“The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the army, ‘Shout! For the LORD has given you the city!’”
Joshua 6:16 (NIV)
Whenever I share my marriage story, I share the moment that I knew that God was calling me to hang in there when I wanted to give up. I was reading the story of the battle of Jericho in Joshua 6 and today’s verse jumped out at me. More importantly, one particular word jumped out at me: given.
Past tense. It was already done even if from where the Israelites were standing it didn’t look done.
God was telling them, “Hey I’ve done this thing. You’ve just got to be willing to do something that sounds a little crazy to take hold of it. March around the city for seven days.” I know the people who were watching from the high walls of Jericho thought they looked crazy marching around the city over and over in circles.
Anyone who’s ever heard the old song about it knows that they did what He asked and received a great victory in return. Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and the walls came tumbling down.
But that’s not the only time that one of God’s people counted on something being given to them before it looked like it had been accomplished. In Judges 7 Gideon has snuck into the enemy camp and heard the soldiers there talking about a dream one of them had about their impending defeat.
Even though the odds looked stacked against them for a victorious battle, God was working behind the scenes to accomplish His purposes, in ways the Israelites could not have foreseen. Judges 7:15 says, “When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed down and worshiped. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, ‘Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands.’” Again the word “given” is used. Gideon was counting on a victory that hadn’t happened yet, and was moving forward in confidence.
I think Gideon’s response here is key. He immediately worshiped God as sure as if the victory had already taken place. He trusted God completely even though the circumstances weren’t certain. After he worshiped God, he took action. He operated according to God’s faithfulness, not his own perspective.
What has God given you that you need to take hold of—even if it doesn’t look like it from where you’re standing? Freedom in finances? A healed relationship? A better marriage? A job in an unstable market? A dream He’s whispered to your heart? Can you move forward in worship and trust, counting on the fact that it has been given to you already? Focusing on what lies ahead and not what’s happening now?Given. It’s already happened. Are you living like it has ?
Dear Lord, I am thinking of the things You’ve given me that I’ve missed because I didn’t trust You like I should have. Keep my eyes open to Your promises and let me take hold of them with confidence in You and not my circumstances. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.