Listening to Our Marching Orders

on Sunday 29, August 2010

The warfare of a Christian can sometimes be confusing.  When do we stand?  When do we rest?  When do we fight?  Ephesians 6 pictures the believer in full defensive armor.  The only offensive weapon given to us is the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of the Lord.  The instructions given in this particular passage are to stand – do not back away, run in defeat or give up our position as a child of the Most High.

When Kind David went into battle, he always inquired of the Lord for a strategy for victory. Jehoshaphat was told to send the singers ahead of the army.  Joshua, who was given the daunting assignment of clearing out every enemy from the Promised Land, was given a different strategy to take the first city.  The defeat of Jericho came through silent marching and the blowing of trumpets.  In some cases, God’s plan was to “stand still” and not fight.  Other times it was to “dig ditches”, or sit on the mountain with lifted hands, or raise the staff over the waters and bury the enemy.

As Joshua approached Jericho, he had an encounter with the Captain of the Lord’s hosts, who had come to take over the strategy for occupation.  Our first response then in any battle is not to rush heedlessly into the fray, shouting the first scripture we can think of that might fit the situation.  We must first listen for instructions – which is the Word of the Lord, our one offensive weapon.  Whatever the orders, obedience is imperative.  Trust and obey.  Remember, "the battle is not yours, but the Lords!”