Scripture | Joshua 11:20
“For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle…”
“How are you?” Often when I am asked this question, my reply more times than not is, “All is well.” As of late, I have spent moments recalling a span of time when things were not well with me and it was because of me. I had dropped my spiritual armor and without immediately realizing it, began to delight in sin. God, in His great wisdom and Fatherly compassion, did not give me the kind of chastising one might expect. He did, however, give me a battle. And what was required in this battle? I needed every bit of the very armor I had earlier laid aside so that I might get back in the right condition and position to be used of God. I later realized it wasn’t about the battle, it was about the victory; but I couldn’t get to the one, without the other.
During his campaign to conquer Canaan, the land promised by God, the Lord began to cause enemy kings to rise up to fight against Israel. Joshua 11:20 reads, “For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle…” Here was God in His sovereignty, allowing enemies to pick a fight, in order to give the children of Israel the victory God had already promised to them.
As children of God, we’re all too often ready and willing to claim the victory. However, many times we do not recognize the necessity for the battle that must come in order for the victory to be gained. My enemy was convincing me that I was not worthy to be loved. This caused me to strive to keep out the very love I needed poured in me. It was a real battle for me. I had to repent of my sin, pick up my sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Eph. 6:17), and continually remind myself that I was so greatly loved that God gave His Son that I might become His daughter!
Maybe you’ve found yourself in a battle today; perhaps in your health, or in your mind, or your emotions, or with your family, job, or financial situation. Be of good courage! Joshua’s battles lasted seven years, but God continually gave him the victory in each one. And so is His desire for you. Just remember, you do not have victory without a battle. But with God, even the battle is His!!! And greater is He that is within you, than he that is in the world.
Father, help us to remember that each battle we fight is part of Your ultimate plan for us. By following hard after You through the power of prayer, the pursuit of holiness, and perseverance in Your Word, we can have our “much needed victory”! In the name of Jesus, Amen!