Joshua 23:1, 5, 9-10: “The Lord has given rest to Israel from all their enemies. . . . He will thrust them out from before you and drive them from before you. . . . The Lord has driven out great and strong nations from before you. . . The Lord your God is He who fights for you.
Psalm 44:1–3: Our fathers have told us the work that You did in their days. . . . You . . . drove out the nations; . . . For by their own sword they did not possess the land, and their own arm did not save them, but [they were saved by] Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence.”
Observation: God was making it crystal clear, both in Joshua and in the psalm, that it’s He who has won the battles. He has cleared the land, He, by His strength, not by men’s chariots and horses and swords and mighty armies. It is God and God alone who wins every victory.
Application: It is apparently easy to forget the truth of this simple lesson, because God pounds it home repeatedly through Scripture. I do have a role; I am His hands, His feet. I can choose to obey; I give time and money and even life itself.
But what then seems to eventually happen is, as I review the wonderful victories that resulted from partnering with God, arrogance and pride creep back in. I begin to think the victory was achieved because I was so very good. I must be awesome; after all, look how God was able to work through me! From there, it’s a small step to building a whole perversion of God’s teaching that was intended to emphasize the wonderful qualities of faith in Him. I marvel at what power and authority my prayers must have, what great mountains have been moved due to the strength of my faith.
What poppycock! What horrible distortion of God’s truth. If I am to take the land and occupy it, whatever the “land” might be, it will happen only as the result of His right hand, His strong arm, and the light of His presence. In myself, I am nothing, but in Him I can do all things.
Prayer: Lord, I ask You to bind me so thoroughly to Your Word, to Your heart, that I will never again stray. And I pray that You would loose from me every chain, every habit, every plan and scheme of the enemy designed to draw me off course. Cause me to hold the things of this world so freely that You can use them, and me, any way You want.