By: Christine Caine
I love the story of the wall of Jericho. The Israelites are so close to the Promised Land, there’s just a wall in the way. Not just any wall, but an impenetrable force surrounding the entire city made of heavy mud bricks designed to keep any enemy out.
But when God began readying the Israelites for battle, he said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men” (Joshua 6:2).
That verse always makes me laugh. I picture the Israelites looking at each other with puzzled expressions. “See? See what? All I see is a wall!”
But God wanted them to see not with their eyes but with their faith. He wanted them to see that even though the circumstances were impossible, he would give them the promised victory, because all things are possible to him who believes (Mark 9:23).
If there’s one key to watching the walls in your life fall, to moving forward in freedom, to seeing the promises of God at work, then this is it: You must learn to believe the truth of God’s Word over the facts of your circumstances. You have to look to God, not at everything around you. Only then can you see what’s going on from his perspective. We have to see that wall torn down even before it is. We have to believe that God is faithful to do what he has promised (Hebrews 10:23)
Learning to truly trust God has been one of my greatest challenges on my way to shame-free living and freedom. When you’ve lived in the prison of shame for as long as I had, you’ve developed many broken defense mechanisms—such as never being truly vulnerable to anyone, or controlling everything you can in your life so that you will not be hurt again. These mechanisms provide a false set of comfort that you cannot fathom letting go of for an unknown future. You cannot imagine that there is security and safety “out there” in which you can actually rest. And you cannot possess the promises of a God you do not trust.
Learning to trust takes experience. Lots of experience.
Learning to trust takes repetition.
Learning to trust takes failing.
Learning to trust takes challenges, trials, and tests.
Learning to trust takes risking—following God in the face of our fear.
Learning to trust takes time—lots and lots of it.
Trust has to grow. And in my observation––and personal experience––for those who’ve struggled with shame, trust grows slowly.
But here’s the great news. God knows how to grow trust. He knows how to plant it, how to nourish it, how to repair it when it’s been broken, and how to restore it when it’s been lost. God is in the trust-growing business!
Do you know what he uses to grow our trust? He uses the very tool that the enemy uses to try to stop us. He uses our fear. Fear exposes the limits of our present capacity––but not our potential capacity.
Think about this: When you come face to face with fear, do you know what you are looking at? You are looking at the very next place where God is preparing to build your trust.
He’s been building mine for years.
Trust-building is a process. A journey. For all of us.
If we are not prepared to go through the metamorphosis required to walk in freedom, we will soon long for the familiar routines of our former prisons. We won’t trust, and we will return to our shame again and again.
So what must we do?
We must put more faith in what we do know about God than in what we don’t know about the future. We must walk in obedience, trusting that God is good and there is no darkness in him at all (1 John 1:5). God doesn’t have a dark side. He can only do good, and only good will come of the things he asks us to do.
Trust is what the children of Israel had to do to walk laps around Jericho. Trust is what I was going to have to do to forgive and be free. Pressing through our fear each time and cycling through this pattern of choosing to obey so we can grow is how we continue to mature. The longer we walk with God, the stronger our trust grows, and the smaller our fear shrinks. Our faith develops. We’re not moved by what struck fear in our hearts years ago, but there remains land ahead of us that God wants us to possess, so there will inevitably be different fears we will need to overcome. There will always be new areas where we will need to trust God.
This is the life in Christ we signed up for . . . fear, trust, repeat. It’s a cycle of growth—a faith adventure—we go through over and over again in our lifetime.
So, what’s your story? What’s your wall? Does it look too big?
Your God is bigger than your wall.
Does it look impossible?
Impossible is where God starts.
Do you need a miracle?
Good. Because miracles are what God does.
Remember, it’s not by might, nor by power, but by his Spirit that you overcome shame. Trust and obey him, and your wall will come tumbling down!
This article was taken from Unashamed, © 2016 by Christine Caine, and used by permission of Zondervan. Unashamed releases worldwide on May 10, 2016. To pre-order your copy today and receive special bonuses before the book Unashamed releases, visit www.ChristineCaine.com/Unashamed
Christine Caine is an Australian-born, Greek-blooded lover of Jesus, activist, author and international speaker. Her primary passion is to make Jesus’ last command her first priority by giving her all to see the lost saved and to build the local church – globally. Christine also has a passion for justice, and together with her husband, founded the anti-human trafficking organization, The A21 Campaign. In 2015, they also founded Propel Women, an organization designed to honor the calling of every woman, empower her to lead, equip her for success, and develop a sense of God-given purpose. Powered by hot, extra-dry, skinny, cappuccinos, Christine is a lover of words who speaks too fast, talks too much, and also writes them down. Some of her other books include Undaunted and Unstoppable. Christine and their family make their home in Southern California, USA.
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