There’s a time to set up camp and wait, and there’s a time to prepare for battle… but is there a time when we are at peace and at war at the same time? Seems like a contradiction; or is it? Joshua prepared the camps of the Israelites to take up bed and prepare for battle before they took their last journey to take possession of the land that their Fathers were promised. Joshua also meditated day in and day out as they went through this journey in order to succeed; how then was he going to war?
First God tells Joshua about his promise to him and how He will fulfill it. I love how God always tells us exactly how we will succeed. There in lies our Hope. Then He tells Joshua to pray and meditate vigilantly on the word or in this case, “the law”. Thirdly, He tells Joshua to tell the people to prepare, and that in three days, they will cross the Jordan and move onto the land they are to possess. And finally, Joshua reminds the Reubenites, the Gadites and half the tribe of Manasseh to prepare for the battle and go before the people, across the Jordan. So to speak, Joshua deploys an Army to clear the path.
Have you ever heard the term, “They went in with guns a blazing”? This seems to be the opposite of what God tells Joshua to do and as a matter of fact, it is not until the very end that you see him prepare for a battle and arm his men. So, if prayer and meditation came before Joshua armed the men, maybe it’s not truly about how we fight, but more so, about how we pray.
The Lord also told Joshua, in order to be successful, he must keep the Book of Law on his lips and then He said, “Be Strong and Courageous”. We use the word, the Bible, to extinguish our doubt and become courageous. It is through our prayer and supplication that we find great Joy from the Lord, which is our Strength. When we have both of these in place and installed for battle, nothing can separate us from the Love and Promises of God! It is through our intimate understanding of the gospel that we grow our yearnings and passions to do the good will of the Lord! And we use that Joyful Spirit to rise our passion which becomes our Strength, which becomes our Sword! It’s all coming back to our beautiful sanctified relationship with our Heavenly Father.
In the term, “be strong and courageous“. I couldn’t help but be drawn to Ephesians; where the Lord talks about the of the Armour of God. In recent past posts, we have learned together how the Lord is always leading us and how we should follow with Faith and Patience. We also have learned that our strength is not our own, but comes from the Joy of the Lord! So, how is God using these lessons to teach us how to go to battle in our daily lives?
I know that we all don’t go singing into battle with flowers in our hair and peace in our hearts… Ha! We might be committed if that were the case. But what I am seeing here is a different approach than what the world has portrayed as an example of entering war. The world shows us entering a battle with writhing muscles, gnashing teeth, shining metal covered with sweat and heated anger running across our brows. But when we envision the approach of the Israelites, I see a calm and peaceful Joshua, leading an army who is rejoicing, dancing and signing high praises to the God who is bringing them home. This presented me with such a different aspect to the my own reality of entering a battle in my own life! While we prepare for something to go wrong, we prepare with words that cut, emotions of anger and we feed our fear and angst until we are completely engrossed with what is about to happen. If we instead, sought the Lord, quieted our spirits, meditated on His promise and love for us; we may experience a completely different result. I can only imagine the first time we do this, we might feel quite vulnerable, but with practice comes perfection. So, then in the instinctual behavior of man, let us arm ourselves as well; but with what?
When we read about the Armour of God in Ephesians, we notice that God points out each aspect of the Armour and what it represents. Knowing that this discussion is a whole other blog post of it’s own, I will only touch on three points here; The “helmet of salvation“, the “sword of the spirit” and the “feet fitted with readiness from the Gospel of Peace“.
The helmet pertaining to the head of the body, and a guarding of the head (or mind), is our salvation! What does that mean? When we are saved, we talk about the “transformation” of the mind. What is that transformed mind used for then? If it were to be complicit with the Law, we would have stepped backwards through time, eliminating everything that Christ did on the cross. But instead, we move forward, where the Law has been done away with, therefore our minds were FREED from the Law through our salvation! Wait! What? Yes! We are now free from the Law because we are saved!
Well then, how are we going into battle with a free mind? Being free from the Law, or the Knowledge of Good and Evil, we are also free from doubt, fear, shame, guilt and angst! Can you imagine, going into battle with no fear? (You might want to put those flowers in your hair now) Consider that the odds are no longer calculated by our minds but promised in our favor because of our salvation! Whoa! What a rush of adrenaline that would be! Flying into the battle field, screaming at the tops of our lungs, knowing the battle is already won. Now that is the way I want to fight.
We also discuss the sword in this matter, which is promised to be the Spirit of the Lord, or the Word. The Word is also considered to be the Truth. We can defeat any evil that comes our way with Truth. The perfect weapon to a lie, is the truth. The perfect adage we all share as Christians, “God Loves His People”. When we fight with the Truth, it becomes much more simple and loving, doesn’t it?
So you see, the Lord has prepared our table! He promised Joshua, wherever his feet landed, that the land beneath his feet would be given to him. Can you imagine? That is some kind of promise! And if we remember, if our minds are transformed with Salvation, our Sword is the Word and Truth we understand because we have meditated on it and our feet are armed Readiness from the Gospel of Peace, we can only win! That doesn’t sound like someone who is going to kill an enemy. The Lord shows us this same promise time and time again throughout the Bible. That no matter what kind of journey we are facing, He will make a way for us to succeed when we rest our eyes solely on Him. Isn’t is wonderful how Great our God is? He so desires to care for us each and every moment of each and every day.
Be blessed Saints of God! Some days are for resting and some days are for battles, but no matter what kind of day it is, we are promised to be have Hope, Joy and Peace while we conquer and succeed! That should put us all a bit more at ease, don’t you think?
Talk to God Today! He’s Listening.
With Love – CV