Oh how much I long for that every day of my life. I long for God to empower me and give me confidence to be BRAVE. To be BOLD. I pray for that every day – because let’s be honest….don’t we all want that?
And as I am praying and hoping and wishing that God will somehow give me this (because I whole heartedly believe that He can do anything) I have a realization…or as I like to call it the “whomp whomp whomp” moment… that moment when you realize you were working too hard on something so simple.
This particular moment I am speaking of (because the reality is, it happens quite frequently for me) was one that happened as I was reading Joshua 10 a couple of weeks ago. The back story to Joshua is that God has directed Him (and assured him that He would succeed) to lead this battle in defense of the Israelites land and to protect the people. The battle was going to be against ALL of the Amorite kings – all FIVE had ganged up to defeat Joshua and attack Gibeon.
I can see how Joshua would feel a little under equipped to handle this task. (Because I sure would!!). But God, the promise-KEEPER, whispers to Joshua “Don’t give them a second thought. I’ve put them under your thumb – not one of them will stand up to you.” (10:8) God understands our potential, and He gives us countless reasons to put our faith in Him, even if we feel like we are not enough.
I can imagine Joshua is feeling little more equipped KNOWING God is a promise-keeper. KNOWING He will use his little potential and God’s big potential to fight this battle and bring Israel to victory.
Battle after battle, God comes through for His people. Joshua (with God) leads His armies to victory after victory. God even “pitched huge stones on them out of the sky and many died. More died from hailstones than the people of Israel killed with the sword.” (10:11) Wow…can you imagine?
God is coming through for them in BIG ways. He is following through on His word. Joshua and his armies have faith and because of that, God continues to fight for them.
I don’t know about you but I LOVE that image.
I love hearing stories about how God fights for those who follow Him. We are all too accustomed to hearing stories of pain and suffering, of struggles and heartbreaks. For some reason those are the ones that are written about, those are the ones where we see God show up big time with redemption.
But how warm is your heart when you hear a story about how God comes through when people have bold faith? Like a young girl who has pursued God faithfully for a husband for years, stayed pure and prayed daily; and He rewards her with the man of her dreams. Or when a woman has been praying for years for a baby - has had 2 miscarriages and is pushing 40- is still laying down her hearts desires at the feet of Jesus – and she finally gets the baby she has been hoping for.
Man, my heart leaps for joy with stories of BIG FAITH rewarded with BIG ANWSERS.
God comes through for us. That’s why we have faith – because we have no doubt in His promise-keeping ability.
That’s why the last part of Chapter 10 gets me pumped – because Joshua BOLDLY and BRAVLEY asserts his faith. There is no dancing around it, or using big words to ask for it. He simply states it – basically demands it – and God comes through. God likes simple and He loves bold. The chapter comes to a climax as Joshua’s armies are in the middle of the biggest battle – the combined armies of the five Amorite kings versus the Army of Israel at Gibeon. They are tired and the sun is starting to go down, but the Israelites needed more daylight to complete the victory. I can imagine all of the men are looking to Joshua for direction, because if the sun goes down, they stop fighting, then they lose their momentum and potentially the battle.
So Joshua does the most simple, most astonishing thing…he DEMANDS the sun to stand still. He simply says “ Stop, Sun, over Gibeon; Halt Moon over Aijalon Valley.” And the sun stopped, and the moon stood still until he defeated his enemies.” (10:11)
How incredible. Can you believe it? Joshua was brave, and God listened. Joshua was bold and God delivered.
I can just imagine that Joshua was feeling a lot of different emotions. Hope, fear, faith, doubt, excitement, and disappointment - all of these are swarming in his head. He had a decision to make and he chose faith. He chose to trust God.
What a lesson on living with audacious faith.
Our God is perfectly willing to perform the impossible in our daily lives…IF WE JUST ASK.
Be bold in your faith. Be brave in your desires. Ask God for what you want. And watch Him come through.