Sometimes, when we begin anew, we fail. We walk away from the path that God chooses for us; when we do that our problems become much bigger, and the battles we must fight become much harder. Thankfully, our God can also provide a bigger victory when we decide to return to His path.
The only way we can walk confidently in this journey is if we are sure of our path. Unfortunately, one sure sign that our steps will be faltering is to walk down the path of deception.
What do you trust; who do you trust? These are questions that deserve a considered answer. Christians can be guilty of trusting the wrong things. We can begin to trust methods and events and programs more than we trust Jesus. When that happens we need to address the failure quickly. We take our example from Israel, as they prepare to attack Ai for a second time…
We can all relate to this, it’s called failure. It can seem so final, so devastating to who we are. I’m sure that Joshua felt this way after the men of Israel were defeated at Ai. How was he supposed to lead them back into battle? How was he ever going to be used by God again? Certainly, his failure meant that he was done, right?
Israel has defeated Jericho in dramatic fashion and Joshua’s fame spreads across the land. The smaller city of Ai must have been in a panic. How could they hope to survive an attack from Israel? Yet, the first attempt by Israel to conquer Ai is met with disaster. The soldiers of Israel are routed. Thirty-six men die. How could this happen? The answer is simple; underestimate your enemy, become arrogant in your approach, and let sin creep into the camp.
This particular passage in Joshua is one that contains some difficult concepts. How serious is sin to an absolutely holy and righteous God? What do we do when we face circumstances where God’s actions are…hard to understand? It all comes down to faith…
What do you do when you expect a battle plan from God, and instead you get marching orders for a parade? Well, if you’re a person who has placed their faith in God, you line up and march! It’s a victory parade, after all.
A battle is coming for the nation of Israel. While they have crossed the Jordan River without opposition, the lack of opposition is about to end. However, before they draw a single sword the Lord has some important business to finish with His people. They need to renew their faith.
Memorials; if you travel around our country for very long you will come across a memorial of some kind. We erect memorials to remind us of important people, places, and events. We erect memorials so that we might not forget these things. As we step into a new beginning as a church we should take a lesson from Israel and the first two memorials they erected upon entering into the land promised them by God.
Many people when starting a race tend to begin a little quick. They start so fast that they end up burning out before they make it to the finish line. Or, even worse, they step wrong and injure themselves. So, before we take that first step into enemy territory, we need to make sure we focus on the right things.