Have you ever looked back and thought, “Wow! I really missed that one, Lord! What happened?” His answer might just be, “What you missed, was asking Me first!”
We are all familiar with the story of Joshua and how he defeated the Philistines more than once; but there’s a part of his story that God gave me new eyes for. Joshua is readying himself for battle with Jericho and finds himself confronted by a man with a drawn sword. He asks him what seems to be a logical question, “Are you on my side or the enemy’s side?” I readied myself for the obvious response. But his answer left me squirming in my seat. “I’m not on either side. I am the commander of the LORD’s army.”
How many times do we make a plan and ask the Lord to jump on board? How many times do we presume that God is on our side because we are a Baptist, a Catholic, a Republican, a Democrat, we eat the right things, dress the right way…? Surely God will be on our side if we do all those things right. In my sarcastic mind I can just hear God’s answer. “Do you think I’m a rabbit’s foot or a four-leaf clover? Do you think you are the Lone Ranger and I am your Tonto? When was I reduced to a foot soldier in your war? I am nobody’s sidekick! Iam not following youinto yourbattle. Youjoin Me. THE BATTLE belongs to Me!”
Joshua needed the reminder before he entered war. He’d wandered in a desert for 40 years with manna for his food. He’d led the entire nation of Israel through the Jordan during flood season! Every man in this camp had been circumcised at his order. He could still remember crossing the Red Sea and escaping the Egyptians when he was young. He’d seen the cloud by day and the fire by night. He was pumped! I can just hear him saying, ‘Let me at them, Lord! I know You’re with me!’ He knew that Jericho would be his… He was a God-fearing faithful man, but before he entered the first of many battles, he needed reminding. This battle isn’t yours, Joshua. The Great I Am is no one’s mercenary. He is in control. The battle and the victory are His. Every sword and stone are at the LORD’s beck and call. The spoils belong to Him. We are NOT God’s equal.
On our own we can accomplish so little. Why not wait for the King of kings to clear the way?
The leader of God’s people bowed down to the leader of the LORD’s army. In deep reverence Joshua closed his mouth and opened his ears to hear what God had to say. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.”
How do we respond to this in our daily lives? We lay down our pride, our earthly treasure, our right to be right, our plans, ourselves…and turn our ears to hear His bidding. We talk to God first! And maybe, just maybe, we should take off our proverbial sandals, for the One we listen to is Holy.
Be blessed. ~ Diane