Read Joshua 6:1-7, 20
“Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in.
And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.”
So Joshua the son of Nun called the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the Lord.” And he said to the people, “Go forward. March around the city and let the armed men pass on before the ark of the Lord.”
So the people shouted, and the trumpets were blown. As soon as the people heard the sound of the trumpet, the people shouted a great shout, and the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they captured the city.”
The ark of the covenant, which represents God’s glory and power, was taken with the Israelites into a circumstance that felt impossibly monumental. We can only imagine God’s people marching in circles, unsure of how this will amount to anything worthy of triumph over their enemies, while choosing obedience. It led them to conquer.
When we are in His presence, we are protected. We can step out in faith knowing that wherever there are new battles to face, He doesn’t flinch. His voice is trustworthy—even if it makes no sense. If He tells you to shout, then do it. If He tells you to wait quietly, then do that. Either way, He places His armor over us and equips us to tear down every lie and stronghold that may cast itself against His holiness (Ephesians 6:10-20, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Even though obedience may take us into uncharted, enemy territory, God’s presence protects us as we cling to His promises.
Is there a circumstance right now in your life where you feel ‘crazy’ or ‘out there’ for seeking the Lord? A new prayer that is bold or an old prayer that feels long dead? Sit with God and in prayer, ask Him to cover you today with His armor as you step out in faith to obey Him.
Read Hebrews 4:12-16
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then
with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
God’s Word and His presence are what we need to survive. His Word is the weapon we use to fight the enemy and protect our minds from satan’s schemes. God’s presence is what sustains us—in Him is fullness of joy. He knows the condition of this world, of our hearts and of the spiritual battle we face. With this knowledge, He comes in closer and offers the mightiest Soldier in human history: Jesus.
“[We] have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means—the only complete realist.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Jesus knows brokenness because He rubbed shoulders with it. He isn’t disgusted by it or repulsed by our struggles. He desperately desires our boldness to seek His mercy and His grace. He is the only one worthy of empathizing with us. As we desire breakthrough, He is the only one who is truly familiar with who we really are; and yet, He sees us for what we can be—confident children that trust their Father to carry them to victory.
How are you allowing God’s Word to pierce your heart today? Make time to let Him set a fresh awe within your heart for His sacrifice and His character.
Read Romans 6:9-14, Colossians 2:6-15
“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
ESV 14-6:9 Romans
“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
ESV 15-2:6 Colossians
Sin has no power over those of us who are in Christ Jesus. Sin has no authority to label us or shame us. Because of Jesus, we can experience breakthrough and be freed from cycles that have left us bound in brokenness for too long. We have the power in Christ to operate as instruments of righteousness as we face old battles and conquer patterns that we have lived in too comfortably.
He disarms the enemy and hands us triumph. He makes us alive in forgiveness from our sin.
Because He already nailed sin to the cross, there is struggle—but there is never defeat. We don’t have to give into the narrative being offered to us by the world. Our God is in the business of bringing dead things back to life, reviving hope and redeeming what was lost.
From the Writers
“I was meditating on truths that can be found throughout the Bible of Jesus’ grace, power, supremacy, strength, and how He is the only answer and only way to salvation and breakthrough from the power of sin.” —Taylor Blackford
Ask God to remind you of how He led you to salvation for the first time. Preach the Gospel to yourself today with these passages of scripture. Reflect on the power that is held in these words.
Read Titus 3:3-7
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Knowing our tendency to foolishness, doubt, disobedience, and slavery to sinful desire— God still offers us breakthrough in His name. His goodness and kindness appear to match our disparity with the plethora of unending beauty found in His character. What kind of God chooses to wash us in regeneration after we have rolled in the dirt of our sin? There is no condemnation in Him. We are justified in His grace. Jesus—He richly pours out His grace and His Spirit, giving us access to unending Hope that never runs out.
Reflect on how God has been kind and good to you. How have you experienced the washing of regeneration by His Holy Spirit? Be intentional to have a conversation with someone today about His work in your life.
Read 2 Timothy 1:6-13
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do.
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”
As we pray for breakthrough—every circumstance must bow at the feet of Jesus because of this truth: we were NOT given a spirit of fear—but power and love and self-control. All of which we can exercise as we wait on the Lord. We can actively wait to see His handiwork by walking in the authority God gives us by His Holy Spirit.
We don’t have to hide behind a guilty demeanor or a shame filled conscience. We can tell our stories knowing the Hope of Jesus is coming. He is using every detail for His kingdom. He brings life to dreams that have been long dead. He resurrects the most decayed ashes and transforms them into flames of vision that bring Him glory. The world needs this Hope—we need this Hope.
From the Writers
“I started singing the verse, chorus and tag over my circumstance. I was in a place of pure desperation knowing that Jesus was the only one that could change the trajectory… I knew that the Holy Spirit had given me the words to express that in the moment, and it was my private song and prayer.” – Taylor Blackford.
Look up the definitions of the words: fear, power, love and self-control. Based on what you find, write a list of practical and personal ways to operate in power, love and self-control. Pray through each one and ask God to give you a fresh outpouring of His Spirit today to guide you.
For example, “Today, I will not choose the panic that this world offers me; instead, I will allow the influence of God’s presence to overwhelm me with reassurance that His love gives me composure as I model the character of Jesus in the midst of my circumstance.”