Summary: Proceed with confidence in God’s Word. Pray with confidence in God’s Will. Then prevail with confidence in God’s might no matter how great the enemy.
Preschooler Denny came to class one morning bubbling with excitement about having played tee ball. “We won our game,” he said.
“Did you get any hits?” his teacher asked.
“Yes,” he answered. “And I got some scratches, too.” (Dorothy Hsu, Columbus, Ohio, “Kids of the Kingdom,” Christian Reader; www.PreachingToday.com)
I love that little boy’s attitude. He’s excited about the win despite the hits and scratches along the way.
As you know, life is full of “hits and scratches,” so how do you get past them to the win? How do you win the victory despite the obstacles? How do you turn opposition into an opportunity to overcome the enemy in your own life? Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Joshua 10, Joshua 10, where we see how Joshua overcame his enemies.
Joshua 10:1-5 As soon as Adoni-zedek, king of Jerusalem, heard how Joshua had captured Ai and had devoted it to destruction, doing to Ai and its king as he had done to Jericho and its king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel and were among them, he feared greatly, because Gibeon was a great city, like one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were warriors. So Adoni-zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon, saying, “Come up to me and help me, and let us strike Gibeon. For it has made peace with Joshua and with the people of Israel.” Then the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish, and the king of Eglon, gathered their forces and went up with all their armies and encamped against Gibeon and made war against it. (ESV)
Up until now, Joshua has fought his enemies one by one – first Jericho, then Ai, then Gibeon. Now, his enemies are ganging up on him. Five kings, led by the king of Jerusalem just five miles south of Gibeon, form an alliance to attack Gibeon. It’s an ominous situation, but God is going to use it to bring about a great victory for Joshua and the Israelites.
You see, if Joshua can win the victory here, he would break the back of enemy forces in the entire southern region of the Promised Land, instead of just picking them off one-by-one. However, the Gibeonites are in a panic!
Joshua 10:6-8 And the men of Gibeon sent to Joshua at the camp in Gilgal, saying, “Do not relax your hand from your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us and help us, for all the kings of the Amorites who dwell in the hill country are gathered against us.” So Joshua went up from Gilgal, he and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valor. And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear them, for I have given them into your hands. Not a man of them shall stand before you.” (ESV)
God promised to give Joshua a great victory!
Joshua 10:9 So Joshua came upon them suddenly, having marched up all night from Gilgal. (ESV)
That’s a 25-mile march up steep and difficult terrain.
Joshua 10:10-11 And the LORD threw them into a panic before Israel, who struck them with a great blow at Gibeon and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth-horon and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died because of the hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword. (ESV)
The Lord was fighting for Israel, but Joshua had to move forward with confidence in God’s Word. You see, even though God was fighting for Israel, there would be no victory if Joshua didn’t advance against the enemy.
So when God promised him the victory, Joshua didn’t hesitate to proceed with confidence. He marched his army 25 miles through treacherous mountain passes and attacked right away. It threw the enemy into a panic especially when God threw large hailstones down upon them.
Do you want to win the victory over the enemy in your life? Then do the same thing Joshua did. Don’t shrink back from the challenge ahead. Instead…
PROCEED WITH CONFIDENCE IN GOD’S WORD.
Move forward believing what God has promised you! Advance against the evil one in your own life, trusting God to keep His pledge to you. You see…
God’s Word is very clear to everyone who submits to Him. James 4 says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:6-7). The devil himself cannot stand against those who obey God, much less any lesser forces of evil. So no matter the opposition, don’t shrink back in fear any longer. Instead, proceed with confidence in God’s Word and watch Him fight for you!