I am not an advocate of violence -physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, or otherwise. However, I do know that there are times when you have to fight for what you want, need, or think that you deserve. People fight for their families, their marriages, for promotions in their careers, for diplomas and degrees, for liberty and justice for all, for anything they feel that it is necessary to put forth additional energy for the outcome they desire. And these kinds of fights are fought in classrooms, in courtrooms, in living rooms, in conference rooms, and in prayer rooms. People are fighting all the time. There is a war going on and it is not just a war on drugs! There is a war that has been waged by forces so far beyond us and sometimes right across the hallway from us, that we always need to be ready to stand guard, take a stand, and fight for whatever the cause AND we can do so in the name of the Lord! YES, we can fight in the name of the Lord! Now, let me be clear, I am not advocating violence of the physical sort. I am not saying that we all need to take kickboxing classes, or karate, or sharpen our skills at the local shooting range. However, I do mean to imply that there are times in our lives when we must put forth additional energy for the outcome we desire. Sometimes we have to speak up a little louder, pray a little longer, go in our pockets a little deeper, and expand our networks a little wider so that we can achieve what we believe to be is right or rightfully earned.
Friends, our verses for today give us a glimpse into the multi-war strategy that the Lord led Joshua to fight. The Lord had promised land to the Children of Israel and Joshua was not going to get it without a fight. Joshua had to fight for this land that was already promised to them. And honestly, this is where I have to extract the principles from the record and not attempt the literal application. I will not go into that whole debate but I will suffice it to say that I really do not see the Lord calling me to shut down any kings in this world as Joshua does in the following verses... and you probably will not be doing that either. Let's just keep it real! As much as we want to obey every word recorded in the Bible, some of it is for our enlightenment and for the lessons we can glean from the people who experienced what has been recorded and not necessarily for us, as we will read in a moment, to literally strike people down and kill them. But I digress.... here is the scripture for today...
16 So Joshua took this whole land: the highlands, the whole arid southern plain, the whole land of Goshen, the lowlands, the desert plain, and both the highlands and the lowlands of Israel. 17 He took land stretching from Mount Halak, which goes up toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad at the foot of Mount Hermon in the Lebanon Valley. He captured all their kings. He struck them down and killed them. 18 Joshua waged war against all these kings for a long time... 23 So Joshua took the whole land, exactly as the Lord had promised Moses. Joshua gave it as a legacy to Israel according to their tribal shares. Then the land had a rest from war. (Joshua 11:16-18, 23)
BlogFam, Oprah Winfrey really did speak a "word" when she came through that field in "The Color Purple" to tell Celie, "All my life I had to fight!" It is true. All of our lives we will have to fight, stand up for or take a stand against something that we believe in. We will have to fight and wage war in places where the Lord has sent us to go. We will have to confront our enemies and not just be aware of who they are. We will have to resist the powers that be so that the rewards are available to all or to at least the people on behalf of whom we advocate. Joshua had a lot of work to do and a lot of fight in him, He took over a lot of land and it was not a peaceful fight. I do not doubt that they had the weapons of their day but above all, they had the God of eternity who had already promised and given them this land. They just had to go claim it in the name of the Lord. They had to go to war! They were victorious as you have already read. "Then the land had a rest from war."
Friends, today, I pray for your rest AFTER your war. I pray for the kind of rest that refreshes you for the next fight. I pray for the kind of rest that makes you better, stronger, wiser after the war. I pray for the kind of rest that we all need because life gets tough sometimes and it just feels like and even looks like everyone and everything is against us. I pray for the kind of rest you need to recuperate after the wars you are fighting in your home and in the streets. I pray for the kind of rest that gives you a fresh perspective on whatever fight in which you are engaged or about to face. I pray that the Lord would give you everything that the Lord has promised you and that every fight would be worth the fulfillment of that promise, the rest that comes thereafter, and so much more!
GOD LOVES YOU and I DO TOO!!!