In this 64-page booklet, you’ll find forty scriptures of promise and corresponding inspirational passages to encourage you that God fights for his people in difficult times. Ideal for daily reading, each segment equips you with the spiritual weapons of:
With content from pastor and New York Times bestselling author Max Lucado, this booklet includes passages from:
- Glory Days
- You'll Get Through This
- For the Tough Times
- and other previously published favorites
Whether you need a comforting reminder or want to share this message with a friend, this booklet will help you shift your focus from your battles to your glorious victor.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)|
About the Author
Visit his website at MaxLucado.com
Read an Excerpt
He Fights For You
40 Promises for Everyday Battles
By Max Lucado, Andrea Lucado
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2015 Max Lucado and Andrea Lucado
All rights reserved.
WALK CIRCLES AROUND YOUR JERICHO
Here is what you need to know about the walls of Jericho. They were immense. They wrapped around the city like a suit of armor, two concentric circles of stone rising a total of forty feet above the ground. Impenetrable.
Here is what you need to know about Jericho's inhabitants. They were ferocious and barbaric. They withstood all sieges and repelled all invaders. They were guilty of child sacrifice. "They even burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices to their gods!" (Deut. 12:31 NCV). They were a Bronzeage version of the gestapo, ruthless tyrants on the plains of Canaan. Until the day Joshua showed up. Until the day his army marched in. Until the day the bricks cracked and the boulders broke. Until the day everything shook — the stones of the walls, the knees of the king, the molars of the soldiers. The untoppleable fortress met the unstoppable force.
Mighty Jericho crumbled.
But here is what you need to know about Joshua. He didn't bring the walls down. Joshua's soldiers never swung a hammer. His men never dislodged a brick. They never rammed a door or pried loose a stone. The shaking, quaking, rumbling, and tumbling of the thick, impervious walls? God did that for them.
God will do that for you. Your Jericho is your fear. Your Jericho is your anger, bitterness, or prejudice. Your insecurity about the future. Your guilt about the past. Your negativity, anxiety, and proclivity to criticize, overanalyze, or compartmentalize. Your Jericho is any attitude or mind-set that keeps you from joy, peace, or rest.
It stands between you and your Glory Days. It mocks you and tells you to take your dreams back to the wilderness. It stands like an ogre on the bridge of progress. It is big; it is evil. It blocks your way. And its walls must fall. To live in the Promised Land, you must face your Jericho.
It's not always easy. Every level of inheritance requires a disinheritance from the devil. Satan must be moved off before the saint can move in. Joshua told his people to "go in to possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you to possess" (Josh. 1:11). The verb translated possess means "to occupy" (by driving out previous tenants, and possessing in their place). Satan won't leave without a fight. He will resist. He will push back. But he will not win. Why? Because God has already declared that you are the victor. Satan, defanged and defeated at Calvary, has no authority over you.
God's word to Joshua is God's word to us: "Be strong and of good courage" (1:6). Do not heed your fear. Do not cower before your woes. Take the land God has given you to possess.
"And the Lord said to Joshua: 'See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor'" (6:2).
God did not say, "Joshua, take the city."
God said, "Joshua, receive the city I have taken."
Joshua did not go forth hoping to win. He knew that God had already won.
The same can be said about you and your challenge. God does not say, "Bob, break your bad habit."
He says, "Bob, I have broken the bad habits of your life. Receive the blessing of my victory."
Remember, you are a coheir with Christ. Every attribute of Jesus is at your disposal. Was Jesus victorious? Did he overcome sin and death? Yes! will you be victorious? Can you overcome sin and death? Yes! The question is not, will you overcome? It is, when will you overcome? Life will always bring challenges. But God will always give strength to face them.
Things are different in the Promised Land. Hang-ups and addictions do not have the last word. Today's problem is not necessarily tomorrow's problem. Don't incarcerate yourself by assuming it is. Resist self-labeling. "I'm just a worrier." "Gossip is my weakness." "My dad was a drinker, and I guess I'll carry on the tradition."
Stop that! These words create alliances with the devil. They grant him access to your spirit. It is not God's will that you live a defeated, marginalized, unhappy, and weary life. Turn a deaf ear to the old voices and make new choices. "The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; yes, I have a good inheritance" (Ps. 16:6). Live out of your inheritance, not your circumstance.
God has already promised a victory. And he has provided weapons for the fight.
I can picture the soldiers perking up as Joshua, their commander, announces, "It is time to take Jericho!"
"Great!" they reply. "we have our ladders and ropes!"
"We will scale the walls!"
"Our spears are sharpened, and our swords are polished!"
"Which side do we attack first?"
Joshua looks at his men and says, "Well, God has a different strategy." The general outlines the most unlikely of attacks. "Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the Lord" (Josh. 6:6).
Joshua commands soldiers to march before and behind the priests. He tells the priests to blow the trumpets continually as they walk around the city once a day. As for the rest of the people? "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" (v. 10).
Wait a minute. No war cry? No hand-to-hand combat? No flashing swords, flying spears, battering rams, or catapults? Just priests, rams' horns, marching, and silence? Joshua has at least forty thousand soldiers at his command, and he tells them to be quiet and watch?
What kind of warfare is this?
Spiritual warfare. Every battle, ultimately, is a spiritual battle. Every conflict is a contest with Satan and his forces. Paul urged us to stand "against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11). The Greek word he used for "wiles" is methodia, from which we get our English word method. Satan is not passive or fair. He is active and deceptive. He has designs and strategies. Consequently, we need a strategy as well. For that reason "though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:3–4).
Just as Jericho was a stronghold in Canaan, we have strongholds in our lives. The apostle Paul used the term to describe a mind-set or attitude. "The weapons of our warfare are ... mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God" (vv. 4–5, emphasis mine). The apostle defined a stronghold as an argument or high thing that "exalts itself against the knowledge of God." It is a conviction, outlook, or belief that attempts to interfere with truth.
Other translations describe a stronghold as
"lofty opinion" (ESV),
"warped philosophies" (MSG).
A stronghold is a false premise that denies God's promise. It "sets itself up against the knowledge of God" (v. 5 NIV). It seeks to eclipse our discovery of God. It attempts to magnify the problem and minimize God's ability to solve it.
Does a stronghold have a strong hold on you? Do you see nothing but Jericho? Do you feel nothing but despair? Do you think thoughts of defeat? Do you speak the language of impossibility?
God could never forgive me. (the stronghold of guilt)
I could never forgive that person. (the stronghold of resentment)
Bad things always happen to me. (the stronghold of self-pity)
I have to be in charge. (the stronghold of pride)
I don't deserve to be loved. (the stronghold of rejection)
I'll never recover. (the stronghold of defeat)
I must be good, or God will reject me. (the stronghold of performance)
I'm only as good as I look. (the stronghold of appearance)
My value equals my possessions. (the stronghold of materialism)
Most Christians don't recognize strongholds. They live in the shadow of these joy-sucking Jerichos.
But we don't have to be among them. Our weapons are from God and have "divine power to demolish strongholds" (v. 4 NIV).
Isn't that what we want? We long to see our strongholds demolished, turned into rubble once and for all, forever and ever, ka-boom! We long to see Jericho brought to the ground. How does this happen?
By keeping God in the center.
The ark of the covenant was the symbol of the Lord's presence. Joshua placed the ark in the middle of the procession. Every activity orbited around God. We don't attack our Jericho with anger, blame casting, or finger-pointing. No, we keep God center stage, using the weapons of worship, Scripture, and prayer. We employ every tool God offers: hymns, songs, communion, Scripture memorization, and petition. We turn off the TV and open the Bible more. We remember Jesus' promise: "I am with you always" (Matt. 28:20). We worry less, pray always. We even blast our version of a ram's horn.
The Hebrews used two instruments: the silver trumpet and the ram's horn. The silver trumpet was used to call the people to assemble (Num. 10:2). The ram's horn celebrated a battle already won. When Abraham displayed his willingness to give up his son Isaac as an offering, God stopped him and provided a ram. The ram's horn reminds us of God's sovereign generosity. God gave Abraham a ram of deliverance. God told Joshua to fill the air with sounds of ram's horn victory.
And, curiously, he told the people to keep quiet. "Don't say a word" (Josh. 6:10 NCV). No chitchat. No opinion giving or second-guessing. No whining or chatting. Keep your mouth shut and the trumpets loud.
Imagine the reaction of the Canaanites as Joshua's army marched circles around them. The first day they mocked the Hebrews. The second day they scoffed again but not as loudly. By the fourth and fifth days, the enemy had grown silent. What are these Hebrews up to? they wondered. On the sixth day the Canaanites were dry mouthed and wide eyed as the Hebrews made their round. The people of Jericho had never fought a battle like this.
Just as challenging is your battle with your archenemy, the devil. He has held this stronghold in your life for years. You've tried everything to overcome it: renewed discipline, self-help books, pop culture gurus. Nothing helps. But now you come in God's power with God center stage, Jesus in your heart, angels in front and back. You come, not with hope of a possible victory, but with assurance of complete victory.
March like a Promised Land conqueror. Blast your ram's horn. Sing songs of redemption, and declare scriptures of triumph. Marinate your mind with the declaration of Jesus, "It is finished!" (John 19:30), and the announcement of the angels, "He is not here; for He is risen" (Matt. 28:6). Personalize the proclamations of Paul: "We are more than conquerors through [Christ]" (Rom. 8:37), and "I can do all things through Christ" (Phil. 4:13). As you do, the demons will begin to scatter. They have no choice but to leave.
Sometime back a mother asked me to pray for her eight-year-old son. He was troubled by a constant barrage of images and scary visions. He saw people behind cars and in shadows. The images left him withdrawn and timid. They even took his sleep at night.
On the day we met he appeared defeated. His smile was gone. While his other siblings were confident and happy, there was no joy in his face. His eyes often filled with tears, and he clung to his mother.
She had taken him to doctors, but nothing had helped. Would I be willing to pray for him?
I told the young boy what I've been telling you. That the devil has no authority over his life.
That the real battles are fought in the mind. That God will help us take every thought captive.
I told him about the spiritual weapons of worship, Scripture, and prayer and urged him to memorize a Bible verse and quote it each time the fearful thoughts came to mind. I gave him a tool. "Reach up with your hand," I urged, "and grab the thought and throw it in the trash. And as quickly as you do that, replace it with a verse of Scripture." We then anointed him with oil and prayed.
Five days later his mother reported great progress. "Since last week the images are gone; he is no longer seeing them. He is doing well in school, and he is enjoying reading the book of Genesis. God gave us Psalm 25:5, 'Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.' He recites this verse nightly. I believe this has brought him closer to Christ. He uses the strategy of throwing the fearful thoughts away in the trash can. He said when he tried to throw them away, his head would hurt. I asked, 'What made them go away?' He smiled and said, 'I know God made them go away.'"
Another Jericho bites the dust.
"Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper" (James 4:7 MSG). He will retreat. He must retreat. He is not allowed in the place where God is praised. Just keep praising and walking.
"But, Max, I've been walking a long time," you say.
Yes, it seems like it. It must have seemed that way to the Hebrews too. Joshua did not tell them how many trips they would have to make around the city. God told Joshua that the walls would fall on the seventh day, but Joshua didn't tell the people. They just kept walking.
Our Joshua didn't tell us either. Through the pen of Paul, Jesus urges us to "be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Cor. 15:58).
Keep walking. For all you know this may be the day the walls come down. You may be only steps from a moment like this.
On the seventh day ... they rose early, about the dawning of the day, and marched around the city seven times in the same manner ... 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! ..."
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 ... took the city. (Josh. 6:15–16, 20)
The very walls that kept them out became stepping-stones onto which they could climb.
By the way, a great shaking is coming for this world too. Our Joshua, Jesus, will give the signal, and a trumpet will blast. He will reclaim every spoil and repel, once and for all, each demon. He will do again what he did in Canaan.
Until he does, keep marching and believing. Defeat your strongholds with the spiritual weapons of worship, Scripture, and prayer. Move from false premises to God's promises.
It's just a matter of time before your Jericho comes down.
My sin — oh, the bliss of this glorious thought —
My sin — not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
"It Is Well With My Soul" by Horatio G. Spafford
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57
Dear God, thank you for the victory I have in Christ. Because of him, my sin is no more and I am eternally grateful for that. It is truly a "glorious thought" to know that all of my shame was covered at the cross, and that I can walk forward today not wondering if I am saved, but knowing that I am, because the victory is yours. In Jesus' name, amen.
Glory to the King of angels,
Glory to the church's King,
Glory to the King of nations!
Heaven and earth, your praises bring;
Glory, glory, glory, glory,
To the King of glory bring!
"Glory Be to God the Father" by Horatius Bonar
Excerpted from He Fights For You by Max Lucado, Andrea Lucado. Copyright © 2015 Max Lucado and Andrea Lucado. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
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