Yahweh led His people out of the wilderness, into the Promised Land, and to a life of abundance. As long as they followed Him, they saw His power. When they tried doing things on their own, they found trouble and disappointment.

God camped among His people

God’s Tabernacle housed His presence. Priests communicated with Him there on behalf of the people. Moses commissioned skilled laborers to build this giant tent. To keep the Tabernacle from being profaned, they built a cloth fence around it to make a courtyard. At the gate, believers gave God their tithes and offerings from their livestock and harvests to support the ministers who served the Lord.

In the “outer court” priests offered sacrifices on a giant altar and then washed in a giant water basin before entering the Tabernacle. This formal, bulky religious system served as the people’s access to God until King Solomon built a permanent building in Jerusalem, called the Temple.

The tabernacle had two rooms. The Holy place, the first room in this portable building, contained three pieces of furniture: the altar with fragrant incense, a table with bread for the priests, and a golden lamp stand with seven flames. Only the High Priest would go into the other room inside the Tabernacle. This Holiest Place contained the Ark of the Covenant—a golden box with two carved angels on each side and sacred objects inside. This furniture sat as a replica of God’s throne, or Mercy Seat, here on earth.

Taking the Promised Land

Moses, God’s servant, died and his assistant Joshua took command of the nation (Joshua 1:1-2). God led them to cross the Jordan River by miraculously stopping the river, similar to the parting He had done at the Red Sea. After camping at Gilgal, Joshua led them in God’s strategy of marching around the walled city of Jericho everyday for a week. The seventh day they marched around it seven times, gave a great shout, and the city walls fell down flat. After destroying Jericho, Joshua and the armies of Israel invaded the land of Canaan (the cursed son of Ham) and took one city after another.

Driving Out Wickedness
God gave Moses the battle plan before the people entered Canaan. In Deuteronomy 7:21-23, God told them they would take victory little by little, city by city. They would not take the land in one day, but by constant progress day by day, week by week, until every stronghold came down.

We get the victory over our old nature the same way. We let the presence of God invade every aspect of our lives in daily battle and consistent diligence. Not only do we drive out the bad stuff, but we replace it with good also. God’s people were to remove the wicked inhabitants from the land of Canaan only if they would replace them with godly citizens (the nation of Israel). The Christian walk is not so much about getting rid of the sin, but filling our lives with His goodness. Consistently drive out the old way and replace it with God’s way.

No two battles alike

Every stronghold in your life will come down differently. God brought down Jericho’s the walls, yet the warriors had to fight in hand-to-hand combat. At Ai, Israel used an ambush strategy to conquer their foe (Joshua 8). No two battles went the same.

God likes variety, and He works with us all differently. Their first time to the altar, God takes away their cigarette addiction or takes away their depression. Others have to fight and pray to get the victory.

Some people come expecting a “Battle of Jericho” victory every time. We must realize  every battle is unique, and we trust God either to fight the battle for us or to empower us through the fight. Even those who experience miracle deliverance will fight other battles in “hand to hand” conflict, so to speak. For example, God might work a financial miracle for a person, but he or she may have to fight and pray until getting the victory over lust. Another may have instant freedom from lust yet have to pray and learn discipline to come out of a financial hole. Every fight, however, brings glory to God when we get the victory by His strength.

Replacing the old life with God’s ways.

You find an old Stingray at an auction. You buy it and bring it home to restore it. First, you rip out the torn headliner. You pull out the seats since the upholstery has rips in it. You take off the tires since they have dry rotted. Then you sand down the body to get rid of the chipped paint and a few rust spots. Now you are done, right? Of course you are missing something major: putting it all back together. You must put in a new headliner, prime and paint the body, install new tires, and so on. A restoration is not complete until new replaces the old.
Christianity is not about “not sinning.” We do not just rip out bad stuff. We fill our lives with good to replace the bad. We tear down the stronghold of fleshly music to make room for Spirit-filled music. We get rid of the smoking and drinking habits to make room for new habits of prayer and Bible study. Rather than just try to stop sinning, work at getting your life so full of God stuff that you have no time or place for sin.

Establish Godliness

The strongholds Joshua and his men overthrew were nothing like what you fight. We face battlefields such as these listed in Galatians 5:19-21 (NLT):

“sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”

Just as Israel drove out the wicked nations and cities, replacing them with godly inhabitants, we drive out the old ways with these new life features from Galatians 5:22-23:

“love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”

Relax and fight!

Once you enter the kingdom, the battle begins. However, you do not fight in fear. Relax in the confidence your God already has the victory. You will find the weapons in your arsenal to be amazingly simple to use:
Praise. Start thanking God for giving you the victory before you even see the results. Many times a worship choir would lead Israel into battle. Praise God for the victory and you will have it (Psalm 149; Philippians 4:6-8).

Intercessory prayer. Pray against the strongholds as the Spirit leads you. God will guide you how to pray and assure you of the coming victory (Romans 8:26; Ephesians 4:10-12).

Fasting. Break the power of the enemy when you discipline your flesh by depriving it of food for 24 hours or more. You do not do this as a panicked frenzy to get God’s attention. Do it to make your heart softer to hear the voice of the Lord (Isaiah 58:6; Acts 9:1-18).