son of nun called the priest together and said to them he gave them the plan is I want you to march around the city were going to start out as God said, with all of the soldiers first, then seven priests were blowing the rams horns. Then the ark of the covenant. Revealingly, God's presence is in their midst and going with them in the ark will be followed by everybody. Men, women and children, all eyes everybody is going to be involved in were going to march around the city and I don't think he said to Marvin today were going to march around the city is a 2 mile hike would take about an hour hot blistering sun and they're going to go out there and walk around it and maybe why is God told you to do and you think you crazy. It would never work Mavis to fix somebody dinner maybe is to write a letter maybe it's you to do something for your boss. This is unexpected going do the extra work or maybe something in your own life that sin that stronghold in your own life and in God would just give you wisdom about how to tackle it in and it's just goes against you, that you would never thought of it except you've been praying and God brought a would you do it claim the victory through your obedience whatever it is, would you do it when you go home if God tells you to get up earlier in the morning to spend time reading his word and doing those three questions would you do it in of God tell you to turn off the TV and spend more time with him would you do it and God tell you to walk across the street and share the gospel with your neighbor would you do it. Whatever God says what you just do they obedience then Joshua claimed the victory through dependence. In verse 10 this is really interesting. Joshua commanded the people do not give a war cry do not raise your voices.

Do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout and I get the picture. All these people are marching around the city once a day for six days, seven times on the seventh day internal silence and the mothers can correct the kids and the father of the families together they could be discussing a gossiping a day or just hollow. Maybe it was the keep them from sort of grumbling and complaining like this is the craziest thing I've ever heard of Yunnan and I hear that sort of stuff doesn't it. One person begins to doubt may complain and they so there down. They sell their complaints in recent everybody is confusing and everybody's in an uproar and maybe that was one reason dodges and be quiet Yunnan you're not to say a word. What they thought as they marched around that city.

In total, 13 times, once a day for six days and seven times on the seventh day and and walked around that city. If it's an hour each time that might be 13 hours more on the last day when it was so long and looking at those walls and looking at this and I think God had them march around the city until all hope that in all self-reliance dives in all self-confidence that and then looked at those walls and how tall they were strongly work. The enemy was so securing the inside down.

Unless God did it.

Sometimes God has to bring us to the point as we work on the stronghold to we were lies was never going to come down and you reach that point and perhaps you thought it was a point of total defeat, but maybe you just at the point when you begin to just totally rely on the Lord and that's when the walls come down, God brings is that point of total hopelessness in ourselves.

We just die the feeling that we can do anything and that's when he begins the work, but I think this represents something else. Is there walking round and round and round. Silence. I think it symbolizes prayer and I think when it comes to the stronghold, we acknowledge our dependence upon God as we wrap it and wrap it and wrap it and wrap it and wrap it in prayer and you notice Joshua didn't do this by himself. He couldn't walked around the city and taken it by himself involved. Everybody in that maybe you going to have to get your whole family together to pray maybe asked the whole prayer group at church to pray. Maybe ask your friends to pray.

Just maybe one other person but sometimes this requires more than just your prayers for yourself, but other press point. The prayers of other people are more powerful sometimes than our prayers for ourselves because the prayers of other people for us are unselfish and motivation and so sometimes when it comes to stronghold you need to ask somebody out to march around with you and pray with you about that stronghold when you prayed about the stronghold and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and just wrap in prayer, Joshua claimed victory over Jericho. Through his obedience into his dependence and through his perseverance in verse 14 it says on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp and they did this for six days and nowhere in this passage and I read it carefully, knowing this passage, does it ever say that Joshua told the people how long the March it was like the first day so I'm going to go out and going to march around the city once and were going to have the soldiers go first in the seven priests of the rams horns in the ark of the covenant. Everybody else don't say a word we all march around. They go home next day. He's his own boy let's do it again. You know to go out and they walk around same thing go back to the dance third day, I must do it again and I got this yesterday when Josh was income I'm going to do it again.

What you think somebody would say Joshua this really isn't working.

We haven't seen a crack.

We haven't seen the stone come loose. You know nothing is changing, but they just person didn't say every day doing exactly as they were told in perseverance is just the billions until the walls come down and they just kept on keeping that's a real struggle in prayer is that we pray and pray and pray and pray and we don't think any impact of our prayers. All the temptation is just a quick to write personal God still puts them on your heart. You keep praying. Whatever the stronghold is in your line you just keep praying you persevere. Now here's a man with this final word. Sometimes I get stuck in prayer. Pray and pray I claim Scripture holding God to his word. I re-examined the request to make sure it's in line with God's will and still nothing. It's as though something is blocking the answers resisting it. That's what I have to make the conscious decision to persevere in prayer until either God shows me a different way to pray, or until the walls finally come down the critically important thing is to keep praying. Don't quit in Daniel chapter 9, Daniel was rapping his people in prayer desperately pleading with God to set them free from 67 years of captivity in Babylon and Daniel testifies that while I was speaking and praying while I was still in prayer. Gabriel instructed me and said to me, Daniel, I've now come to give you insight and understanding as soon as you began to pray and answer was given, which have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.

God answered Daniel's prayer and three years later, all the captives in Babylon were set free. Don't quit, pray, keep on praying God Holly esteems those who persevere in prayer he will answer this has been living in the light please take advantage of all the free resources that and Graham to help and encourage you in your walk with God and in your study of his work is here each week for living in the light

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