Did you know the order of the day for Joshua was that when he was fighting the enemy he was not to not let one person escape? In fact, God’s command in some cases was to kill all and every part of what even belonged to the enemy as well. When the Jewish nation entered the Promised Land, again God’s order was to utterly destroy the enemy. One of the first cities Joshua destroyed was Ai and Joshua destroyed every last enemy of that city by holding his sword up high pointing it to the city until the last enemy was destroyed.
You may ask yourself why God gave Joshua the order to destroy every one of his enemies, and if so need this be a model and pattern for us as individuals as well? Do I need to take this as a warning for myself?
I do not know if we are able to destroy every one of our enemies, but I do know that God does not want us to live with strongholds (enemies, if you will) and become comfortable with these opponents in our lives. He orders us to be ruthless, merciless and brutal withevery enemy that opposes Him in our ministry. Numbers 33:55 (NIV): “But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land, those you allow to remain will become barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides. They will give you trouble in the land where you will live.”
These are pretty strong orders and I believe we need to take these commands very seriously if we are to move in the Kingdom without restrictions. God requires that we do not entertain even the smallest envy, hurt or unforgiveness in our hearts, lest we become unproductive and fruitless. I believe this includes every stronghold that comes against Him, even the smallest character issues that oppose Him. We need to be ruthless in the destruction of these enemies in our lives.
Sometimes we struggle with issues we don’t understand and don’t know what to do with. These issues pop up in front of us like a poisonous mushroom that arises overnight and tries to destroy us.
A couple of years ago my desire was to be able to play the guitar. Everything went as planned; in fact, there even was some remarkable progress. Then one day the instructor decided to teach us perfect rhythm. When she tried to instruct me how to accomplish rhythm, my hands froze and I was struck with fear. Instantly, I knew I was facing an opposition that was not of God.
When I arrived home I approached the Lord asking where this conflict was coming from and why was I so afraid of learning to play rhythm. God immediately answered my prayer and took me back in a vision to a time when I was about nine years old. In this vision I was sitting on the piano bench, my father was hovering over me while the metronome was going “tick tack tick tack” keeping the rhythm. My dad was yelling at me, because I was not able to keep up with the metronome. The harder he yelled, the more I was struck with fear.
In the vision I recognized where my fear and trepidation was coming from, I began to cry bitterly at seeing myself in such a sad state when I was so young. However, I asked the Lord to come into this whole situation with my father. Jesus instructed me to forgive my dad and let him go free…which I did. In my vision my dad disappeared after I forgave him.
Then Jesus appeared and put His arms around me and lovingly said, “Come on my child….you can do this…one, two, three, one, two, three. “I cried, feeling His acceptance and great love for me. Since then I’ve never had a moment of false rhythm. In fact, I am crazy about rhythm and love to dance to anything that has a good strong rhythm. Don’t you love the way He heals His children from any iron grip the enemy has on them?
I believe the Lord wants you to pay attention to those things that continuously bother you that you seemingly can’t get the victory over. He does not want you to let your enemies escape by just putting up with the discomfort that comes from these “ attacks.” Ask Him to take you to the root source of these onslaughts, and defeat all your enemies big and small like Joshua did.
Here we have a picture of a heart imprisoned by pain and destruction caused by different enemies. The key of love is set in place and unlocks the heart from torment and anguish. I hear Jesus say, “I know every distressed and plagued person and am familiar with all your thoughts and actions. Should I not much more know the details of your life? Let me unlock your prison of loneliness and pain and set you free.”