This is the season of rich, rich fulfillment. God is orchestrating our plans to accomplish more in this season than we did in past years combined. But there’s a battle to be had, so don’t be surprised if you’re caught off guard. I, for one, have missed the mark in ways I wouldn’t expect. We want so much to get things perfect, but God is humbling us and assuring us that it’s not our perfection that matters, but our passion. If you do miss the mark, pick up and keep going. Don’t hide and hold back. There’s a call on your life, you can’t forget that. People need what you have. Repent, receive His forgiveness, and press towards the goal.
All this leads me to the second part of the strategies in Joshua. We are fighting giants as we advance into our Promise Land. And it’s okay if we don’t get it right, right away. Sometimes we have to experience an error to be grounded in the correct way to go. God uses everything, and His grace is in this place as long as we keep our hearts towards Him.
We ended the last post with Joshua 3 & 4, crossing the Jordan and marking the point of no return. This is where we make a full and definite step, leaving the past behind, embarking on new territory. So let’s go. Time to do battle!
6. Our hearts must be circumcised before we can battle the land. Joshua 5. The men of war in Israel’s camps had to be circumcised before they could go to war. In the New Testament, which we live in now, when God speaks of circumcision, He’s speaking of the heart. Our own personal desires, that get in the way, have to be cut off before we can advance. Only then can we follow His plan wholeheartedly, and His way is the only way through. There is no victory outside of this. Complete surrender to His strength is required.
7. Listen for God’s Strategies. They will be different from our own. Joshua 6. This chapter is all about the march around Jericho. Who ever heard of dismantling a city by marching around it, blowing trumpets, and shouting?! But that was God’s plan, and it worked! The Israelites could have laughed it off and turned the other way. But they obeyed, and the victory was theirs. God will do the same with us. Sometimes His plans won’t make a lick of sense. But they’re powerful when we do what He says.
8. Move with the presence of God and when He commands, use your voice. Joshua 6. This also comes out of the march around Jericho. Israel was called to march with the Ark of the Covenant – the presence of God – and to shout at His command. In the same way, when we move in the presence of God, and speak when He tells us to, walls will come down.
9. Obey God explicitly. With disobedience comes defeat. Joshua 6:18, Joshua 7. The Israelites were given strict orders to not take any of the treasures from the city for their own. But one man did. As a result, when the Israelites faced their next battle, they were defeated. Be careful to obey God. There is a blessing in our obedience, but disobedience brings on us the complete opposite.
10. With obedience, there is great insight and total victory. Joshua 8. Step by step, God showed Joshua how to overcome the enemy that had defeated them. And this time, the battle was theirs. Repenting of our disobedience, and moving forward in surrender, will cause us to be victorious in areas that once defeated us.
11. Be strengthened in the covenant of God. Joshua 8:30-35. After their victory, Joshua read the covenant God had given them through Moses. It’s important for us to be reminded of God’s promises and statutes. Remember them. Stand steadfast in what He’s told you. Strengthen yourself with His Word. Hold communion and cover yourself.
12. Beware of deception. Ask counsel of the Lord, for the world is evil. Joshua 9:1-15. We cannot for a moment think we can do this on our own. And what does the Bible say? Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves (Matthew 10:16). The Israelites were deceived by enemies portraying themselves as ambassadors. Joshua and his men did not take counsel of the Lord, and welcomed them into their camps. Consult the Lord on every decision you make.
13. God’s perfection will cover our imperfection as long as our heart is towards Him. Joshua 9:16-27. Fortunately, these false ambassadors were exposed, and God turned the situation around for good, making them servants to the Israelites. As long as we have a circumcised heart, walk in obedience, and stand in covenant, God will prevail and turn things in our favor, even if we miss the mark.
14. God is doing a thorough work. Joshua 11:12 – So all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua took and struck with the edge of the sword. He utterly destroyed them, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. ALL the kings of the land were destroyed. God is removing every stronghold in our lives, every stumbling block. Stick with Him, and He will accomplish His work.
15. Then, receive the land and your inheritance. Joshua 13. Once He has completed His work, and brought us over the things that once held us, then we will enter into our Promise. Know that God’s victory is there. Stay focused on the goal. Don’t give up. Trust Him in every trial. He is victorious, no one can defeat Him. And we can be confident of the same, when we obey Him.
Amen! Get excited and keep moving forward. The battle is the Lord’s!