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Fasting Day 21: Shout!

When God told Joshua to march around Jericho, scripture says it was a “tightly shut up” city.

“Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men'” (Joshua 6:2).

Notice the past tense language. God always speaks of the end from the beginning (Is.46:10-110). So when He refers to an event in the future, it is past tense to Him.

What the Israelites saw was not a city delivered into their hands. No one was going out or coming into Jericho. It was tightly shut up.

God told Joshua, I have delivered this city into your hands, so march as if it is done. March off your territory.

“March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days…On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout, then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in” (Joshua1:3-4).

Joshua ordered the priests to take up the ark of the covenant and told the people to advance and march around the city.

As they marched, the seven priests carrying the seven trumpets before the LORD went forward, blowing their trumpets and the ark of the covenant followed them. The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding.

However, Joshua had commanded the people:

“Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!” (v.10).

Joshua and the Israelites fasted words. The same piece of equipment we speak with is the same piece of equipment we eat with – our tongue!

Fasting increases our faith! It cleanses us of unbelief.

We don’t fast to twist God’s arm.  Through fasting and prayer, we are the ones who are changed. The thing that “goes out” is our unbelief!

Shout!

The people marched around the city once, the ark of the LORD circling the city with them; then they returned to camp. On the second day they did the same thing – they marched around the city once and returned to camp.

They did this for six days. Then on the seventh day, they got up at day break and marched around the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!” (v.16)

If you have fasted and prayed for the past twenty-one days, it is time to shout, for the LORD has given you your request!

This is what we will be doing tonight at the Night of Miracle Prayer!

One Who Shouted by Faith

Last year, during our fasting prayer meetings we prayed for a three-year old child who was caught in the middle of custody battle between an abusive parent and a good, loving parent. The abusive parent would harm the child and claim the loving parent did it, causing an unjust arrest. It was disastrous. Seemingly hopeless.

The little boy’s grandmother fasted and prayed for God to deliver him from this terrible, harmful environment. Words cannot express how deeply she was grieved. She lost a lot of weight just from the stress, long before the fast even began.

The good and loving family had spent thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees, desperately trying to free the child from the bad home. The legal battle stretched out for months and months with no end in sight. CPS could do nothing – in spite of having photo’s of the boy leaving the good parent’s house in perfect condition and returning from the harmful parent’s house with bruises. The judge continued to send the boy to the bad home.

We wept and prayed for this sweet child each week at our fasting prayer meetings. We prayed earnestly for the judge, for the parents – for a breakthrough!

This custody battle had shaped up to be a Jericho – tightly shut up, with no one going out or coming in. There seemed to be no hope, apart from a miracle.

The Walls of Jericho Fell

A week after the fast was over, I received a phone call from the grandmother. “You told us not to get discouraged,” she said, “if we saw no results while on the fast. Well, now they have come.”

The walls of Jericho fell! God liberated that child!  And it came in the most unexpected, unlikely way!

Last year, as we concluded the fast at the Night of Miracle Prayer, we celebrated God’s faithful answers to our prayer and seeking.  This little boy’s grandmother came and joined us in praising God (by faith) for answering her prayer and fasting.

As it was with Daniel, her answer had already been sent from God…it just hadn’t yet arrived here in the natural realm. This dear grandmother praised and thanked God by faith, on the basis of His promises regarding prayer and fasting.

As You Begin to Praise

When the armies of Ammon and Moab were invading Judah, Jehoshaphat called a corporate fast. There was no way Judah could have successfully defended herself. They were sunk if God did not come through! Jehoshaphat told the Lord, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you” (2 Chronicles 20:12).

God raised up a prophet who spoke the word of the Lord: “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s…You will not have to fight this battle…stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you” ( 2 Chronicles 20:15-17).

Jehoshaphat took God at His word. He sent singers out in front of the army, praising God as if the victory was already won. Scripture says:

“As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated” (v. 22).

As they began to sing and praise the LORD, God gave the victory. Beloved, your praise is vital to receiving results from your fast. It should naturally flow from your expectancy and faith in God. God does what He says He will do!

10 “I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand,
and I will do all that I please.
11 …What I have said, that will I bring about;
what I have planned, that will I do.”
Isaiah 46:10-11

God will do in your life what He has promised! It may not be today or tomorrow, but it will surely come.  Praise Him as if it were done – because it is. It is a done deal in Heaven. Your answer is on its way!

“When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped” (v.24).

God did for Jehoshaphat exactly what He said He would do. The men of Judah did not have to fight the battle. God fought it for them.

In fact, God not only gave them the victory, He gave them so much plunder that it took them three days to carry it all off.

“There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it” (v.25).

Such was the case with our family grieved over the brutal custody battle. When their Jericho fell, a sibling of the three-year-old boy returned home as well. It was totally unexpected – an added blessing!

Beloved, before your fast is over, take time to deliberately praise and thank God for His faithful answers to your fasting and prayer. If you are not able to join us for the Night of Miracle Prayer, take a moment in your home, or in your car, or at your church – to shout! For the Lord has given you this city!

Question: How are you expressing your praise and thanks to God in advance of receiving your answer?

 

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