“And the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the kind of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land.” –Joshua 8:1, ESV
God delivered Ai to Joshua and his 30,000 fighting men. But deliverance didn’t come without a fight. These were fighting men–the tool God used in bringing Ai to Joshua were fighters. The Lord’s deliverance didn’t come while they were kicking back watching the NBA playoffs. It didn’t come overnight while they slept. In order for Joshua to take Ai, he had to make a choice of the fighting men, they had to go to Ai, and then they had to actually fight.
Are you expecting God to deliver? Are you expecting to fight for that deliverance? Are you willing to do the work necessary to receive the deliverance God promised? Yes, there re times when deliverance comes became we simply believe. But an honest look at our lives and the lives whose accounts are in the Bible will show that deliverance most often comes with a fight.
Yes, the walls of Jericho came down without much more than a stroll around the block. But you know what came after the tumbling walls? A fight. Though the walls of Jericho came down miraculously, the fight still had to be fought. The victory promised by God still had to be won.
Are we walking through life believing that God should just give us what we want without needing to work for it?
In my other career, I have led departments and turned units around financially organizationally. I have managed staff who point out discrepancies and operational challenges who then go to work to make the changes. And I have managed staff who simply point out the discrepancies and operational challenges. Guess whose challenges get addressed more frequently? It is not only because they are individually working to move a solution forward, though that is a big part of it. It is because if they are not interested in it enough to actually spend time making a difference, than why should I shift my priorities to assist?
Are you invested in the deliverance you seek from God? Are you working for it, pushing for it, and staking steps to make it happen? I find that when we are both invested and faithful, trusting God to move, mighty things happen. Not because of our work, but because we believed God and worked for it. After all, if you’re not willing to participate in receiving something from God, why would He trust that you would work to take care of it once He gave it? Why give it to someone who won’t value and care for it?
Are you a “fighting” man like Joshua’s army? Are you willing to battle for that which you ask God to provide?