MARCHING ORDERS

May 23, 2011Read: Joshua 6

Joshua could relate to our steep challenges. His neck cramped as he surveyed the impregnable wall of Jericho. "Gonna need a bigger army," he whispered out of the side of his mouth. You might be saying the same about your predicament. Does something at school or work have you hoping for reinforcements? If so, stand next to Joshua as he listens to God's strategy.

"But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. Then the wall of the city will fall down flat."

"That's it?...That's the plan!?" I wonder if Joshua paused when he heard the order. After all, he was among men of war (v. 3) and probably dressed for the occasion. Not sure if he hesitated, but I know we sure do. When we have to respect a less than respectful boss, or when it seems the rules only apply to us, obeying God's marching orders is sometimes the last thing we want to do (or actually do), especially if we're ready to fight.

But we all know the story. Joshua's army walked around Jericho for seven days without making a sound or saying a word. Then when it was time: the trumpet, the shouts, and the walls came tumbling down. God's enemies might have laughed and scoffed for a week, but being obedient has never proved popular or easy, just effective.

So the next time we feel like taking the wall ourselves, let's wait with Joshua. He listened, walked without talking, then praised God on day seven. Sooner or later, like Jericho, the world will see we're not just walking in circles.

--J.P.

WORKOUT OF THE WEEK: 10-Minute Abs

Here we go. Nothing better than a midsection blast to start the week. Even though you can't completely isolate any one portion of the abdominals, you can emphasize sections based on the way your body is moving. When you raise your upper body toward your legs, that works the upper abs. When you bring your legs toward your torso, you add greater stress on the lower portion. The double crunch -- one of the toughest abdominal movements you can do -- hits your abs from top to bottom. And when you do planks, where there's no movement at all, that hits the innermost core musculature, specifically the transverse abdominins.  So if you have 10 minutes to spare, let's work that tummy until there is none.

Reverse Crunch Traditional Crunch Double Crunch Plank

--Do all four exercises to failure in the order listed and repeat without rest. Try to repeat the cycle for a full 10 minutes. If you're up to it, repeat this workout once more during the week, allowing at least 48-72 hours to recover between sessions.

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