Taking authority over sin.
“When they had brought these kings to Joshua, he summoned all the men of Israel and said to the army commanders who had come with him, “Come here and put your feet on the necks of these kings.” So they came forward and placed their feet on their necks.” Joshua 10:24 NIV
I have a question for you. Are you going after the sin in your life like Joshua went after the cities and their kings in the conquest of the Promise Land? Now if you have not read the Book of Joshua, you have no idea what I am talking about. But if you are familiar with the story, the question I asked is still rolling around in your spirit.
Joshua was sent to lead God’s people into the land God had prepared. However, the land did come with something... enemies. The people Joshua was leading were once slaves in Egypt but now a people who are striking fear into the hearts of walled fortified cities across the Jordon. God had made a faithless people into a fighting machine ready to take new territory. Joshua is a type of Jesus. A savior type of leader. For there to be victory there must also be a battle. When we read about the battles that Joshua fought, we see it was a bloody mess. It was ruthless. There was no mercy on the enemy. Joshua and the leaders put their literal feet on the literal necks of the enemy kings and killed them. These kings represented cities devoted to sin, rebellion, witchcraft and perversions. They worshipped idols and if they had their way, they would willingly eliminate or at best live among God’s people knowing for sure they could influence them away from the God who delivered them from slavery. God knew this, and that is why he instructed Joshua and the people they way He did. Eradicate the enemy and any influence it may have on you.
Now a student of the Bible understands that what we physically see in the Old Testament represents what we are to do in the spirit of the New Testament. Our enemy today is not a city or a people. Our enemy is spiritual. “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 The enemy is Satan and his demonic army. Jesus came to defeat Satan and his rebellious princes, rulers and authorities through the cross and resurrection from the grave. Jesus, not us, defeated sin and death. Now as we put our faith and trust in Him, Jesus sets us free from the power of sin and the grave to live in Him both now and forever. He gives us His authority and victory over our enemy - sin. Just like in Joshua’s day, the enemy knew they were defeated, but that did not stop them from trying to influence and overcome God’s people. The enemy wants to continue to coexist with you. That is what sin tries to do. It wants to compromise your faith and instead of you living in victory, you are sharing an apartment with misery. Satan wants you to go easy and allow him to hang out. When Joshua did this, it did not work out well for them and it does not work out well for us either.
Think of it this way... The battles Joshua fought were bloody, violent, and miraculous. Just like Joshua, there was a bloody mess on Calvary too. Jesus willingly came to die, be beaten beyond recognition and shed His innocent blood to wash our sin away. He was buried and on the third day arose from the grave to defeat death and give us eternal life. His mess brings us our peace. The punishment He took in our place brings us our healing today. He defeated our enemy! “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” Colossians 2:15 NIV
So why would we want to allow our enemy and its power of sin to have residence in us when Jesus went to the cross to defeat it? Why would we want to comingle with a defeated enemy who only wants to lead you astray and away from your victory? Instead, we need to do spiritually what Joshua did physically. We need to spiritually stand on the neck of those kings who represent bitterness, unforgiveness, fear and anxiety, perversion and lusts, envy and jealousy, hatred, anger and rebellion. We should never show sin mercy nor playfully entertain the temptation to fall. We can no longer justify our attitudes that do not line up with the Word and we certainly cannot allow fear, anxiety and faithlessness to rule our lives. Lying should have no hold on us. Compromise should be met at the door by integrity. When these kings try to hide, we need to allow the Bible to expose them and then apply the victory of Jesus over them. When we do, we put Jesus in His rightful place in our lives. King!
Now I do not write this devo throwing a stone. I confess there are times I have given those kings of the world a pass in my life. I have let them influence, torture and confuse me. I have allowed them to speak into me fear, anxiety and pain. In fact, this devotion is a result of one of those journeys with the Lord where I discovered I need to put my foot on some necks. I need to apply the victory and put Jesus as King in those areas of my heart.
Take some time and ask the Lord to show you the condition of your heart. Where have you chosen to abide with sin instead of abiding vectorially with Jesus? When He shows you, do what the Bible teaches. Confess, ask for forgiveness and know that God is faithful and just to forgive and will lead you forward. Stand on the neck of those kings and allow Jesus to be King in your life today.