WE HAVE ALREADY WON THE BATTLE (JOSHUA 4)
God has been teaching Joshua as he begins his service to God as the leader of the Jews (Joshua 5:13-15). As Joshua faced the impossible task of defeating impregnable Jericho, God appeared to him and assured him that he wasn’t alone, he wasn’t in charge, and the assignment the Lord gave him was sacred. There is one more truth God taught him – the battle has already been won (Jericho 6:1-2).
Joshua 6:1-2 says: “Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men.’” Not only is the battle God’s, but it has already been won! All Joshua had to do was listen to God’s word and obey His orders, and God would do the rest. They were strange orders, walking around the city, making noise and all the walls falling down and the soldiers dying with no casualties to the Jews. That’s not the way you’d think a battle would be fought!
But God has strange directions for us to win our battles today: forgive our enemies, show love to those who hurt us, be kind to those who are unkind to us, in order to be first we must be last, etc. Yet God’s directions are always right.
The battle belongs to God and He is already the victor, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to fight. Joshua couldn’t stay in his tent; he had to battle the enemy. All out battles will ultimately end in victory. Some may come quickly; others will take a lifetime. Jesus promises that He will build His church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).
Our sheep are not ours, but Jesus’ sheep. He will fight for them. Ultimately, He will have victory, and the church will prevail. The battle can be long and hard, but we must keep fighting because we know there will be victory for us and for the church. So don’t be discouraged, don’t give up, and don’t fear defeat. The enemy cannot defeat us if we keep following Jesus. Only we can defeat ourselves. I must keep pressing ahead during good days and bad, when victorious or struggling. So must you. The battle has already been won. And we are the victors! (Hyderabad, January 27, 2014)
Deuteronomy 20:3-4 He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.”
This was a verse God gave me the first time I came to India and it still means a lot to me. Think about what battles you are fighting now. Write them down so you can clearly see them as battles. What difference does it make that God has already promised victory, even if it might not come for a while? How should that affect you in how you face these things today?
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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