I was sitting at my desk working with my headset on and music blaring, drowning all outside noises and distractions as I tried to get through the remainder of my day. My routine consisted of going to one of my usual favorite songs and playing it on YouTube, which usually leads to YouTube playing songs they recommend based on my past taste and preference. That’s when a song came on stopping me in my tracks;
“This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles
This is how I fight my battles…
It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you
It may look like I’m surrounded, but I’m surrounded by you…” by Upper Room.
It quickly was placed in heavy rotation on my playlist. It resonated deep inside of me. Each word seemed to bring me deeper and deeper into worship. Each word made me acutely aware of the battle taking place on the inside of me. Sometimes my battles are done in silence, while dealing with the inner turmoil of anxiety. Many times I’m unaware how I’ve allowed anxiety to sneak its way back into my life; until I’ve felt my heart beating through my chest. By the time my hearts racing, the feeling is overwhelming. The stresses of the day, a small fight with my spouse, a discouraging word from my boss or co-worker – any of these could have been a trigger sending me into the spiraling hole of anxiety.
God recently brought me to the story of the walls of Jericho found in Joshua 6. Jericho was approximately seven acres of land enclosed by fortified walls. The people of the area were spread out across the countryside but as word spread of an invasion, they would retreat to the protection found inside the walls. God spoke to Joshua and told him to go take the city, but he was given very specific instructions. Joshua was directed to have the Israelites march around the walls of Jericho in silence for six days. In verse 10 it reads, “Now Joshua commanded the people saying, ‘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”. I find it hard going one hour without talking let alone six days marching side by side with lifelong friends and not a word to be spoken between us. Not one word!
The Israelites could have let Satan tell them lies in the silence. They could have let fear build during those six days. BUT instead, they let the silence build their faith over fear. What do you hear in the silence? Is it faith or fear? Your battle cry is going to reflect what you hear and focus on during the silence. When it is time to step out into battle, I want my battle cry to reflect faith. I don’t want the enemy to hear fear – I want them to be afraid. I want the enemy to be afraid because of my great faith. I believe that the Israelites focused on God’s faithfulness and promises in the silence. By doing so it became their battle cry. When it came time to shout, they didn’t just shout but in Joshua 6:20 we read, “… and the people shouted with a great shout and the walls collasped.” They shouted with a GREAT shout! It could have read that they just “shouted” but the Bible wanted to emphasize it was a GREAT shout. They let the six days of silence build their faith into a GREAT SHOUT.
God could have knocked down the walls himself. At any point, God could have waved His hand or blew on the walls of Jericho and they would have come crashing down. He could have used a natural disaster and the walls would have crumbled. BUT God chose to use the Israelites to knock them down. He was able to show them there is strength in the silence. He used this moment to build their faith and trust.
I am sure the Israelites doubted the instructions at first. Can’t you just hear them, “Ok let me get this straight, you want us to walk around the walls of Jericho in silence… for how many days? Then after six days, you want us to shout and then the walls will fall down? Ok God – whatever”. You may not understand what God is telling you to do, but it is time to curb our own impulses and trust Him. Build your faith in the silence, so when it’s time to shout your battle cry will be a GREAT shout of faith.
What is your war cry? What are you going to shout over your circumstances – over your finances, job, marriages, children, and health? Your war cry could be a song, a phrase you repeat, a scripture you memorize, or a prayer. Be prepared to shout it when you come face to face with the enemy and watch the walls around you crumble as God gives you the victory.