Joshua’s Shout: Maturing Through Obedience
So many people know this passage of scripture for the big thing that happens as a result. Jericho’s wall comes crashing down, allowing Israel to proceed in claiming the Promised Land. But in this part of the scripture, we see something a little more obscure: Joshua’s obedience.
Joshua was the captain of Israel’s army. During the battle against the Amalekites, Moses passed along the power of God through his raised hands. It was then that Joshua realized he needed Moses to win the battle.
Joshua learned everything from Moses and as a result, he knew that he wanted the relationship with God that Moses had. So, after Moses died, Joshua lead Israel to the Promised Land. God told Joshua He was going to use Him just like Moses. Joshua began to do everything he had learned from Moses.
At one point, Joshua saw a soldier with a large sword standing in the camp. He asked the soldier what side he was on. “I am the captain of the Lord of Hosts,” the soldier replied. This was no soldier, this was Christ, pre-incarnate. The Angel of the Lord of Hosts said, “Remove your shoes, for you are standing on holy ground.” This was just like what happened to Moses with the burning bush.
At this very moment Joshua was changed. This personal experience with God moved him into the direction of complete surrender. When Israel came to Jericho, God didn’t tell Joshua to ambush the city and destroy it. He used this as a test for Joshua. He instructed him to circle the walls of Jericho once a day for seven days. Only after this test of endurance and patience could he shout the triumphant shout of victory and bring those walls crashing down!
The moment of our salvation is just the beginning. We are completely dependent on the Lord at this point, like a newborn baby is on its mother’s milk. But God matures us through tests and trials. Not because he needs to know how we’ll react, but to strengthen our faith and so we’ll gain wisdom. Suffering, hardships, discomfort; all of these experiences mature is in obedience as we experience the outcome of our choices. We can model the faithful servants who went before us, or we can try things in our own power but that will quickly lead to ruin.
Just like Joshua and the walls of Jericho, we can’t shout down the enemy until we can walk out our obedience. Only then will we have the victory and faith to proclaim the promises of God over our lives!
Love ya’ll, and we’re praying for you. And as always, we’re saving you a seat at Community Family Church!
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