On the first morning of January I woke up after little sleep, slipped into my cozy slippers, and dragged myself to the couch. I cracked open my Bible and began to read. I was intending to dive into Joshua 6 as it had been the scripture used during the message the day before at church. Joshua 6 tells us of how the walls of Jericho fell as Joshua fearlessly led the Israelites to march and shout.
Jericho, the first promise of the Promised Land…
Jericho, a promise of a city that seemed to good to be true…
Jericho, a promise of what God has given us…
Jericho, a promise we must circle in prayer and belief…
As I wait for my promise, (in this case my son named Jericho) I am so hopeful, yet aware of the reality of just how hard it is to believe and march around a promise when it feels as though the walls are several miles thick. I know God is good and sovereign, but like anyone I struggle with even his goodness and sovereignty at times.
Joshua 6 describes how the power of God was on display through his people but what spoke to me most was the last three verses leading into the chapter.
Joshua 5:13-15 reads,
13 When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?”
14 “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.”
At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”
15 The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.
I could not have identified with Joshua more. I am ready to take what the Lord has prepared for me but before any of that I must stop, listen, and be reminded who is calling the shots. I am at Someone else’s command. I am a servant and the victory is not mine but rather it is my King’s.
So often we feel entitled to our own lives as if things should happen exactly as we have imagined them, and while I am confident that we should believe for what God has for us, we must remember we are His, all His. Everything we are, everything we will be, it’s all his. He is the victor of our stories, not us.
In the quiet of New Year’s Day I slipped off my slippers, lowered my head, and uttered the words as Joshua did, “I am at your command. What do you want your servant to do?” With this utterance and attitude I will go forth in all conquests of this year.
I pray this over your year as well. Before you are given the promise of your Jericho, may you surrender to the Giver of the promise.