Too often, we underestimate God’s influence on situations and over-estimate our own. I’m convinced that God is more in control than we give Him credit for. We can see this truth exemplified in the Bible’s account of Joshua leading the people of Israel into their promised land.
God had called His people to settle in the land of Canaan, but they had to conquer various enemy groups to fulfill that vision. The first city they successfully overtook was Jericho, and many of us are familiar with how “the walls came tumbling down.” But it’s important to note an encounter Joshua had just before the march around Jericho.
“And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand” (Joshua 5:13, NKJV). This “Man” was the Lord appearing to him, but at first, Joshua thought he was just another soldier and asked whose side he was on. The Man replied, “As Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come” (Joshua 5:14a).
This was the key to the victory Joshua eventually experienced at Jericho; he had the army of the Lord on his side! And we can take comfort today in knowing that the Lord’s army is still at work!
As a believer, you can rest assured that the Commander of the army of the Lord will show up for you when you need Him most! Joshua’s encounter with the Lord occurred when he was “by Jericho.” He was right beside his biggest test to date, a challenge too great for him to attempt on his own. But God wanted to assure Joshua that he was not alone.
In the same way, when you’re right beside your biggest challenge, God will show up for you! When you’re standing beside an obstacle that is too great for you, know that God’s supernatural strength and power are available to you.
When Joshua realized that the Lord was appearing to him, he worshiped Him and asked, ‘What does my Lord say to His servant?” (Joshua 5:14b). The Lord responded, “’Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.’ And Joshua did so” (Joshua 5:15).
I think it’s very interesting how the Lord responded. If I had been Joshua and asked the Lord what He wanted to say to me, I probably would have expected Him to give me instructions on how to conquer Jericho. After all, Joshua was the commander of the army of Israel, so I’m sure he was wondering, “What can I do to win this battle?”
But God wanted to remind Joshua that it wasn’t about him; this battle was going to be won by the Commander of the army of the Lord. God didn’t even mention the battle in his response; he simply told Joshua he was on holy ground.
You see, sometimes we just need to acknowledge that God is God! While there are times when we need to be instructed, there are other times when we just need to be awed. We need to humble ourselves and realize we’re not going to win by our natural skills, talent, or leadership. True victory will only come under God’s authority.
So, take comfort today in knowing that you have the Commander of the army of the Lord on your side. Humble yourself under His mighty hand and let Him fight your battles for you. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).