Lord God, once again You show that You have a plan and are willing to include man in it. You gave specific details of what Joshua was to do in order to gain Your victory.
First, though, the Israelites had to purge the sin from within their midst. It is the same for me. I cannot ask You for victory when I am harboring sin.
Then You told them “do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” It would have been easy to dwell on their last failure and be fainthearted in the presence of the same enemy who had routed them before.
When I have tried to do something in my own strength, and failed, it is hard to get up and try again without fearing the same disastrous result.
Next they had to follow Your plan exactly, to Your specifications and in Your timing. That can be hard as well.
Take now, for instance. The plan against this virus is to stay home unless absolutely necessary, until we are told it’s ok to go back to work and socialize again. We are not a people who like to be told what we can or can’t do. And most of us like to be “fixers,” and feel like we’re doing something active to combat our problems.
There are ways that seem to make sense to man, but do not often yield the desired result. So I must be willing to give up the direction my own thoughts lead me and be obedient to what You tell me. In this case, also to what our leaders are telling us because they are in authority. And I need to pray for my leaders to have wise judgment as You have allowed them to be in those positions of authority.
When this is over, it is You who we must give thanks to. Things may never be the same as they were before this crisis. And when the Israelites won, even more kings came against them. So I know this will not be the last crisis that we will deal with -, as individuals, or communities, or as a nation.
Sometimes the battles we face, challenging as they may be, are simply preparation for bigger battles to follow! But we can know that having done well will lay the groundwork for the next success.
Victory is ours when the battle is the Lord’s! Amen.