Archive for May, 2014

FIRST RESPONDERS (Pt.4)

“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” (2 Corinthians 10:3, 4 NASB).

TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES

 Through Joshua’s leadership and obedience the moment had arrived for the overthrow of Jericho (See Joshua 5&6). For Joshua, the victory was assured the moment he took his rightful position as God’s servant-leader.

“Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua went to him and said to him, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He said, “No; rather I indeed come now as captain of the host of the Lord.” And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and bowed down, and said to him, “What has my lord to say to his servant?”(Joshua 5:13, 14 NASB).

 There is no ultimate victory or success until we acknowledge the rightful rule of the Lord in all our endeavors. Taking our “shoes off” is to acknowledge the Holy in Whom we trust. “Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it”(Psalms 37:34 NASB).

CONQUEST!

God’s orders (albeit unorthodox to carnal reasoning mindset) were clear. The priest bearing the Ark, the seven priests with seven shofar-trumpets, the soldiers marching ahead of them was the strategy. On the seventh day, they were to shout.

Three observations I note:  (1) The Ark of God was in their midst. The will and the presence of God are critical to our victory. We as priest of the Lord (1 Peter 2:5,9) must learn to lift up the Lord in our prayer and praise above our enemy. “Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel. In You our fathers trusted; They trusted and You delivered them”(Psalms 22:3, 4 NASB).

(2) It was the 7th day that brought the defeat of the enemy. Seven is a very important number in scripture. It speaks of completion or that which is finished. For example, God created 6 days (Space & stars, plants and trees, birds and animals. And finally human beings.) He called his work “Good”. But He placed His seal upon the 7th day, setting it apart for something noble. He “blessed it” and “set it apart as holy”(Genesis 2:3). God “sanctified a Day” in Time. God created human beings on the 6th day so they could enter their work and labor WITH Him without the “sweat” of their human effort.

 Again, Joshua in all his conquests is but a shadow of what Yeshua (Jesus) has done for us over all our enemies! (See Hebrews 4:1,8-11). God proceeded Israel BEFORE Jericho was taken. Furthermore, He goes ahead of us to bring ultimate triumph over all the enemies today (See Colossians 2:13-15).

 (3) The conquest was proclaimed before it was manifest. The blast of the shofars and the shout were in advance of the walls of Jericho coming down! God exposed the stronghold of their enemy and the people of God went straight head unto victory! So it will be true for you today.

“O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy. For the Lord Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth. He subdues peoples under us and nations under our feet. He chooses our inheritance for us, the glory of Jacob whom He loves. Selah. God has ascended with a shout, The Lord, with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises; Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with a skillful psalm. God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne. The princes of the people have assembled themselves as the people of the God of Abraham, for the shields of the earth belong to God; He is highly exalted”(Psalms 47:1-9 NASB).

 As “First Responders” let us be bold to pray and sing and shout the victory over our enemy and over all God’s enemies. May the shout of the victory of our King be heard in our land!

 

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address All correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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FIRST RESPONDERS(Pt.3)

“The armed guard marched ahead of the priests who blew the trumpets, and the rear guard followed the ark. All this time the trumpets were sounding” (Joshua 6:9 NIV).

 WHO…ME?

I was walking from the kitchen into the living room when I heard the Lord speak to me, “I want you to start blowing the shofar.” I was startled by these words! I neither owned a shofar-horn nor did I know how to blow a horn! As a matter of fact, whenever a Prayer event required that a shofar be blown I’d contact a precious friend who blew and taught others how to blow the ram’s horn. Whenever she blew her shofar everyone could sense the presence of God come in such a real and tangible way.

THE BREATH OF GOD

God confirmed that He wanted me to blow the shofar (My non-experience was not going to be an excuse!). Within two days someone felt to give me a small ram’s horn (Not knowing about my encounter with God). A few days later, another friend gave me a huge Shofar!  The Lord had my attention. But I had an immediate problem. When I tried to blow the shofar, I could not get a squeak out of it (no matter how hard I tried!).  Then something happened!… While talking with a friend about my consternation of not being able to produce a sound, they gave me the key that resolved my frustrating attempts.  They said, “You know, I heard that it is only by the breath of God that the shofar can be blown.”  That was the answer I needed!  When I returned home, I humbly bowed and prayed, asking the Lord God to give me “His breath” to blow the shofar. The results? I have been blowing the shofar ever since! And I have been invited to blow the shofar at various gatherings which have brought great blessings.  Now I understand that I was not only being called to merely “blow the shofar” but I was called to be “A shofar blower” for Him.  Which brings me to the point of the story.

NEW STRATEGY

When Joshua was chosen by God to lead His people into battle for their promised land, it would require a different strategy than the one given to Moses.  As a matter of fact, every spiritual battle you face will require a new and personal understanding of the “God- weapons and strategy” needed.  As previously suggested, Joshua was leading a new army for a new generation who had not experienced war.  They were God’s “First responders”, standing on the edge of their inheritance.  Apart from the priests and the Ark of God, they were given a Ram’s horn to blow, at a certain moment in time, in the face of the stronghold of their enemy.  From this incident(and other occasions in the scriptures) we learn of the shofar’s significance.

WEAPON OF WAR

The shofar was not being given to be used as a musicical instrument.  It was weapon of war in God’s army! The sound of the shofar sends both confusion and terror into the heart of the enemy’s camp (See Judges 6:34;7:17-21).  Again, some rabbinic scholars teach that the enemy knows and understands that one day the shofar will sound  to announce his final defeat(See 1 Corinthians 15:51-55).  So…Whenever he hears the blast of a shofar he doesn’t know if it is “a dress rehearsal” or the real thing!

 A CALL AND MEMORIAL

During the time of the biblical Feasts of the LORD(still observed today) God’s people were to lay aside their personal priorities and concerns. They were to leave them all behind, as it were, and come together at a designated time and  a designated place to seek the Lord and celebrate in His presence.  This was in order that they never forget His deliverance and goodness, love and favor over their lives.

Someone else with further biblical insight wrote(I don’t know the source), “The shofar is memorial of the time when God provided the ram as a substitute for the sacrifice of Isaac. The shofar is the biblical trumpet that calls God’s people to repentance and to service in his kingdom”.

 The psalmist wrote, “Fortunate are those who know the voice of the shofar; O LORD, they walk by the illumination of your countenance”(Psalm 89:16 KCB).

With this insight and the relevance of this mighty weapon, Let us have faith to agree with the apostle Paul who wrote,”The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds”(2 Corinthians 10:4 NIV).  We need the Holy Spirit’s breath upon us once again.  And  we need to hear the sound of HIS shofar in our land today.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

FIRST RESPONDERS(Pt. 2)

Joshua was given the task of taking some “first responders” into the new land which God had promised their forefathers. Leading a new generation would take a new dedication as well as discipline. We see this in chapter five of the Book of Joshua.

CONSECRATION

Through Joshua’s leadership, God brought the people across the Jordan River as the priests bore the Ark of God ahead of the people of God about 2000 cubits ahead of them. Why the distance out front? They had never been this way before. And God was taking the lead. From that distance they probably did not see which particular priests were bearing the Ark…But they, no doubt, could see the golden crowned chest with the spread winged cherubim covering it.

 What’s the point? If you are going to crossover into your land of inheritance it is because you’ve learned to follow leaders who are lifting King Jesus higher than He’s ever been lifted before in this final hour first responder(“first fruit”) army. (See James 1:18). He said, “If I be lifted up I’ll draw all men unto Me”(John 12:32). We must recognize that “In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority”(Colossians 2:9, 10 NIV).

He is the Head of the Body.

 GILGAL

Apart from the distance to see which way to go, the young men who had grown up in the wilderness needed a stop-over at a place they named Gilgal. These young military men had not yet been circumcised. Apart from putting themselves in a vulnerable position there was the need to consecrate themselves in covenant condition. They had not entered into the covenant which God had made with their patriarch, father Abraham. Thus they could not represent the family of God before their enemies.

Gilgal was the place where “God rolled away their reproach”. Circumcision was a personal sign between these men and God as they represented their tribe and family. It was a sign that they were the LORD’s.  Thus God removed the reproach of Egypt (& Egypt’s mentality in the wilderness!).

A carnal mindset produces death. The nature of the flesh is to oppose the will of God and therefore cannot please Him (See Romans 8:1-2; Romans 12:2).

CELEBRATE LIFE!

Deliverance from death must never to be forgotten. Life in Jesus our Lamb must be celebrated!(See 2 Corinthians 5:7). Never forget the value of the Cross, the price of our redemption was the Blood (the life of the innocent for the guilty)of the Lamb. “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God”(1 Peter 1:18-21 NIV).

This Passover was celebrated on the other side of the Jordan. They did it not to BE delivered but because they HAD BEEN delivered from the power of the enemy. “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. (Hebrews 2:14, 15 NIV)

They were to take time to remember and celebrate together what was done for them(personally & as a family). The words of Yeshua, “Do this in remembrance of Me”(1 Corinthians 11:24-25).

TASTE OF THE NEW

 This new venture of faith brought new experience for these first responders.  God’s people tasted of the old grain of the new land. And from that day the manna ceased that had sustained them in their wilderness wanderings(Joshua 5:11-12).

What was the lesson of this new experience in the land?   They were no longer to live on a “survival” diet. The wilderness was testing ground. They , learned to live daily (saving for the double portion on the 6th day) from God’s hand to their mouth. God had tested their hearts and taught them the new economy of faith, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”(Deuteronomy 8:3).

God’s people must look in faith for the “new grain” of His Word. The apostle Paul wrote, “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ”(Romans 10:17 NIV).  Jesus, our Messiah, is the Spirit-Word we are to feed upon daily. The prophet Isaiah declared, “The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed” (Isaiah 50:4 NIV).

He gives those who are “First Responders” words from His Word that both sustain and cause our souls to grow up in Him in all things in every way.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

FIRST RESPONDERS(Pt.1)

Recently, I was privileged to take part in a “National Day of Prayer” observance in Delaware. Arriving early afternoon on the day of the event I decided to do some investigating of the fair state. As I researched the history and origin of the State of Delaware I discovered that in 1610 the Dutch Ship Captain, Samuel Argall was blown off course by a storm. He landed in an unknown bay of a new land, naming it in honor of his Dutch Governor De La Warr (Now known as Delaware).

Eleven years after the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, the people of Delaware formed the “first white settlement”. Later from this settlement would come over four thousand men who would volunteer for the American Revolutionary Army.  From the third smallest State in our Union today, the people of Delaware became the first signers of our Constitution as well as the first to form the first 13 Colonies of the new Nation. I realized that the people of Delaware, by their very historical “DNA”, were “First Responders”.

FIRST RESPONDERS

First responders are those who are prepared to meet the moment’s crisis or emergency with abandoning courage. They are the first at the scene of a catastrophe,be it a fire or medical emergency. They are the first to put their lives at risk in order to rescue and give aid and assistance to others. While other emergency services are on their way to figure out “What has happened?” and “What can be done to help?” the First responders who have been trained with special skills for such a call spring into action, saving and rescuing as many lives as they possibly can while help is on the way.

JOSHUA

In the Book of Joshua (Chapters 3- 5) we have a new generation of “First Responders”. Moses has passed into eternity(Buried by God). The generation that came out of Egypt(saving for Joshua & Caleb’s family) have died in the forty years of wilderness journeys. How will they enter the land of their inheritance?   It will take a new leader with new initiative skills and a new Army to crossover into the land that God has promised them.

PREPARATION

The Lord God knew that this new generation was not ready to face the daunting task of vanquishing the enemies of the land to occupy this new territory. They needed preparation that was first and foremost moral and spiritual in nature. They were to cleanse their garments and be ready on the third day to follow the priests bearing the Ark of the Covenant into the waters of the Jordan(See Joshua 2-4).

Cleansing their garments were indicative of a heart change; purposing to follow the Lord God wholeheartedly. They must keep their eyes on the Ark of God. This was to acknowledge His lead in this new venture.

God is raising up a new generation of “First Responders” who are having a change of heart toward Him. They recognize that without His lead they will neither secure the benefits nor fulfill the assignments given them in this season. They recognize that their true Guide is Yeshua(Jesus) their Messiah who declared,“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”(John 14:6 NIV).

 Crossing over into a new place in God comes only as you are prepared to follow the Lamb wherever He leads.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com