In the previous edition titled Gateway to the Land of Abundance, I cited Deuteronomy 11:10–15 where God made a comparative analysis between Egypt (where the children of Israel were coming from) and the land of abundance (where He was taking them to). I did say that the reason for the analysis was to show Israel, in clear terms, the difference between where they were coming from and the process He would take them through in order for them to enter the land of abundance. Psalm 78 captures everything about Israel: from Egypt (vs. 12–14) to the wilderness (vs. 15–31), to the Promised Land (vs. 52–55) and to the captivity (vs. 56–64).
In this edition, I will share with you seven critical things about Jericho (the land of abundance) and the process God will take you and me through in order to possess it, just as He did with Israel. Therefore, the focus here is not about how to get rich quickly; rather, it is about how to fulfil destiny and carry out God’s assignment. It is about how to extend the frontiers of God’s kingdom on the face of the earth and be a blessing to others, even long after you have gone.
“Now Jericho was SECURELY SHUT UP because of the children of Israel; none went out, and none came in…” (Joshua 6:1).
Knowing Why Jericho is Massive
There is a mighty gateway into the land of abundance. It is mighty for two major reasons: (1) the devil wants to keep us out and (2) God wants us to understand the enormous responsibility we have when we enter the land. The gate and the walls of Jericho became a major barrier for the children of God to enter into the place of rest promised by God to their fathers. Many people feel there is more to their lives than what they are experiencing now. Many people are doing their best by praying to make sure that they possess their possession, but there seems to be a tough resistance. God intends to keep His promise; but what are you going to do when you enter the land? If your mind is not made up to be a blessing to others, you will go into captivity. You must expect God to use you to bless others.
Seven Things about Jericho and the Process to Conquer It
(1) There are responsibilities behind the wall
By interpretation, among other meanings, Jericho means “sweet smell.” When Noah offered a sacrifice to God, God smelt a soothing aroma. (Genesis 8:20, 21). Can you smell a future that is glorious as the promises of God? You must be able to smell a secured future where you will not eat your bread in scarcity, but own the ‘bakery,’ so that you can bless others.
Jericho was the gateway to the Promised Land of Canaan. As a border city, no one could enter Canaan except through Jericho. In other words, the city of Jericho was the gateway out of the wilderness of Sinai, as well as the gateway into the land of abundance. It was a serious border post! Jericho is a border between the land of just enough and that of extreme abundance. Many people have been hitting that wall. The wall keeps them at the level of managing what is barely enough. However, you must know that God did not create you for poverty. He created you for abundance.
Therefore, you must be ready to penetrate and go through this wall. But you must know that the wall is standing there because there are responsibilities behind it.
(2) No cutting corners
Israel could not go around Jericho as they did with other cities. They could negotiate and go around other cities, but not Jericho. Moses had to negotiate with Edom just to allow Israel pass through their city. (Numbers 20:14–25). There is no cutting corners or taking shortcuts; you will have to face this massive wall. Jericho was a major city of defencefor Canaan. It had to be conquered! Not only was the gate massive, but also the mightiest warriors of Canaan land were there in Jericho. The thickest wall to any city in the Promised Land was constructed around Jericho. The moment you conquer Jericho, the rest is a walkover.
(3) Rahab’s testimony
As Joshua and, by extension, the whole of Israel looked in awe at this fortress of Jericho, the Lord said to him: “See! I HAVE GIVEN Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valour” (Joshua 6:2). Note that the promise is in the past tense (I have given, not I am about to give or I want to give). So, at what time did God give Jericho to Israel? He had done it forty years before (Genesis 15). How do we know that God had given it to them forty years previous? Rahab testified to it (Joshua 2:10, 11).
(4) The Gilgal factor
There is a critical ‘bus stop’ before you get to Jericho. It is called Gilgal. Three things happened to Israel at Gilgal. If those three things are not in place, you cannot conquer Jericho. When they crossed Jordan, the first thing they did was to take twelve stones and to build a monument out of those stones as a memorial. It is very critical! God asked them to heap the stones together to become a memorial. You will find the relevance of those stones when they were going round the circle of Jericho. Gilgal itself means ‘circle.’
The second thing they did was the circumcision. If you want to go into the territory of the enemy and conquer it, you must have control over your fresh. God wants you to be able to keep your body under and to enter into covenant with Him. God is after the sensitivity of your heart towards Him—the circumcision of your heart towards Him, and the assurance that you will love Him more than any other thing. So, those children that were
born as they were leaving Egypt and those who were born in the wilderness that had never been circumcised were all circumcised at Gilgal, because God is a covenant keeper (Joshua 5).
The third thing they did was that they observed the Passover. The Passover symbolises the deliverance of Israel from Egypt when, in the middle of the year, God turned the month of April to the first month of the year for them.
Something significant happened the moment they observed the Passover—manna stopped, announcing the maturity of Israel. They were not going to be dependent upon God for miraculous provision on a daily basis from then on; rather, they were going to depend upon Him as partners in progress, to conquer and to overcome together. People love to remain dependent upon God like infants. But God wants us to depend upon Him for breakthroughs and become partners and co-labourers. We still depend upon Him, but for greater assignments and greater tasks. If you have not been to Gilgal, you can never overcome Jericho.
The remaining three things about Jericho will focus on how feeding on God’s faithfulness is the key to conquer fear, doubt and confusion
(5) Seven days of confrontation
Why did God ask them to go round Jericho for six days, examining the wall and not saying a word? Each day they went round that wall, they saw how massive it was. They knew there was no way they could go through it. What do you think was going on in their minds? Fears, doubts and confusion! They were not to say a word because their word could be a snare. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverb 18:21). However, they were permitted to speak any time they returned to the camp.
When they got to the camp, what were they looking at? They were looking at the monument taken from the river Jordan, believing that God who dried up the Red Sea was able to pull down the wall. In essence, God was telling them to meditate on what He had achieved in the past. God was working on their mind, so that they could challenge their fears, doubts and confusion. That was what the seven days of confrontation represented!
(6) Your fear should fear you
The people of Jericho stood in their own strength, but Israel stood in the strength of the Lord (Psalm 20:7). Here is the secret the devil does not want you to know: the moment you confront your fear, your fear will fear you. By trusting and obeying God, your fear will become afraid and your doubts will begin to doubt themselves.
(7) The firstfruits factor
This is where the rubber meets the road. God had given them the city and the land—Jericho was theirs! But God also commanded that all the treasures of Jericho be placed in His treasury. This is where the responsibilities and lessons began (Joshua 6:19, 24). Jericho’s sweet smell represented firstfruits of the tithes. This means that the very best and the first of our income belongs to the Lord. This is the gate you and I must go through to enter the land of abundance. The truth is: no man commanded us to tithe; God commanded it! But you must be careful that you do not choose the path of Achan who thought he could do whatever he liked the moment he entered the land (Joshua 7). Some of your dreams may never be realised if you do not go through the gate of Jericho to the land of abundance.
Brethren, God did not create you for poverty. He created you for abundance. However, you must come with Him to Gilgal where your heart would be circumcised. This is very critical in order to conquer and overcome Jericho. As you keep on feeding on His faithfulness, trusting and obeying Him, He will cause every wall to give way and bring you into your land of abundance. But you must make up your mind to honour Him with the first and best of the land when He brings you in, and also be a blessing to others. That process opens the gate to the land of abundance.