This morning, as I read the story of the conquest of Jericho (Joshua 5:13-6:27), God began to speak to my heart. I don’t have everything organized, but I hope you’ll be strengthened by a bit of what God showed me about experiencing freedom from sin.
At this point, the Israelites have been freed from slavery in Egypt and crossed the Jordan River into Canaan. They’re getting ready to take possession of the land that God has been promising to them for years. But right in their way of receiving this inheritance is the massive city of Jericho, a stronghold of their enemy.
There are many Christians who, though they have been freed from slavery to sin and been baptized into the inheritance of the Spirit, have allowed the enemy to build a stronghold in their souls. I know this because I have been there myself.
How do we experience the freedom God wants us to inherit?
1. Know that You are Holy Ground
Joshua 5:13-15 reads, “Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, ‘Are you for us or for our adversaries?’ He said, ‘No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, ‘What has my lord to say to his servant?’ The captain of the Lord’s host said to Joshua, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.”
The word “holy” is translated from the Hebrew qodesh, which simply means “set apart.” When used in conjunction with God, it means that the “holy” thing has been set apart for God’s use. So when God says that the land on which Jericho sits is holy, he’s saying, “That land belongs to me. It’s meant for me and destined for me, and, because I’m God, I will have it.”
You–if you have surrendered to Jesus and become a child of God–have been made holy by the blood of Jesus and sealed by his Spirit. You belong to God. All that is in you belongs to God. And every stronghold of the enemy that is in you is sitting on land that belongs to him.
This the first step in freedom from a stronghold in your life: recognizing that you are God’s and that he will do whatever it takes to make you wholly his.
Too many people make peace with the enemy. They look at the stronghold and say, “It’s too strong. I’m just a poor, wandering nomad. My parents were slaves. I’m no soldier. There’s no way I can battle that stronghold. It’s just far too strong, and it’s been here far too long. Besides, I can learn to live with it. It doesn’t really even bother me that often, anyhow.” So they sign a peace treaty with the enemy and let him stay.
But we must recognize that we are holy, that we belong to Jesus. We are destined to be wholly his and no one else’s. Every stronghold of the enemy in us is destined to come crashing down because the land of our souls has been set aside for God, declared holy by God himself.
Because God calls me his, he will take responsibility for my freedom. He will be the power to destroy the enemy’s strongholds. I may be weak, but that doesn’t matter because my soul belongs to God, and he doesn’t want any stronghold of evil in me. He won’t allow it, and he won’t rest or quit until every unclean thing is destroyed in me. Because I am holy, I am his.
We must not settle and make peace with the enemy. Decide in your heart today to believe God, that you have been called to be his alone, and let his Spirit work in you. You are holy.
I have more, but I’ll just end with Ephesians 5:25-27: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
(P.S. Just ’cause I hate to not tell you all my points… I was going to talk also about (2) Invite God into the Midst, (3) Examine the Stronghold Closely, and (4) Declare the Victory. Maybe I’ll do these in another post. Or maybe not.)