New Wine for New Wineskins August 2011

By , August 1, 2011 5:06 am

historytodestinylogoThe Kingdom of Heaven in 2011 (Part 6)

2 There remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance.
3 Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers has given you?

(Joshua 18: 2 – 3)

Remember – we have already been given the land and so all that remains is for us to take it!

JOSHUA 6

1 Now Jericho was securely shut up because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in.

1.    WHEN WE SAY, “SPEAK, LORD” WE ARE ALSO SAYING, “SHUT UP, DEVIL!”

When God’s people are moving in faith and obedience the enemy is bound!  We are also saying shut up to our biggest and most vocal enemy which is our own flesh!  Say, “Shut up, flesh!” When we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done…” we are effectively binding the devil’s work against us and loosing heaven’s provision in our lives!

Matthew 18: 18 – 19

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

That which you bind on earth is what is already bound in heaven, and that which you loose on earth is that which is already loosed in heaven.  Jesus told a woman that she was loosed from her infirmity.  He released what was already established and provided in heaven and made it her experience on earth.

2 And the LORD said to Joshua: “See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

2.    GOD’S WAYS ARE NOT OUR WAYS

Remember – the weapons of our warfare are not flesh weapons but they are mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds!  The LORD’s strategy usually defies all human logic and so that is why we need faith to implement it!  I mean, he says to love our enemies when our flesh wants to kill them; he says to bless those who curse us when our flesh wants to curse them longer, louder, and with more skill than anything they have said about us;  he says to do good to those who hate us when our flesh wants to continually rehearse over and over every bad thing they have done to us and spread as much venom against them as possible;  he says to pray for those who persecute us and spitefully use us when our flesh only wants payback!  That is why faith is essential and why we need love to make our faith work!

Listen to what he says – “You men of war…”  And then he tells them to take a circular walk!  Does that sound like a great military strategy to you?  No!  And it wouldn’t have sounded like one to them either!  If you think about it the Lord turned what their parents had been doing for forty years in the wilderness – going round in circles – into a winning strategy!  It’s not always what we have been doing that is wrong – just how or why we have been doing it!

It is not enough to be set free – you must understand that your freedom has a purpose!  It is not enough to come out – you have to enter in!  You have to come out of sin and enter into righteousness, you have to come out of sickness and enter into healing, you have to come out of oppression and enter into liberty, you have to come out of poverty and enter into prosperity, you have to come out of despair and enter into hope, you have to come out of unbelief and enter into faith, you have to come out of hate and enter into love, you have to come out of mourning and enter into joy, you have to come out of criticism and enter into encouragement, etc, etc.

Remember – it was those who were of military age at the time of coming out of Egypt who perished in the wilderness.  That is why the Lord reminds them that they are men of war!  He is expecting them to fight!  Every army has to be willing to march!  Many times they even have marching songs.  A well-known song from the First World War says, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile….what’s the use of worrying? You know it never was worthwhile, so pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile…”  When you see old film footage of what these guys had to endure you have to appreciate how much it cost to sing that song!  We are to fight the good fight of faith, walking out what God has said!  We have marching songs in the church – “We walk by faith, each step by faith, to live by faith, I put my trust in you…Every step I take is a step of faith, no weapon formed against me shall prosper…And every prayer I make is a prayer of faith, and if my God is for me then who can be against me…”  We need to sing our songs louder and more consistently!  You don’t sing according to what you are feeling but what you are faithing!

6 Then 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.” 7 And he said to the people, “Proceed, and march around the city, and let him who is armed advance before the ark of the LORD.” 8 So it was, when Joshua had spoken to the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the LORD advanced and blew the trumpets, and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard came after the ark, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. 10 Now Joshua had commanded the people, saying, “You shall not shout or make any noise with your voice, nor shall a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I say to you, ‘Shout!’ Then you shall shout.” 11 So he had the ark of the LORD circle the city, going around it once. Then they came into the camp and lodged in the camp. 12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 Then seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually and blew with the trumpets. And the armed men went before them. But the rear guard came after the ark of the LORD, while the priests continued blowing the trumpets. 14 And the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. So they did six days. 15 But it came to pass on the seventh day that they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner. On that day only they marched around the city seven times. 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: “Shout, for the LORD has given you the city!

3.    THERE IS A TIME TO BE SILENT AND AND A TIME TO SPEAK

Remember – the weapons of our warfare involve “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

I believe that this is where we fail over and over again in a faith walk that is always supposed to end in a shout of victory!  God doesn’t have any defeats planned for us – only victories!  He has no failures planned for us – only successes!  No sickness – only healing!  No bondage – only deliverance!  No poverty – only prosperity!

So how do you engage in this warfare of casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God?  The Word of God says, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord…”  If what you are about to say doesn’t exalt God over your problems then keep your mouth shut!  This wasn’t a silent march around Jericho – the seven priests were blowing on the ram’s horn trumpets continually!  The difference between this circular march and the one done by the previous generation was that there was a continual sound of praise going up to heaven rather than a continual murmuring, grumbling, and complaining.  That is why this generation accomplished in a week what the previous generation failed to accomplish in forty years!  Remember – there are those who are looking for another “woe-is-me” revival but the Lord is looking for a “here I am, send me” revival!  Many times the Lord said to send Judah – praise – first into battle singing “Praise / give thanks to the Lord for his love endures forever!”  “And his faithfulness continues to all generations!

Listen up – you are about to hear some of the best advice you will ever hear.  And I’m not even going to charge you any extra for it!

James tells us that we should be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to get angry or take offense!   When we recognise that we are facing a difficulty – whether it is spiritual, physical, emotional, or financial – we should first of all apply ourselves to hearing what the LORD has to say about it!  Then we must deal with all of the arguments that arise as to why what he has said can’t come to pass, and begin removing every high thing (sometimes intellectual knowledge) that gets between us and our knowledge of our God and the experience of his faithfulness, and take every thought captive until all of our thoughts line up with his thoughts towards us that are always for good and never for evil!

If we begin to talk about the problem or speak words that reveal our doubts and inconsistencies then we will never get to the shout that proclaims victory!   Our words reveal so much about us – Jesus said our mouths speak out what is in our hearts!  It would pay us to sit and listen to ourselves speak for a while.  The word of God tells us to be diligent in guarding our hearts.  The first location that you need to place a guard over your heart is your mouth!  The mouth will declare the secret vulnerabilities of your heart if you let it!  The enemy is always on the prowl gathering intelligence to use against you.  He only knows what you are really thinking if you tell him! The best way to scramble his brain is to praise the Lord and to pray and sing in the Spirit!

And so, as these people were walking around these heavily fortified and virtually impregnable walls they were forbidden from talking the problem.  The less you talk the problem and the more you meditate on what God has said and praise and thank him for it something supernatural begins to happen on the inside of you!  Faith begins to rise!  Remember the father who brought his demon-possessed son to Jesus.  He said, “I believe, help my unbelief…”  Sometimes there is a gap between between what we believe and the shout of victory.  But help is available!  I have been really seeking the Lord on how to help the unbelief of those who are genuinely believing for and seeking a breakthrough.  The disciples couldn’t do anything for this boy and it wasn’t until Jesus came on the scene that the boy was finally delivered.  Ultimately, it is the manifest presence of God that makes the difference.  We are the go-betweens – the conductors – of God’s power.  Remember those who will say to Jesus, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  What is wrong with their statements?  They claimed to do it themselves!  Self was being exalted against the knowledge of God!  Jesus tells them that he never knew them and actually calls them evildoers!

We are told to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand – to make ourselves available as the conductors of his power – and that he will exalt us in due season.  Jesus told his disciples that prayer and fasting (humbling ourselves) are the key to inviting the kingdom of heaven to manifest in the earth.

Remember the first recorded miracle of the newly Holy Spirit-baptised church?  Where were Peter and John going when they encountered the lame beggar?  To pray!  And when the people try and give Peter and John the credit for the man’s healing Peter says, “Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?…..By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.

We preach the message of the kingdom, we believe the message of the kingdom, but we need to invite the power of heaven to come and bring the manifestation of God’s kingdom and the fulfilment of his will on the earth!  There is a song we used to sing….
Great is the power of heaven, great is the power of heaven…Great is the power that opens the door, to Jesus the King of kings….The powers of darkness shall flee, as we praise and magnify Thee…..Great is the power that opens the door to Jesus the King of kings….

Anyhow, back to Joshua.  Have you noticed how much the devil wants to engage you in conversation?  He always wants to know how you’re doing?  Why?  Because he wants to know where your faith is at!  Don’t answer him!  Can you imagine the questions that would have been passing between the marching men if they had been permitted to speak? You can just hear someone saying to the guy next to him, “How do you feel about this?”  The enemy uses flesh – other people’s flesh – to try and get a response from our flesh.  Sometimes it will be very plausible and even sound well-meaning and sympathetic.  But we need to resist the temptation to let our flesh speak and the enemy will get his answer when the LORD says, “SHOUT” and everything that he has tried to erect as an obstacle to your progress will come tumbling down!  It is never any of the devil’s business where you are at or how you are feeling!  Tell people that you are blessed because you are!  The blessing will cover everything!  It will take you from where you are right now to where the Lord plans for you to live!

The pharisees and religious leaders were continually trying to trip Jesus up with his own words but they always failed miserably because he never spoke until he heard the Father’s word first!  He always wanted to speak from heaven and not from the earth!

17 Now the city shall be doomed by the LORD to destruction, it and all who are in it. Only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all who are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver and gold, and vessels of bronze and iron, are consecrated to the LORD; they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.” 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword.

The word of God is a two-edged sword that is powerful to destroy and demolish every stronghold of the enemy and remove every trace of what has hindered us in the past!

Do you believe?  Will you praise until the breakthrough comes?  Will you pray and invite the kingdom of heaven to come and the King’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven…?

It’s time to take some land!  Send Judah first……

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