Now the gates of Jericho were securely barred because of the Israelites.
No one went out and no one came in.
Joshua 6:1
Sometimes when I mention Jesus’ name, I can see the person in front of me shutting down. They tense, the walls go up, and they bar their gates against this “enemy” invasion.
Most of the time it appears as anger—anger at how they believe God has let them down, because of hurtful experiences in the church, or dealings with people who claim to be Christians. But I think even more than anger, it is raw fear that builds the wall.

They’re afraid to let down their guard and allow God entrance. They don’t want to hear about Him, talk about Him, or hear what He’s done in my life. They’re afraid He will invade their world and they’ll lose control. They’ll have to admit they don’t have all the answers and bow to His Lordship and authority. They believe they’ll lose their freedom.
What they don’t realize is that there’s no greater freedom than in serving God. You’re not a captive any more to fear, worry, loneliness, and meaningless existence. Jesus holds us captive by His love and forgiveness; His rule over us is good, and for our good.
Who do you know who’s afraid to let down their guard? They’re holding God at arms’ length. Pray God will go before you and chip away at their resistance and help them see how much He loves and cares for them; what He’s already done for them.

Remember, the Israelite army didn’t tear down the walls of Jericho, God did. It’s not our job to force our way in with arrogance and disrespect, but to pray God’s Spirit will prepare the way so people we meet will be open to hearing about the God who loves them more than they can ever imagine.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21
*My book Taking Back October is a terrific resource for those looking for fun and godly fall celebrations. Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Taking-Back-October-Believers-Pursuit/dp/1502516292/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505868831&sr=8-1&keywords=taking+back+October
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