Scriptually Speaking – September 2020

How Do We Overcome Obstacles?

The people of God had to decide whether or not they would continue the journey to where God wanted them to be. Would they move forward in spite of the obstacles, or would they once again retreat into safety?

We each arrive at this crossroad in our spiritual walk. God doesn’t place us on this planet without a purpose. He has a divine design for each one of us. However, as we seek to follow His direction, difficulties confront us. Joshua teaches us how to overcome the obstacles that would keep us from following God’s will for our lives.

I. We overcome obstacles through communication:
The major obstacle facing Joshua and the people of Israel was the city of Jericho. If they couldn’t conquer Jericho, then all hope for the Israelites was gone.
A. How would they reach the city? B. How would they scale the wall?

Joshua had a God who communicated with him. (This might seem odd to us, but such communication from God was common for Joshua.)
“The gates of Jericho were kept tightly shut because the people were afraid of the Israelites. No one was allowed to go in or out.” Joshua 6:1

The Lord said to Joshua: “Jericho and its king and its mighty warriors
are already defeated, for I have given them to you! I have delivered
Jericho into your hands, along with its kind and its fighting men,
and I have provided the plan for taking Jericho.” Joshua 6:2

Whatever your obstacle, God is willing to meet it with you. He is committed to communicating with His people and to providing strength, comfort, and hope. If you are up against a wall and want to know how to deal with it, don’t try to overcome under your own strength. Commune with God. Let that be your first plan of action…rather than your last resort.

II. We defeat difficulties through compliance:
In the face of such a great obstacle, Joshua complied with the plan of God. Though he may not have completely understood the plan or its significance, he followed God; and then Joshua moved the people to action.

God could use a man like Joshua, because he was a man of faith and a man of obedience. He simply did what God instructed…and the people followed him.
“Your entire army is to walk around the city once a day for six days, followed by seven priests walking ahead of the Ark, each carrying a trumpet made from a ram’s horn.

On the seventh day, you are to walk around the city seven times, with the priests blowing their trumpets. Then, when they give one long, loud blast,
all the people are to give a mighty shout; and the walls of the city will fall down.
Then move in upon the city from every direction.”
Joshua 6:3-4

God instructed the people of Israel to carry the trumpets, with the ark of the Lord
following for six days, and they were not to speak. On the seventh day, they were to
follow this routine with one addition: They were to shout in glory to God, because the city had been delivered to them.

What an act of faith it was for Joshua and the people to march around the city! No previous (or subsequent) battle had ever been won in such a manner! Yet they all marched around the city. It was an act of faith and an act of obedience.

Their obedience to God produced wonders. We read of no negative spirit,
discouragement, or disbelief. As they marched circle after circle around the city, I’m sure they could see the seeming impossibility of the situation. Yet they kept marching. Obedience is the key. Compliance is the key to the moving of God’s mighty hand in our lives.

Many today pride themselves on living within reason, but God called His people to live by faith. We are to walk in faith and obedience to His direction and leadership in our lives.

III. Impossibilities become possibilities through confidence.

It was uncommon common sense to believe that God could make the impossible possible! Yet in the end, the walls fell!

“When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted; and, at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed.
So every man charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys.”

You see, the walls were not the problem! They never are. We people are the problem. We always are. God has the power to do as He chooses, but He desires that we act in obedient faith. When we do, He takes care of the walls.

“By faith, the walls of Jericho fell—after the people had marched around them for
seven days.” Hebrews 11:30

Joshua and God’s people demonstrated deep confidence in the power of God.
Do we have that kind of confidence?

Rev. Michael Rochelle, Pastor of Shadow Hills Baptist Church-Las Vegas, Nevada