The Church can be weakened when we begin to think our personal opinions are the opinion of the Lord. If we are not careful, we can assume our limited, and at times ignorant, interpretation of reality is the only way the Lord will accomplish His will on Earth. When a miraculous intervention of God takes place, it will reveal the shallow depth of what we have so confidently proclaimed as His will.
After Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan river, those who were born in the wilderness were circumcised in preparation for the coming campaigns against the ten cities that stood between Israel and their possession of the Promised Land. After several days of healing, Joshua looked up and saw a man holding a sword. Joshua approached the man and asked, “Are you friend or foe? ‘Neither one,’ he replied. ‘I am the commander of the Lord’s army’” (Joshua 5: 13-14).
After that initial interaction, Joshua fell to the ground in reverence and replied, “I am at your command. What do you want your servant to do?” (vs.14). The angel told Joshua to take off his sandals because he was standing on holy ground – a place where God would do what no human opinion could image or perform.
While we jostle back and forth, searching to understand what is real and false in our world, the Lord has sent angelic hosts to perform what none of our opinions could accomplish.
The first battle Joshua and the Israelites would engage in would be the city of Jericho. It would not be a typical battle plan. For six days, they were told to march around the city once each day in silence. On the seventh day, they marched around Jericho six times, still in silence and at the completion of the seventh orbit, they were told to shout. At the sound of that unified shout, the Lord brought down the walls of the city and a great victory took place.
Scripture tells us the Israelites were “marching in the presence of the Lord” (vs. 8). They marched in God’s presence, not their varied opinions. A silence of human opinion was part of the preparation for victory. If we equate our opinion with the opinion of God, we will make a lot of divisive noise, but sadly, we will be set up for defeat in the current spiritual battle.God is not on the side of any human opinion. He is the majestic God who does as He wills in the timing He determines.
Our enemy is not the differing opinions present within the Church – opinions like yours and mine that are limited and cannot bring the kind of victory that will lead to the fulfillment of what God has promised to our generation. This is bigger than defining who is our friend or foe. It is about discovering the heart and will of God and following His presence into a place of victory.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Garris Elkins
Featured Image by Valdemaras D. on Unsplash
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