One of my closest friends sent something to me this week out of a devotional she read. It spoke about how the Israelites marched around the city of Jericho and on the seventh day, blew the horn and the walls came tumbling down.
When you think about it, sometimes what God asks us to do seems crazy…
Look For Me Under Dreamer
In the story of Jericho’s walls, the Israelites must have looked really foolish marching around the city each day. They were left vulnerable to attacks from the top of the walls. They were most likely laughed at, mocked, and scoffed for their actions. But they had faith to obey what must have seemed absolutely crazy to them.
On the seventh day, the walls of Jericho came down. We look at that story and think, “Okay, cool. The walls got knocked down.” But what you probably don’t know, is that these walls were massive.
The first wall was 15 feet high of pure stone. The second part of the wall, vertically speaking, was a slanted slope (like a ramp). So that if any enemies got past the 15 feet first wall, the slanted slope would leave them open to arrows from the top of the wall and any intruders would not make it past that part alive.
But wait, that’s not all! Even after the slanted slope, there was another high wall, this one 25 feet by 10 feet deep!
The protection of Jericho was MASSIVE. And yet, God caused it all to fall down (except for a small part in front of Rahab’s house).
The Israelites obeyed, even though they looked quite silly. Even though people made fun of them. Even though it left them vulnerable to injury. They obeyed God out of faith.
I think about Mary.
The story that God has brought to my heart many times these past few months. Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel, told she was going to give birth to God. Her first reaction was complete obedience! She asked a question, not out of rebellion, but out of a desire to learn, and she fully obeyed. She said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”
She knew Joseph would leave her, most likely she knew there was pending danger of her death by stoning, as was the punishment in that day and age. And yet, she fully obeyed. The Bible says she IMMEDIATELY went to Elizabeth’s house. She didn’t delay. She went out immediately.
The moment that Elizabeth heard her voice, John, her unborn baby jumped for joy inside of her. It’s said that the Holy Spirit illuminated Elizabeth with wisdom so that she knew exactly what was going on. Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months and then went back, fully ready to take on any punishment that came her way for obeying the Lord, though no sin was found in her for this situation at all.
Right now, in my own personal life, God is calling me in very much the same way.
Situations look hopeless, impossible even, and looking at things from a humanistic standpoint, I guess you could say they are. But in my heart, I feel the Lord prompting me to obey Him, to submit to Him, to walk around the walls of Jericho looking foolish and being vulnerable to wait for HIM, in HIS perfect timing, to knock those walls down, should He chose to knock them down.
The trial has taught me something really valuable in my Christian walk. It taught me humility. Because the girl that I was before all of this happened, sadly, was prideful. She ran this wildly successful blog and is praised by many. I guess that I found my security in that. And while I do believe we should live our lives as a light to the world for Christ, at the end of the day, the only one we answer to is Christ.
I imagine how the Israelites felt. The wall was massive. Or Mary. Surely she must have contemplated, “Will I get stoned for obeying the Lord?” Or even Abraham. How God promised to give him a nation and he knew in his heart the way to get that promise would be through his only son Isaac, and yet God asked him to kill his own son. Give up the very thing that would make his dreams and God’s promise come true. And yet, Abraham obeyed. He lifted the knife to kill his only son and God stopped him.
You see, it was a test of Abraham’s faith, like all the stories in this post. It was all about testing of their faith. When things look absolutely impossible, when the walls are so massively strong, when you may be killed for your obedience to God, when you may lose your only son and forfeit all your dreams, you have to obey.
It doesn’t matter how many people make fun of you or how many people laugh behind your back. It doesn’t matter if you lose everything you know of in life, as I lost my ex-husband to his sin when he asked me to give up God or he’d leave me. None of that matters my dear friends. You have to obey God.
Today, I want to encourage you.
Follow and obey what you feel God is leading you to do, no matter what the world says.
As an old friend has said in one of the best poems ever written, “Look for me under dreamer. There it will be defined: one that is not afraid to be fearless, foolish, and forgetful. One who does not understand how to quit, and is fluent in failure, able to translate it into something beautiful.”
This is a beautiful picture of what God does in our lives. Things seem hopeless, impossible. They LOOK LIKE failures, but He translates and transforms them into something truly beautiful. That’s the hope that we carry inside of us. That all the bad stuff we go through in life is not just for the moment, but that God is using it to change us to be more like Him every day IF we let Him.
My prayer is simply this, “Make me more and more like you Lord, every day.” Yes, that means trials and in a backwards way, since the best way to grow is by trials, I am praying for them. But I’ve learned in my life how to conquer them. A trial is only a trial if you LET it be one. Do you get that? When you’re going through a trial, learn what you need to learn quickly, obey and submit to His will to make you more like Him, and the trial no longer has power over you. You’ve learned, you’ve grown, and you can continue on to the next trial, because honestly, life is just a series of trials with a few breaks in between.