Strong and Courageous | Day Seven
By: Kate Downing
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Has there been a time in your life when you’ve been asked to do something that seemed unnecessary or poorly planned? As a control-freak, it’s really hard for me to simply do what is asked of me. I like to think of fifteen “better” or more “efficient” ways of doing what I’ve been asked to do.
The “battle plan” we are about to study in Joshua chapter 6 is one I would have second-guessed. It is out-of-the-box for sure, but it’s INCREDIBLE! Ultimately, it’s a beautiful picture of God’s ability to work in impossible situations and teach us to be obedient to Him all at the same time!
Before we get started, take a minute to pray over these things:
· Thank the Lord for the opportunity to read His Word today.
· Ask God to speak to you through His Word.
· Ask Him to help you see areas of your life where He is calling you to courageous obedience.
Remember back to what we studied a few days ago: Joshua and the Israelites have crossed over the Jordan River and they are prepared for battle. They are ready to conquer the land God has promised them. They now stand battle ready outside the gates of Jericho.
Read Joshua 6:1-5.
What promise did God make in verse 2?
What was the battle plan for conquering the city of Jericho (vs. 3-5)?
If you were Joshua, how would you have responded to God’s instructions? How confident would you have been in leading your people in to follow these instructions?
True confessions, I would have questioned God. I would have said, “Um, remember how you parted the Jordan River just a few days ago and how we didn’t have to do anything really strange to make that happen? Is there anyway you could just knock down these walls without all the marching and trumpet blowing?”
The truth is God could have just knocked down the walls. He didn’t need the people to march around the city for seven days. He didn’t need them to do anything. But, this wasn’t a test of God’s ability; it was a test of Joshua’s obedience. He could not be the strong and courageous leader of the people unless he was obedient to what the Lord asked of him.
Read Joshua 6:6-7.
What was Joshua’s immediate response to God’s instructions?
Read Joshua 6:7-14.
What was the peoples’ immediate response to Joshua’s instructions?
As a kid, I often struggled to obey what I was told…I doubt I’m alone on that. When I failed to obey, my mom would say this phrase: “Do what you are told, when you are told, and with the right heart attitude.” Let me tell you, that last part is a kicker! It’s often not our actions that make us disobedient, it’s our heart attitudes (thoughts and emotions).
Joshua heard what God asked of him and immediately obeyed. He did what he was told, when he was told, and with the right heart attitude. We are called to respond to God’s commands in the same way. When He asks something of us, it is not our responsibility to tell Him the fifteen ways He could do it differently; it is simply our responsibility to obey. Obedience takes courage and trust. That is why we have spent the past six days talking about how trustworthy and faithful God is! He is worthy of our obedience: immediate, right-hearted, and courageous obedience.
Let’s finish out this story. Read Joshua 6:15-25.
God miraculously worked through the obedience of Joshua and the Israelites. The walls of the city fell straight down so that the people of Israel were able to walk directly into the city from all sides. God gave them incredible victory through their obedience.
What do you need to obey God in today?
Are you being immediately obedient to Him? Is your heart-attitude (thoughts and emotions) obedient to Him or are you physically obeying while mentally and emotionally rebelling?
Spend the next few minutes confessing any areas of your life in which you are failing to be courageously obedient to God’s call. Ask Him to help you do what you are told, when you are told, and with the right heart-attitude. Then thank Him for desiring to help you become strong and courageous in your obedience!
Complete this sentence and write it down in your notes or on your phone: