Honing the Soul

And at the seventh time, when the priests had blown the trumpets, Joshua said to the people, “Shout, for the Lord has given you the city” (Joshua 6:16).

If my Battalion Commander told my Tank Company Commanders to drive in circles around the enemy, then dismount, and finally shout at the enemy to win the battle, he might very well be relieved of his command. However, this is what God told the Israelites to do at Jericho. The passages, “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways” (Isaiah 55:8), and “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18) comes to mind. Sometimes the creator of the universe instructs us to respond, fight, and resist in strange ways, but it is his battle to win in his manner (Joshua 5:13-15; Deuteronomy 1:30-31). We have been called to spiritual battle, “for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6:12), and we have been given all the weapons of warfare we need. Still, we must uses those weapons accordingly. He has given us prayer, the Word of God, the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we follow our own strategies, we will fail, and begin saying things like, “I have no where else to turn. I tried everything else. You’re my last hope.” Christ is our ONLY hope. Don’t let him be your last resort. Turn to Christ first in prayer according to the scriptures standing with fellow believers. This is where the battle is won. This is where God, through Christ, brings people into his Kingdom. We overcome this world, our sin, and the Devil’s schemes through grace in faithful obedience in Christ just as the Israelites faithfully obeyed God in Joshua 6 to conquer Jericho.

Let this hymn be your prayer: A Mighty Fortress is our God

bro_andrew_richard_fortress_.jpgA mighty Fortress is our God,
A Bulwark never failing;
Our Helper He amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe
Doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great,
And, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide,
Our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side,
The Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth His Name,
From age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled,
Should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed
His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim,
We tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure,
For lo! his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers,
No thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours
Through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go,
This mortal life also;
The body they may kill:
God’s truth abideth still,
His Kingdom is forever.

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