<Image courtesy of army.mil>
So much of life seems like it involves ‘battle.’ Think of how we describe much of what we endure in a single day:
At the beginning of the day: we fight to get out of bed.
During the day: we fight to maintain attention.
Sometime in the afternoon: we fight cravings.
Once things wind down: we fight to keep our eyes open.
And that’s just the normal kind of day; this is to say nothing about the different ‘corporate battles’ people face, those who find themselves ‘battling cancer,’ those trying to fight the battle of the bulge, fighting to keep the skeletons in our closets at bay, the couple in a rough patch who are fighting for their marriage (even though it appears they may be fighting each other). Then on top of that (or perhaps related to many of the things just listed), Scripture reminds us, like-it-or-not, believe-it-or-not, we are entrenched in a spuiritual battle where we have a very real enemy and there’s a great war occurring we usually can’t see.
Battles come every day. But how can you and I be ready when they come our way? How can we be sure that we are prepared to the extent that we don’t just ‘live to fight another day’ but find victory and hope in the midst of our circumstance?
I’m not trying to make you depressed, but take some time and think of the different battles you face. Go ahead, think. What battles are you facing?
Did you think of some?
In Joshua 4 & 5, we find the people of Israel, having crossed the Jordan River, now poised for battle. In fact, this is what is recorded for us:
12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. 13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the LORD to the plains of Jericho for war.
They were ‘ready for battle’ and armed. The time to fight was coming. But, before they went to fight the battle before them, they were given instructions to remember some important truths… and those same instructions help us to fight our own battles in such a way that victory can be won. Over the next few “Joshua” entries here, we’ll discuss what the lessons the people of Israel were reminded of and how we can learn to face the battles of life, love and ministry. In the meantime, it just might be a good idea to reflect on what you’re facing this week and be reminded of our simple need to rely the only One who holds the promise of genuine victory