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Finish the good work in you

15 Mar 17
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  Philippians 1:6 tells us, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of  Christ Jesus.”  Psalm 138:8 says, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me.”  God has a purpose and a plan for you and for your life.  He has battles for you to fight and win.  Maybe He has called you to work in the ministry.  Maybe right now you aren’t sure you can make another step.  Maybe you are going through hard life situation and you don’t think you can stand one more minute.  Let me share with you a well known bible story in Joshua 6:

6:1  Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites.  No one went out and no one came in.  The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the mighty warriors. Now you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do this [once each day] for six days. Also, seven priests shall carry seven trumpets [made] of rams’ horns ahead of the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. When they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall cry out with a great shout (battle cry); and the wall of the city will fall down in its place, and the people shall go up, each man [going] straight ahead [climbing over the rubble].”

So Joshua the son of Nun called for the priests and said to them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and have seven priests carry seven trumpets made of rams’ horns ahead of the ark of the Lord.” He said to the people, “Go forward! March around the city, and let the armed men go ahead of the ark of the Lord.” And it was so, that when Joshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets made of rams’ horns went on before the Lord and blew the trumpets; then the ark of the covenant of the Lord went behind them. The armed men went in front of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued to blow the trumpets. 10 But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout [the battle cry] nor let your voice be heard nor let a word come out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout!” 11 So Joshua had the ark of the Lord taken around the city [on the first day], circling it once; then they came back into the camp and spent the night in the camp.

God made a promise to Joshua.  He promised him that He had given the city into Joshua’s hands and that the walls would fall.  Actually God spoke as if the battle was already won!  Look at verse 2, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand.  But when Joshua looked at the city he saw the walls standing and a battle to be fought.  Sometimes we get discouraged because our perspective gets obstructed. Jericho was shut up and had high walls.  Joshua was promised victory and given instructions on how to win and receive God’s promise.  Has God given you a promise and you are still looking for the answer to that promise?  We can find ourselves ready to throw in the towel after we have been circling the walls of our battle for so long.  Here’s something to think about, Joshua had been given a promise that he would get to enter the promise land and take the people of Isreal in to this land.  He had already waited 40 years for this promise to be fulfilled, not because of something he had done, but because of the lack of aith of another.  Now after 40 years he’s entered into the promise land and God has him do seven days of excersice. How many of us have been praying waiting and then the door begins to open and we step through only to find another delay.  Six days Joshua was told to march around the city and then the priest were to blow the trumpets and the people shout, then the walls would fall.  God had given him the how’s to victory, but Joshua didn’t share all that with the army.  He called the priest to take up the ark of the covenant, (His presence).  Seven priest to carry seven trumpets (praise).  And he called the army of the Lord to march around the fortified city.  The army only had this instruction, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word come out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout.”  Crazy instructions, can you imagine?  How many of us has God ask us to march in front of our enemy with our mouths shut?  My guess here is that if they talked during this time of not knowing how long they had to wait for victory, they could possibly discourage each other with doubt.  God has us go through periods of waiting to build our faith.

God loves us so much that he wants to build our faith and stamina, to mature us into amazing warriors for Him.  Psalms 51: 10-12 puts it this way, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant to me a willing spirit to sustain me.  Can we pray this prayer like David and be like Joshua and continue to march even when it looks like nothing is happening?  Let your faith arise and keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, knowing He is finishing the good work within us, and the walls will come down!

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