Breaking Down Barriers

Bible Book: Joshua  5 : 13-16
Subject: Overcoming; Victory; Strength; Courage; Power of God

Joshua 5:13-16

We have been talking about Living Life to the Max. We have been looking at Joshua as our example. Today we will study the 5th and 6th chapters. In order to reach this goal there will be barriers to overcome.

One of Joshua's biggest barriers was a city named Jericho. Joshua 5:13-6:5 sets the stage for us. In each of our lives there are Jericho's. There are seemingly impossible barriers standing between our dreams and us. That barrier says, "I am standing between you and your goal. If not for me you could be successful.”

It may be a physical handicap.

It may be fear.

It may be past defeats.

It may be problems in your marriage.

It may be financial.

The list could go on and on. There are two choices we have when dealing with barriers. Turn around and go back into the wilderness or face those barriers and conquer them. The primary lesson of Jericho is a lesson in faith.

Jericho reminds us victory is not achieved by fighting. Victory is achieved by faith. In order to conquer barriers we must exercise faith.

I. In Order To Conquer We Must First Be Conquered (5:13- 15).

Joshua was on a reconnaissance trip. He is confronted with a man with a drawn sword. He asked a normal question. "Are you friend or foe?" The response must have startled him. "I haven't come to take sides; I have come to take over." This is a picture of Jesus.

When is the last time you surveyed your problems, your barriers? If you want victory stop trying to get God on your side. Get on God's side.

The first approach leads to stress, frustration and failure.

The second leads to peace, confidence and victory.

When you get on God's side you become more God conscious than problem conscious. That is the difference in the 10 spies who faced this same obstacle 40 years previously and Joshua.

Joshua, rather than saying it can't be done, said it must be done. The key to victory is: Focus on Jesus. Glance at your problem. Before you can have victory you must have a new commander in chief. This begins in salvation and continues in daily submission.

II. Initiative Must Overcome Intimidation (6: 1-5)

Joshua was being asked to do something that really didn't make sense. That doesn't sound like good military strategy. "Everybody knows that won't work." To make matters worse the people were instructed not to say a word. Can you see the people on the wall of Jericho watching this? I am sure they made fun of them.

The test we must pass is obedience. It may not make sense to us. "We don't have to understand; we are to undertake." When you choose God's way the world will often make fun of you. It may be a student standing strong against peer pressure. It may be a husband or a wife who is made fun of because of fidelity to your marriage. If you are not careful you will allow the world to intimidate you from victory.

Also as the people marched the city looked bigger with each pass. God will allow us to get to the point our problems are too big for us to solve. We can then go back into the wilderness or, we turn to Him for victory.

III. Waiting Time Is Not Wasted Time (6:11-14)

It appeared as if they were only going in circles and no progress was being made.

A. God Has A Valuable Lesson For Us

"Waiting time is not wasted time." God is not in a hurry. We are. God is never late. Isaiah 30:18 "...the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him."

B. God's Delays Are Not God's Denials
C. God's Ways Are Not Ours - Nor Is His Time

Maybe you have been around your Jericho 6x and you are about to quit. "Be not weary in well doing..." You may quit just before victory comes.

IV. Acknowledge Victory Before Acquiring Victory (6: 15- 16)

Notice Joshua said, "Shout! For the Lord has given you the city." The way to defeat your Jericho is to acknowledge victory before you achieve victory.

A. Through The Power Of God I Am Going To Beat This
B. Through The Power Of God I Am Going To Not Give Up
C. Through The Power Of God I Am Going To Work On This Problem