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7 Laps, 7 Lessons

Matt Hagee

If you read the sixth chapter of Joshua, you will see God’s directions to Joshua on how his army can defeat the enemies of Israel. He is very specific about what they need to do to gain total victory in Jericho. There were seven laps to be made, a seemingly redundant task…and yet, this is what the Lord required of Joshua and the Israelites that were standing beside him in battle.

Remember, Joshua and the children of Israel have seen the Jordan waters part. They are no stranger to miracles. They were invited into the Promised Land. The promise God made to Abraham of a land flowing with milk and honey is just before them. And yet, there stands the defiant, stubborn walls of Jericho.

The wilderness is behind them, and now Joshua and the children of Israel have yet another battle to face. God’s goodness is just before them. But God is very clear with his direction… no inhabitant of Jericho is to be left behind. Why conquer Jericho? Why not just walk away? Because God promised Moses in Numbers 33 that if he failed to drive out all of the inhabitants of Canaan, they would become a thorn in their flesh.

And so it is in our own lives. God is very clear. He is very specific. He tells us how to defeat our enemies. We have seen great miracles and been triumphant in our own trials…and yet we sometimes fail to follow His instruction. Have you had a problem that God told you to deal with, that you avoided…come back to bite you? It became a thorn in your flesh because you didn’t do what God asked of you.

Your progress has been impeded; an area of your life has become more cumbersome and painful because you thought you had a better plan of how to handle the issue. Maybe you just avoided the problem altogether and just kept on moving.

Joshua knew that he had to deal with Jericho. God told him to start taking some laps. (Have you been there? Have you followed His instruction, even when it seemed redundant?) Joshua followed God’s lead and learned something every time the Israelites took another lap around the city.

Every single one of us has a Jericho in our lives. We have a stubborn situation looming in our immediate horizon. We have the choice to follow God’s lead or allow the issue to fester. Maybe your situation is personal, physical, financial, emotional… Over time you may have even allowed walls of frustration to build around the issue, encapsulating the problem instead of eradicating it.

These walls that you have built for yourself may be higher and mightier than you, keeping you from enjoying God’s promises for your life. But your problems are not mightier than the God that we serve. Your personal Jericho is no match for our Creator.

Now, you might have to take some time to walk around the problem and allow God to work in you, teaching you the lessons He wants to bring to fruition in your life so that He can use you…but give Him the time to impart His wisdom to you. It will make your life a much richer place, and take you on a journey that you never knew existed. God has something wonderful in mind for you, but you have to trust that He will lead you there.

You may feel like you’re walking in pointless circles, but God is preparing you. There is a purpose in your pathway if you are walking hand-in-hand with the Lord. On the other hand, the Bible promises destruction for those who choose their own path that seems right but leads to folly. Don’t let sin take you down a dangerous pathway because you chose the easy route. God never promised that life would be easy, but He did promise to be the friend who sticks closer than any brother. He will be the fourth man in your fire.

You will come to your final lap around your own personal Jericho, just like Joshua did. And then, it is time to shout! It is time to celebrate and rejoice for the great things God has done. It is time to break the barriers and watch the walls fall down!

Today, you might be shouting for help, for joy, for praise…or for complete triumph over an issue that has been destroying your peace for years. Freedom is found at the feet of Jesus. When God’s presence begins to infiltrate your life, He takes you to places that you have never been before doing things you never thought were possible. His blessings are for YOU!

Open your mouth today and give Him the highest praise! The mountain of impossibility that you have been facing is about to crumble. Leave it in His hands. Trust that He will lead the way, and know that your victory is on the way through Christ our Lord! Hallelujah to the King of kings! He is the way maker!

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