Do not raise your voices.
Do not say a word until the day I tell you..."
~ Joshua 6:10
All throughout scripture, we see the wisdom of God opposing the logic of humanity - and for me, this is a daily source of encouragement, serving as a reminder that there are times - ok, all of the time - that I can't figure this life thing out on my own. No matter how hard I try. This morning I woke up desperately needing a word. A figurative - and somewhat literal - battle raging inside of me needed to be calmed. And through a passage I've read many times before, I was reminded that no matter what our situation or circumstance, He is both faithful and victorious. And there is a process in His victory that involves our listening, and trusting, and obeying - over and over and over again. Until we get it. Really get it. Until the walls come crashing down...
Joshua was promised the city of Jericho, a city that was "bolted and barred", allowing no one to pass in or out of its gates. Yet when God speaks this promise to Joshua, He speaks it in past tense: "I have given you the city... ". The promise of God was in direct opposition to the circumstance of Joshua's reality and yet, he didn't flinch... or doubt... or fear. God spoke His promise along with His instructions and Joshua simply acted. Immediately. Not once, even for a moment, do we see Joshua doubt what God has said He will do or hesitate to do what God had called Him to do.
Oh, how I long to have that kind of faith. All too often I find myself sitting still, desperately trying to seek His hand in this mess of my life and all the while, He is desiring that I seek His face, believe His promise and obey His instruction. I'm two steps into the process when I begin wondering if I'm walking it out wrong, wondering why it's taking so long, wondering if I heard God fully, wondering why God couldn't act sooner, wondering what the heck He is doing, wondering where His hand is in all of this... until my wondering gives way into my wandering...
"We can't get so enthralled with seeking His hand that we forget to seek His face." ~ Pastor Blake Lindsey
I've always considered that the seasons of life in which we are waiting on God to act are those where He wants to teach us. But, this morning, I became convinced that it's about SO much more than learning to be still, learning to trust, learning to be content, learning to be obedient... It's about God offering us the opportunity to be intimately involved in the process of His victory and His purpose. Even if, during that process, we become fools in the eyes of those who are watching, even if we are seemingly marching around in circles expecting walls to come crashing down. Expecting the impossible. The improbable. The implausible. You know, He doesn't need us to help Him along with His plan - not His plan for our own individual lives and not the one for His redemption of humanity. No, He offers relationship with us because we need Him - and in the midst of that process, the fulfillment of His ultimate will - that we experience His presence, His peace, and His power.
I imagine the Israelites rising up to march daily, not having heard directly from God, but from Joshua - and trusting. Day after day, step after step, they persisted in something that made absolutely no sense. In complete silence. All the while staring at the giant stone walls surrounding the city that God had promised to give them. A city that was bolted. And barred. Impenetrable... Much like our human hearts. But God is faithful and in His perfect timing, through a means that defied human reasoning - and all military intelligence - God did what He does best - what He desires to do in us: the impossible.
"Some trust in chariots. Some trust in horses.
But we, Oh God, we trust in your name alone."
Oh Lord, help me continue marching until you say stop. Until the walls come crashing down. Until I see your promise fulfilled.