Monday 4th March
I hate losing. I am super competitive. In fact I would probably say that I am a really sore loser too. To be honest it’s quite sad. I wish I wasn’t but I am. However there is one benefit to not wanting to lose. The benefit is, that in life’s challenges, when tough times come, I can just call on God to fight for me and He never loses. It is like the ultimate trump card. You get Him and you will always win. The funny thing is, is that too often when tough times do come, instead of drawing on Christ’s victorious powers, we fight in our strength and wonder why we get knocked down. In essence it is easy. Tough times = call on God’s strength = victory. However, the unfortunate reality is…tough times = fight in my own strength = lose.
I want to encourage you today from this story in Joshua found in this 5th chapter. I want you to know that God fights for us and when He does, victory is guaranteed. It is not to say that we will never face hard times. On the contrary, of course we will. However we can be reassured that if we allow God to fight for us, then victory is guaranteed. Why? Because Jesus has already won it on the cross!!
Joshua chapter 5 ends in the most dramatic way. The crescendo is coming. The battle of Jericho is almost upon them. The Israelites have just finished observing Passover for the first time in the Promised Land. As Joshua was readying his troops to lay siege on Jericho in verse 13, a man appears before him with a drawn sword. Joshua asks the obvious question of whose side he was on. Interestingly the answer was NO. It is quite a comical answer actually. “NO” didn’t differentiate between the sides. However what this man did state was that he was the COMMANDER of the armies of the Lord. That was of great importance. There has been great speculation as to who this man was. What we can know of the identity of this man from the text is that Joshua realised whoever it was was Holy and he humbled himself before him. Joshua recognises that he is LORD and takes his sandals off his feet in reverence of His authority.
How can this be applicable in our lives? What relevance does this sword drawn character have in our everyday battle? The truth is that whoever this was was sent by God to fight for Joshua. The Lord was on Joshua’s side. He commanded them to conquer Jericho and He promised to be with them. God sent an encouragement to Joshua to show that He was with him as He had promised and that Joshua didn’t have to fight in his own strength but just to walk in the victory that God had already prepared for them. The relevance of a drawn sword is not that of violence but that of the Lord’s protection on our behalf. He fights for us. The battle is not yours but the Lords. Don’t try and take His place. He will send protection for you as He sent the commander of the Lord’s army for Joshua. When God is for us we won’t lose.
Tough times = God’s strength and victory = Guaranteed victory