If I have no obstacles, I believe that I do not need God in order to walk the path. However, when my path is blocked... I believe it is up to me to overcome the problem.
Tonight I realized that both perspectives are wrong for a very simple reason: they both fail to acknowledge the role of God in my walk.
I love the story of Joshua and his obedience to God when faced with the unconquerable city of Jericho (Book of Joshua, Chapter 6). Do you know the story? Joshua was leading an entire nation in exile and they were desperate to find the land that God had promised. Just when things were looking good and they had decided to follow God... their way was blocked by a mighty nation that could crush them.
And God promised Joshua that he had already delivered the city. And yet, the walls still stood. There was nothing visible that showed any evidence that the city would fall. But, God required obedience of Joshua. Joshua had to take mighty steps of faith.
God commanded that Joshua gather up all of his people, and they were to march around the walls of the city, carrying trumpets. They were to circle the city one time for six days. On the seventh day they were to march around the city seven times with the priests blowing trumpets all the way. After the seventh circumvention, the priests were to sound a loud blast on the trumpets, and then the entire nation was to shout. Then the walls would fall, and the city would be conquered.
They did it. The walls fell. Jericho was conquered. Just like God said.
And what was Joshua and Israel's role? Simply to be obedient. They only had to follow God.
He was human, after all. I'm sure he feared the risk of death from the soldiers of the city. He probably could list a hundred reasons of why he should not follow through. And yet... he had enough belief to keep walking around those walls.
When I am following God, my path will be cleared. Nothing is so big that He cannot move it.
Faith is never present without fear. And one of those two will alter your belief and influence your outcome. It is important to remember that God is for us.
And so, the photo at the top of this post is Jericho. This is the obstacle that is before us. God has told us that he has already conquered it. He asks us that we simply believe it, and we keep walking on faith. He has even given us the plan. My cousin & her husband are being transferred to Dayton and they want a house to rent. They came and visited our house, and agreed that this was an answer to both of our prayers.
We are ready to make a deal and pass over the keys... but the family who wants to rent our home is also struggling to sell their own, and it appears that they may not be able to come.
Suddenly our home has become a massive obstacle that threatens to stop all the progress that we have made in transitioning to full time missionary service in Guatemala. The market will not allow us to sell without a massive cash payment at the table, and our long shot rent solution has dissolved.
I think of Joshua as he stands at the horizon, looking at Jericho. The walls were too high. The soldiers were too many. It was simply impassable. And yet, God told Him, "I have already given you the city."
We need a God solution here.
We stare up at our Jericho. We will begin to circle these walls. We continue to take steps of faith. Over the next week, we will follow the steps of Joshua, and we will pray circles around this city. We are waiting for that moment to sound the trumpets and shout.
Like Joshua was aware of the guards on top the walls, and the might of the city... we are aware of complications that face us: completing a refinance to lower the payments and the need for my cousin's home to sell in Kentucky.
I have made the first circle tonight. So far, the walls have not broken. They have not even cracked. Jericho looms as tall and strong as ever. And yet... we continue to circle the city.
These walls will fall. God has already delivered the solution. Please circle the walls of this house with us. We need an army of prayer warriors. Pray that the Silers sell their home and are able to rent ours. Each night I will be walking around the outside of my home. On the seventh, I will shout and claim it. My retired neighbors will be frightened (my apologies neighbors). I yield to the timing of God, and each day we will continue to move forward. We must be out of this house by June.
Today is March 29, 2012. Watch us, and see God deliver.