Partnering with God
When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did as he was told.
Joshua 5:13-15 NLT
This scripture has always been an interesting passage for me. And it is worth taking a few moments to ponder.
First, there is the question of who Joshua encounters. Evidently, Joshua is alone, mentally preparing himself for what is ahead. Perhaps, he was humming a song of worship, rehearsing some of the words of the Law, or just meditating on God’s directive to be strong and courageous. We don’t know what he was doing, but he is interrupted by a man with a drawn sword.
Some think the man was an angel, the problem I have with that is angels do not allow themselves to be worshiped, and Joshua fell on his face in a posture of worship. Therefore, I would conclude this must have been a pre-incarnate visitation of Jesus. Jesus is seen in the book of Revelation as the commander of the armies of the Lord, so that fits.
Second, there are the words of Jesus to Joshua. Joshua wants to know if this person is for them or against them. Jesus lets Joshua know He is neither.
I like that response. God is not for or against our plans or projects. God is for God’s plans and projects. If we get involved in God’s plans and projects, we will have God’s favor in our lives. If we don’t, we won’t.
This is especially true when it comes to Kingdom Builder work around the world. Our missionary partners are not going to take God to the lost of the world. They are going to discover what God is doing and help move it forward. We don’t start works and hope God blesses them. We see what God wants to do and partner with His work.
That is true at home as well. As followers of Christ, we should be on the lookout for what God is doing. He is working in people, communities, churches, and our neighborhoods. Let’s see what God is doing and get involved with His work.
God had decided He wanted to give the Promised Land to the children of Israel. But if they weren’t willing to do it His way in His time, He would not bless it. Joshua had to be reminded that God was in charge.
Finally, there is the issue of taking off your shoes because this is holy ground. This practice was a throwback to the burning bush when God told Moses to take off his shoes because this was holy ground. God is commissioning Joshua just as He commissioned Moses. This experience was the holy ground moment for Joshua. It was time to step out and see the miracles God was going to do.
I want to have those moments when I know I am in the presence of God. I want to experience that empowerment and clarity.
Holy Spirit, we need You to direct and empower our lives. We need to know that we are partnering with You to make a difference in our world. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of Your plan.
Scroll down to share what you feel God is saying to you based on today’s reading.