TODAY'S WORD FOR Friday, April 27, 2018:
An obstruction or hindrance; something that interferes with action or progress and must be removed or overcome.
Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel: None went out, and none came in.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
The Lord has a plan for the life of every believer and Satan does all he can to put obstacles in the path of God’s plans for one who believes in our Lord. There are many different kinds of obstacles. It could be a difficult boss at work, a contrary family member, or even financial concerns. Anything that blocks a desired goal can cause anxiety and frustration and that becomes an obstacle. Anxiety can be overcome if we remember that no obstacle that Satan puts in front of you can touch you or be a concern to you without the consent of God. And there is no obstacle that God cannot overcome.
In the verse above we are reminded about Joshua and the city of Jericho. The strong fortress around the city of Jericho barred Israel’s entrance into the land that God had promised to give Abraham and his descendants. Jericho was one of the oldest cities in the world and it was regarded as the epitome of power and strength.
Jericho was considered invincible because of its fortified walls and military power. It stood before Joshua and the Israelites as a towering obstacle between them and the Promised Land.
Satan will always be seeking to put up obstacles (fortresses) to hinder our spiritual progress just like he did to Joshua and the Children of Israel. He never gives up. If one obstacle fails Satan will put up another one very fast. The conquest of Jericho seemed impossible to Joshua and to Israel but not to God. Joshua’s army was no match for Jericho’s military might and the 25-foot-high and 20-foot-thick wall was an impossible barrier to cross.
But God had promised the Israelites the land and Joshua believed that God would provide a way for them to get there, BECAUSE GOD KEEPS ALL OF HIS PROMISES!
Before attempting to conquer Jericho, Joshua led the Israelites to prepare themselves spiritually. They renewed their commitment to God and they celebrated the Passover with thankfulness for God’s miracles that made possible their escape from Egypt and the crossing of the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Joshua did not let what seemed to be an impossible obstacle to deter him. Instead, he acknowledged God’s power and sought His guidance.
Before Joshua even realized that God was at work, God was preparing the city for destruction by instilling fear into the hearts of the kings and the people of Jericho because of the Israelites. God’s directions to the Children of Israel seemed complicated and as an unlikely battle plan, but Joshua obeyed and God’s people triumphed. No obstacle is too great for God, for with God all things are possible.
The apostle Paul understood how to handle obstacles in his life. When he was in prison he kept his eyes and trust on Christ. In spite of facing death, while he was in prison, his days were filled with joy in the Lord. He wrote the book of Philippians from his jail cell and it is full of expressions of joy.
We can overcome every obstacle we face in our lives by focusing on Jesus. This is neither a natural reaction nor an easy one for us. Our instinct is to dwell on the obstacle and not on Jesus. We search for our own solutions and then stew over the pain and difficulty we are facing. Fear and anxiety cannot last long in the heart of one who truly has his or her trust in the Lord. “The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.” Psalm 32:10
Our memory verse for this week is found in II Chronicles 7:14.
If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and forgive their sin and heal their land.
Help me to put my complete trust in You today so I can face the obstacles of life with confidence that You can make me victorious through every situation. Strengthen my faith today that Your glory will shine through me to others so that I may be a help to those who may be facing obstacles in their lives.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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