Going to battle

Posted: March 9, 2012 in Devotional

Joshua 11:6–9, “(6) But the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid because of them, for tomorrow about this time I will deliver all of them slain before Israel. You shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.” (7) So Joshua and all the people of war with him came against them suddenly by the waters of Merom, and they attacked them. (8) And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel, who defeated them and chased them to Greater Sidon, to the Brook Misrephoth, and to the Valley of Mizpah eastward; they attacked them until they left none of them remaining. (9) So Joshua did to them as the LORD had told him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire.”

All over the promised land, Joshua and the Israelites had been fighting the current inhabitants according to the word and command of God. Joshua had taken no quarter with the people, but rather unleashing the full fury of battle upon them (as was appropriate with the judgment of God). One would think that Joshua might become cocky and start pushing through on his own – yet even long into the conquest, God still encourages Joshua not to fear, for God is with him.

Joshua had been cocky once – at Ai. Unbeknownst to him, one of the Israelites had taken something that the Lord had forbidden, and thus there was sin in the camp. Without consulting the Lord, Joshua had sent a contingent to battle against the city of Ai, only to find themselves roundly defeated. Now, Joshua always received the command of the Lord prior to going to battle. Once he received the assurance that God was with him, then he would proceed without hesitation.

So it is with us in our war against sin. Although the ultimate victory is assured for every believer in Jesus Christ in that Jesus’ death and resurrection assures us of forever freedom from the eternal penalty of sin, we still wage battles every single day. We will wage battles against the temptations that come against our old fleshly nature time & time again, and we will never truly be free of those things until the day we see our Lord face to face.
After we experience a victory or two, it would be easy for us to become cocky. We might think, “I’ve got the hang of this. Walking into battle is no problem – I can do this anytime on my own!” And like Joshua at Ai, we’d be wrong, and as experience shows us, we fail often. We flirt a bit with temptation & take a bit of what is forbidden to us, and we find ourselves powerless when the spiritual battle comes upon us in earnest.

Yet what is the difference when we go in the strength and the command of the Lord? Total victory. When Joshua was assured that God was with him and had given him the battle, what happened? All Joshua had to do was walk in simple obedience, and he found that God did indeed give him the battle.

Christian, God is with you! The Lord Jesus Christ has promised to be with us always, even to the end of the age. When He says He gives you power not to sin, He truly does give it. When He says He makes you a new creation, He really does make us new. All we need to do is walk in simple obedience to our Savior. When we show up on the spiritual battleground submitted to the Lord, and unwilling to compromise with sin in any fashion, there’s no doubt that we will see victory in battle.

Today you will face a battle of some sort – that much is guaranteed. How will you face it? In the weakness of the power of yourself – or in the power of the Holy Spirit as promised through Jesus Christ? Know His power and command, walk according to His word, and give no quarter to the enemy. It will be a banner day on the field of battle!

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