Recently, my family was encouraged to reread the book of Joshua as we participate in some special times of prayer for my dad’s healing. While several read through it in the first week, knowing dad’s treatment was scheduled to be spread out over several months, I chose to just mix in a chapter every 3rd day so I could continue my regular Bible reading as well. I figured I could use the ongoing inspiration from Joshua as the months went on.
This week I read chapters 10 and 11, which list many battles Israel had to fight to possess what was promised, and their unbroken string of victories. In between these readings, our family received a message from my Mom, listing all the things we’re asking and believing for Dad to be healed from as we continue our special times of prayer for him. I was thankful to see that in spite of the number of things on the list, they were continuing to request prayers for complete healing. We let her know we were standing in agreement in faith. Still, I knew from my own battles that when the list is that long, it’s tempting to feel overwhelmed. I was reminded of a time in recent years when I cried out to the Lord, “It’s TOO MUCH!”, and how He ministered to me so personally and specifically, reminding me that we can safely sail through any storm, no matter how severe or how much troubled water surrounds us, as long as we keep the storm on the OUTSIDE. It’s only when we let the storm on the INSIDE that the troubled waters become “too much” and we’re in danger of sinking.
Yesterday, as I read Joshua 11, I felt the Lord was once again giving the precise encouragement we needed in response to Mom’s message.
The chapter starts out listing the myriad of kings and people that all came together to fight Israel – stating that they were like the sand on the seashore.
It was not difficult to identify and commiserate with how Joshua could feel when he no longer had only one enemy at a time to fight, but it was this AND that AND the other AND AND AND…. All the ANDs of Mom’s prayer request the day before immediately came to mind; our own ANDs were not far behind.
But in spite of all of those enemies who had simultaneously gathered together against them, God commanded them not to be afraid and promised again that He had given all their enemies into their hands. True to His promise, as they did their part to fight, ALL of those ANDs were “utterly destroyed;” “NONE were left!” They possessed the WHOLE promised land, “And the land had rest from war!”
Though there has, and perhaps always will be, teaching that encourages us to just make peace with having enemies in our land (those things that deny and defy God’s promises), encouraging us to choose to see them not as enemies, but as necessary blessings in disguise, Israel’s mandate to possess the promised land, utterly driving out and destroying all their enemies till none remained is our type and shadow, revealing God’s true will. So this is what we continue to believe for as we fight with our spiritual weapons that are mighty for the overthrow and destruction of all that exalts itself against the truth of God’s Word/promises. Though we’re not claiming we can reach a point where we’ll never face another war over our promised land (at least not until Heaven), God has revealed through Israel His desire is that we have “rest from war” ~ that our enemies be utterly destroyed till none remain and we truly possess the whole land.
So no matter how many enemies have simultaneously gathered against you today, we pray this encourages you to be strong and courageous and to keep fighting the good fight of faith toward this end.
(this inset below was between Joshua 10 & 11 in my Bible)