Walls 

Joshua 6:3
“You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.”

As Joshua stood overlooking Jericho, wondering how to defeat such a mighty foe, I am sure none of his plans included marching his soldiers around the walls while playing music and eventually shouting at the top of their lungs. I imagine he used his extensive battle experience to carefully discern the weaknesses in Jericho’s wall, while studying the lay out of the land to see where the high points were, or how they might build a siege mound against the city. The pragmatic mind of a seasoned soldier would have a lot to say about how to conquer a well-defended city, but in this case, God had an entirely different approach in mind. If victory was to come, Joshua and all Israel, for that matter, had to understand that the ways of God are different than the ways of man.

Have you realized that? Have you come to grips with the reality that God often does things in surprisingly different ways than we do? The reasons for this are manifold, but include the fact that God always does things in a way that He receives the Glory, and we learn that He is trustworthy.

Paul put it this way,

“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.”  1 Corinthians 1:27-29

When the walls of Jericho lay flattened and the enemies of Israel defeated, the people would be forced to look up to God and celebrate His faithfulness, rather than to boast in their own strength or ingenuity. God desires to do the same thing in our lives. He wants to accomplish His will His way, so that when it is accomplished, He is glorified and we are able to trust Him for whatever obstacles are ahead.

God will not always do things the way we think He should, but He will always be faithful, and if we walk in obedience we will always find the victory He intends for us.

Pastor Jim

 

Wait There’s More 

Joshua 13:1
” Now Joshua was old, advanced in years. And the Lord said to him: ‘You are old, advanced in years, and there remains very much land yet to be possessed.’

As the sun begins to set on Joshua’s life, he has yet, another encounter with the Lord. This time God refers to the age of his servant and to the work he is doing. Joshua is reminded that while he is old and has accomplished much for the kingdom, there still remains very much land to conquer and possess. The application of this truth for Joshua was that he needed to gather the tribes together and exhort them to get busy, finishing the work he had started. The application for you and me is that there is a lot God still wants to do in our lives, no matter how long we have walked with Him, or how much we have accomplished.

Each tribe had taken some land and established themselves in it. They had walled cities to live in and pasture and farmlands for their sustenance, but there remained large portions of the land they were yet to conquer, possess, and reap rewards from. If they were to continue what they had started, it would require daily obedience and faithfulness to the Lord. They would have to seek God for direction, strength, and victory, as they continued to overcome their enemies.

The same is true for us. It is very tempting, as a Christian, to settle into the comforts of the accomplishments of our past victories, while neglecting to realize, there is still so much more God wants to do in our lives. Many of the attitudes we have come to accept as part of who we are, may be an enemy encampment God wants to destroy. Instead of resting on what we have done, let’s look forward to what else God may want to do in and through us.

Pastor Jim