January 25th, 1992                                   "By Faith the Walls of Jericho Fell Down"                            Dr. Whitson Paul

Hebrews 11:30,31 "By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were compassed about seven days. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace."

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews speaks about the heroes of faith. In these verses we have read, we read about Joshua, though his name is not mentioned. Joshua was a spirit-filled leader. And here, we find that he is a hero of faith. I really praise the Lord for each one of you who has been brought into the Kingdom of God. We praise the Lord that we could meet as a family every Saturday night in the Lord’s presence. We must grow in faith to become heroes of faith. We must see how far we are able to lead others.

Now, we shall see three important characteristics in Joshua that made him a hero of faith. Joshua 1:7, "Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn thou not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper withersoever thou goest." Firstly, we see that one should be strong and unhesitating to obey the Lord. That is very important to grow in faith. Some people thank the Lord for salvation but after sometime they start regretting their steps towards God. They are full of such regrets but not regrets for their failures. They feel they are missing certain things. Some people regret the fact that they do not have enough money. And there are others, who have a number of other regrets. I do not know how many regrets you have in your hearts. I praise the Lord I have no regrets. Even if I do not have money in my pocket, I know the Lord will provide. Even if food may not be available sometimes, I know the Lord will provide. I have proved it many times. Are we growing in faith or growing in regrets? Joshua was asked to walk according to God’s Words. He was asked not to turn from the Word of God to the right or to the left. That way he would prosper.

Secondly, we must meditate on God’s Word. Of course I do not want to fix the number of chapters you should read. Some people find it very difficult if we say, "Read five chapters." I have seen that continuously meditating on God’s Word is very necessary. It is the antidote to the devil’s attempt to put his thoughts into us. Thoughts of the flesh, thoughts of the world and other kinds of negative thoughts, he wants to put into our hearts. But if we are filled with the Word of God, then we can see the Lord’s special victory. Joshua 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." We must really progress in victorious living. When we read the Word of God, we have a forward drive in our lives. Whereas when we do not meditate on the Word of God, the devil will take us back and back and we find ourselves in a place where we excuse everything. We will not be able to see our mistakes at all. Are we growing in teachability or are we excusing ourselves?

The third important thing is the exercise of faith. In the 6th chapter of Joshua the very first verse tells us that Jericho was straitly shut up before the children of Israel. It was a high-walled city, and completely closed. How to conquer that city? Now some Christians and believers are like that. They will not open their hearts at all. The Lord says, "He that hideth his sins shall not prosper." But some people think that they may be misunderstood or perhaps they may fall low in the opinion of the seniors. So they do not open their hearts. So one person said, "I have spoken a lie. If I reveal that lie, they may think, I am a thief also." Now it does not happen that way. When a person is not prepared to confess his lies, he will be led to steal also. Joshua was asked to use faith with regard to Jericho. The priests were asked to take the Ark of the Covenant and go round the city. It is good to have the Holy Servants of God around us. We must never allow wrong thoughts against them. one sign of spiritual growth and rightness with God is, we have and enjoy fellowship with God’s children. That is true walking in the light of God. But whatever we try to do independently, without true fellowship with God’s servants will not result in achievements that bring glory to God. The Lord shows me that true love is a sacrificial, self-giving love which you cannot find in many places. In this humble Fellowship, we find that God’s servants say, "Let there not be any sin between you and God."

As we study the Word of God, we find that crucifixion of self is very important. Submission to God’s will and submission to greater revelation of God, are a great blessing. Surprisingly here in Joshua’s time round Jericho there were three types of people: 1. The priests, 2. The soldiers, 3. The common people. Leadership cannot be given to the third class of people unless they grow into heroes of faith. Joshua was a common man. But he grew in faith. And as he diligently obeyed the Word of God, he had a vision of the Lord Jesus. We see in the 5th chapter, how the Lord said, "I am the Captain of the Lord’s hosts." So we must recognise whether self is guiding us or the Captain of the Lord of hosts. So the Lord wants us to grow like Joshua, obeying the commandments of the Lord and meditating on God’s Words. We have to exercise our faith as we see Joshua exercised at Jericho. I do not know what problems you are facing and how it is weakening your faith. One thing I can tell you, that the Lord will not deny any good thing from the person who loves Him. If your heart is clean in the sight of God and your conscience is clean in the sight of God’s people, if your life is clean, one day you will be a leader who will bring many souls to the Lord. Joshua had the joy of leading the people to Canaan. One of my special commitments during the years is our meetings in Stuartpuram where I have to speak to our evangelists. I used to fast and pray before going to Stuartpuram. To guide God’s people we need a very special visitation of God. So this type of waiting upon the Lord and preparing is very, very important. Many people do not know that. They just believe in organization and arranging certain things. The Lord is doing great things and the work is spreading. Many hearts are deeply touched and delivered and people are opening their hearts and receiving the Lord’s deliverance and cleansing.