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Shout: Audio Message

When you began your year with a fast, you probably had many heavy burdens on your heart – things you want to see God do this year. Perhaps they seem otherwise impossible apart from fasting and prayer.

Your situation is very similar to that of Joshua and the Israelites when God told them to march around Jericho.

Tightly Shut Up

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

“1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in.

2 “Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men'” (Joshua 6:1-2).

Determined to Defend Himself

The king of Jericho was determined to defend himself. Scripture says the city was tightly shut up because the spies had escaped. There were people from all seven Canaanitish nations in Jericho to help against the Israelites.

Satan may have pulled in extra demonic forces against you on your fast. If you fasted for twenty-one days, you probably felt how determined the enemy has been to defeat you.

Jericho was fortified. It was strong. It had gates of iron and bars of brass. Heavenly intervention was necessary.

So it is with your fast. Heavenly intervention was necessary for you to continue on your fast. And Heavenly intervention is necessary for you to receive answers to your causes for fasting.

But God HAS given you…

“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).

What the Israelites saw was not a city delivered into their hands. Yet, God used past tense language:

  • “I have delivered Jericho into your hands” (v.2).
  • “The LORD has given you the city” (v.16).

God always speaks of the end from the beginning. So when He refers to an event in the future, it is past tense to Him.

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. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do” (Isaiah 46:10-11).

When God speaks of things, He speaks of them in advance. Hopefully, before you completed your fast, you heard a word from God concerning each of your causes for fasting – a word you are to expect Him to fulfill. If not, then your faith is resting in your fast – in your own human effort – rather than in the word and promise of God, where it should be.

Ridiculous?

“2 Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. 3 March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. 4 Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. 5 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.’

“6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and said to them, ‘Take up the ark of the covenant of the LORD and have seven priests carry trumpets in front of it.’ 7 And he ordered the people, ‘Advance! March around the city, with the armed guard going ahead of the ark of the LORD…’

10 But 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!’ 11 So he had the ark of the LORD carried around the city, circling it once. Then the people returned to camp and spent the night there.

“12 Joshua got up early the next morning and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding. 14 So on the second day they marched around the city once and returned to the camp. They did this for six days.

“15 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times” (Joshua 6:2-7, 10-15).

The march must have seemed ridiculous, both to the Israelites and to the people of Jericho. The Israelites marched around Jericho a total of thirteen times. The people of Jericho must have made fun of them, taunting them and shouting, “All your marching is doing no good. Are you crazy? Your ridiculous marching and silly trumpet blowing has no power against our gates of iron and bars of brass.

It must have seemed humiliating to the Israelites – day after day marching…and continuing to march although there had been no result.

The devil probably did the same thing to you while you were on your fast. He probably constantly taunted you with lies saying, “This silly fasting isn’t doing any good. Look at you! You’ve fasted all this time and nothing has happened. There’s no point in continuing on. You might as well quit! You’re just wasting your time.”

Marching was an extreme test of faith for the Israelites just like fasting has been a test of faith for you.

Heaven’s Horns

As you have been fasting, Heaven’s horns have been blowing!

“13 The seven priests carrying the seven trumpets went forward, marching before the ark of the LORD and blowing the trumpets. The armed men went ahead of them and the rear guard followed the ark of the LORD, while the trumpets kept sounding” (v. 13)

The horns used were silver Jubilee trumpets. The year of Jubilee symbolizes rest and release.

The Year of Jubilee began with a blast from a trumpet on the Day of Atonement every 49th year. During the 50th year – the year of Jubilee – Israel’s land and people gained rest and release:

  • The land was given rest from crops. What grew naturally was left for the poor and the animals.
  • All land was to revert back to the original owner.
  • Every Israelite who had sold himself—either to his fellow countryman or to a foreigner settled in the land—because of poverty and remained unredeemed was to be freed along with his children.

This prevented the Israelites from oppressing one another. The year of Jubilee had a leveling effect of Israel’s culture by giving everyone a chance for a new start.

  • Through fasting, God gives us a new start! He gives us rest and release!

This year was a constant reminder of God’s interest in economic freedom.

  • God is interested in your freedom – be it from addiction, from besetting sin, from poverty or from oppression.

The blowing of the silver Jubilee trumpets as the Israelites marched around Jericho signified the liberty to which God had brought Israel. Beloved, if you fasted and prayed for twenty-one days, God intends to bring you into liberty.

The march demonstrated God’s power to the Canaanites and taught the Israelites faith. It taught them that they were to rely on God and God alone for their victory.

Fasting causes our faith to grow. It expels unbelief.

“3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

The trumpets must have seemed foolish. Fasting and prayer may seem foolish, but it is a spiritual weapon that God has chosen. He wasn’t messing around when He gave us fasting and prayer as spiritual weapons. They are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.

Fasting Words

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!

When the Israelites fasted words, they became more sensitive to the sound of the trumpets. They became more sensitive to the things of the Spirit. They realized it wasn’t going to take normal weapons to conquer Jericho. It was going to take God-ordained, spiritual weapons.

Fasting is an expression of the fact we aren’t putting our confidence in anything around us. We’re putting our confidence in God and His Word, Jesus Christ.

When we fast, we become more sensitive to God’s voice – to Heaven’s horns.

When the Iraelites fasted words, it caused them to have a calm, confident expectation in God.

Fasting does the same thing for us. When we are eating and we become stressed, we tend to run to our food and stuff ourselves. We engage in emotional eating to numb the pain and anxiety. We turn to everything around us instead of to God. But when we fast, we are essentially telling our natural man to stand still and see God’s salvation.

  • “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14).
  • “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the LORD, who is with you” (2 Chronicles 20:17).

Marching and Waiting

Marching around thirteen times over seven days, the Israelites were forced to wait.

Fasting is waiting in expectation – in faith! Just because your answer hasn’t come yet, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t going to arrive. God will be blessing you all year long because you began the year with fasting and prayer.

The Israelites had much to do in conquering Canaan. It must have seemed senseless to drag out the march around Jericho for seven days. So it is for you as you have fasted. It may have seemed like a waste of time in the natural realm, but much has been taking place in the spiritual realm.

Shout of Faith

“Joshua commanded the people, “Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!” (v. 16).

The shout was a triumphant and victorious shout of faith. They shouted first before the walls fell. It was an expression of their faith that God would give the victory – that He would do what He said He would do.

It was a shout of prayer, an echo to the sound of the trumpets.

“Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’” (Isaiah 58:9).

The Fighting Men

For the Israelites to have been able to circle the city seven times in one day, it could have only been the fighting men who marched.

The number of Israelites would have been 2 – 3 million. That many people could not circle the city seven times. However, the number of the fighting men was approximately 600,000. They could easily march around the city.

If you’ve been fasting, you’ve been fighting. We’ve been fighting a very real spiritual battle during the twenty-one days of the fast.

God gives the city to the fighting men and women! He gives the victory to those who will march, who will fast, who will wait…and who will fight!

The Ruins

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days” (Hebrews 11:30).

God instructed that the city was not to rebuilt.There are things in us during this fast that have fallen – things I believe God intends to remain fallen. The ruins will remain a monument to God’s power, faithfulness and supremacy.

The Fall

The walls collapsed on the Sabbath to oppose the idolatries of Canaan.

Fasting is “rest” – entering into God’s Sabbath rest. We enter God’s Sabbath rest when we walk by faith. When we fast, unbelief is the first thing to go out from us. Our faith is built up.

Smaller Than You Think

The city could not have been huge or else they could not have marched around it seven times in one day.

Your problem is smaller than you think – especially to God.

Rahab’s Reward

Rahab and her family were spared because of her faith in God.

“Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent” (Joshua 6:17).

“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace” (Hebrews 11:31).

God honors faith! Rahab became part of the lineage of Christ.

“Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse and Jesse begot David the king” (Matthew 1:5).

The results of your fast may be slow, but they will be very sure. The years from Rahab to Jesus comprised a long period of time. Yet the result of Rahab’s faith was unfathomable and eternal – Jesus Christ coming to earth, through her lineage, to redeem mankind. We are all still benefitting from Rahab’s faith.

Your fasting is going to lead to a work of the birth of Christ on this earth – in your family, in your community, in your ministry.

There are things for which you have been fasting that seem tangible – such as finances or the custody of children – but in the end will be anything but merely tangible. When people see that situation, they are going to see God’s mighty hand. God is going to get glory! When people look at that situation, they are going to see Him, not merely a tangible scenario.  They will see Jesus and His power!

Yes, the results of your fast may manifest slowly here on earth, but they will be sure and will reveal God in incredible ways!

These powerful points are contained in the audio message Shout.

Listen and discover what kinds of walls we can expect to fall as a result of our fasting and prayer.

“Shout” Audio Message

Recorded February 3, 2011 at the Night of Miracle Prayer.

Question: How does it encourage to know that your fasting and prayer are similar to the circumstances surrounding the fall of Jericho?

 

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