Who Then Is The Victor?


Did I ever tell you that my great-grandfather was among those wounded who lay in the streets of Atlanta during the Civil War? (Think about the scene in Gone With The Wind for a moment.) Well, right now I can empathize with him...though the difference is that he was physically wounded and I have received a spiritual blow. Still, the command to be more than a conqueror beats against the very walls of my heart, coursing through my veins and arteries like the battle cry it is. I think back on Paul's words...and God's command before Joshua's victory...and suddenly it dawns on me.


Joshua didn't win a single battle...least ways not alone! Before he ever led a single soldier in the land God had promised them, the Lord Himself visited him. In Joshua 5, it reads: Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?"


"Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"


The commander of the LORD's army replied, "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so.


It was the Lord who went before Joshua...the Lord who worked through him...the Lord who fought each and every battle, pushing Joshua and the army of Israel on to victory.


The words of God to Joshua (Heb. Yehoshua) were "I will never leave you nor forsake you." The words of Jesus (Heb. Yeshua) recorded in Matthew 28 were, "I am with you always." In my way of thinking: six of one, half dozen of the other.


In other words, if we are truly to be more than conquerors, we must tie in to the fact that we do not fight the mêlées of this life, but rather Christ wins them through us. We are able to sustain the path God has presented to us only because we trust the One Who is our Commander. As He stood with Joshua before the battle of Jericho, He is standing before us preceding every battle. Do we recognize Him? Do we take off our earthly shoes and fit out feet "with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace?" (Ephesians 6:15) Or do we really think we can go this life alone?


Questions for Personal or Group Study:


1. What battles are you facing right now?


2. What does "get ready" mean to you?

3. What does "The Jordan" look like in your life?

4. What promises has God made to you, which are just on the other side?