Going into Battle with God
Are you ever tempted to hide the feelings you wants to express during prayer? Letting intense or negative feelings fester will eventually turn our hearts away from God and the hope He provides. Respectfully honest communication is an important impediment to sin.
After defeating the city of Jericho, the smaller town of Ai became the Israelite’s next adversary. The Israelite army’s leader, Joshua, felt pretty confident about taking over the small town because his spies told him, “Do not have all the men go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and attack Ai. Do not make the people toil up there, for they are few” (Joshua 7:3). The Israelites ended up losing the battle and fled from the soldiers of Ai. After hearing about this defeat, Johsua tore his clothes, fell before God, and quizzically asked Him, “What was the point of having your people enter into the land of Canaan simply to die at the hands of the Amorites?” In Joshua 7:10-11, God responds by telling him, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face? Israel has sinned; they have transgressed my covenant that I commanded them; they have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen and lied and put them among their own belongings.”
Before I was a follower of Christ, I struggled with often being angry. I relied on a power that wasn’t God’s. If I felt another person disrespected me I attempted to get even using physical, or verbal force. At that time, much to my dismay, the other person ended up disliking me and I would get in trouble. I was fighting a losing battle by relying on my anger to handle my hurt feelings. However, after I started to comprehend Christ and His teachings, I learned to trust in His strength instead. When my anger was too tempting, I gave it all to Him and put my unrighteous feelings behind me. God gave me hope by replacing my goal of revenge with trying to be like His son, Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:12-14 reads, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”