The Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors."
I always seem to have the most confidence moving forward when I can see what lies ahead. I don’t move very quickly through the dark without a light because I can’t see and I don’t want to run into something. I can’t just run through the woods, I have to move slower because I can’t always see far enough ahead. We always want to see what is in front of us, what lies ahead, and when we can’t we tend to lose some confidence and we start to move a little bit slower, a bit more carefully, and sometimes we stop moving forward all together. This is the kind of spot Joshua and the Israelites were in. They were standing in the shadow of a huge obstacle – the walls of the heavily fortified and heavily armed city of Jericho.
We can get intimidated and overwhelmed by the shadow our obstacles cast. Joshua, while standing in that shadow, was reminded of the victory God has guaranteed for them. He was out surveying what was going on, trying to see ahead, when he looked up and say the Captain of the Lord’s army standing before him with his sword drawn. It was in that moment that Joshua realized God wasn’t just standing with them, He was moving ahead and fighting for them. The sword was drawn, the fight had begun, and God was doing the fighting. Talk about strength and courage! The confidence that must have given him knowing the Captain of the Lord’s Army was fighting for him!
The lesson he learned that day is one we need to learn. We can get distracted by the size of the obstacle and feel hopeless. We can walk around, sulking, in the shadow of our problems or we can look up. We can shift our focus and look at God, who is standing with us, sword drawn. God is ready to fight for us, to take down the walls, and to give us the victory. He proved that when He sent Jesus here to die for us. He didn’t wait for the fight to come to Him, He brought the fight right to the enemy.
Look up! Look up! God is with you. God is fighting for you! See the victory He has already won for you! Look up, see, and then march on to victory in Jesus!
Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.