See A Victory
Posted by Erin Roberson, February 27, 2023
Can you think of a time when you tried to “fix” a situation, and it didn’t turn out well?
On the flip side, can you think of a time when you turned a situation over to God, stepped back, and allowed Him to handle the situation? Was the result different?
I remember when my husband and I attended a large Good Friday gathering in Atlanta. We had never attended this event before, and we didn’t know exactly what to expect. Traffic leading to the amphitheater where the event was being held, was very heavy. We had purchased a ticket in advance, and we were assigned a designated parking area. We entered the address of the parking lot into our GPS; however, the city had blocked off certain roads to control the traffic. Apparently our GPS did not know this important fact, because it kept sending us to roads that were not accessible. The longer we struggled to get to our parking lot, the more frustrated I became. We were going to be late to the event, and there was no chance we were going to snag good seats.
As I became increasingly agitated, my wise husband said, “Maybe there are people ahead of us who need to get in there and hear the truth more than we do.” What a great perspective! Rather than being upset about the situation, he chose to allow God to handle the situation and work it out. Guess what. We finally found our parking lot, and we hardly missed anything at all!
You know the story of the battle of Jericho. (Sing along with me, children!) Armed men marched around Jericho once a day for six days followed by seven priests each blowing a trumpet. The priests carrying the Ark of the Lord came next, and the rear guard completed the procession. The only noise permitted was the sound of the trumpets.
On the seventh day, the procession marched around the city seven times, the priests gave one long blast on the trumpets, and the marchers all shouted. It’s interesting to note that the horns used by the priests were the ones used to announce a celebration, not the ones used to declare war!
God caused the walls to fall down, so the soldiers could easily enter the city.
I try to imagine myself as an Israelite who is hearing about this plan. What would I be thinking? I think my immediate response would be, “This is the most ridiculous plan I’ve ever heard. This will never work! We’re going to be a laughing stock.”
What can we learn from the battle of Jericho?
God’s ways don’t always make sense to us.
We have to be committed to God’s plan, even when it doesn’t seem to be working.
When we let God be in control, He’s probably going to “win” in unexpected ways. (Who would have thought God would win a battle with marching, musical instruments, and shouting?)
God’s power far exceeds our limited imaginations.
God always knows what He will do. Our job is to wait for Him to tell us all that we need to know and then obey it.
God doesn’t work within our timelines. We have to practice patience while God is working. God is never in a hurry!
God doesn’t need us, but He lets us participate.
We are not strong, but God is. God uses people who appear to be “unworthy” by the world’s standards. God seems to enjoy using weakness and plans that appear foolish to bring glory to His name. When we think of ourselves as strong, we get overconfident and fail. Instead, we must remember to give God the glory in all things!
Rather than telling God what we want, we should remain open to any plan that God has for us. In our own lives, we may not capture cities as Joshua did, but we face enemies and high walls that challenge us. We must accept those challenges and trust God to guide us.
If God is guaranteed to win every battle, why do we insist on fighting our battles on our own? Why do we ask God to take control of situations in our lives, but we continuously take back control and try to handle it ourselves? Why do we try to tell God what WE want Him to do?
You may have heard it said, “God helps those who help themselves,” but this philosophy is not supported by scripture. I can think of several practical examples where we might want to see a victory, but we’re hesitant to completely turn the situation over to God, and allow Him to solve it in His way.
We see our children headed down the wrong path.
A family member or co-worker says negative things about us.
We’re struggling to make ends meet financially.
We’re fighting battles against temptations that just won’t go away.
We have uncertainty about a big decision.
We’re concerned about decisions being made by those in control at our work or in our communities.
What about those times when it doesn’t look like God is “winning?” For example, why does God heal some people, and not others? Why do good people suffer? How can we continue to trust God, and allow Him to control every situation–even when it appears that evil is winning?
Submit all desires and plans to God.
Remind ourselves of the promises given to us in scripture. (Check these out for starters: John 16:33, Col. 2:13-15, John 12:31, Matt. 4:1-11, Matt. 12:22-29, Eph. 1:19-23, Rom. 8:31, 2 Chron. 16:9)
Listen to the Holy Spirit.
Allow God to use us in any way He desires to accomplish His plan.
We have three choices about how we live our lives:
Make the best plans we can and hope they succeed.
Make our own plans and ask God to bless them.
Ask God for His plans, and then do what He tells us to do.
Joshua made the third choice, and He was witness to an amazing victory!
During your worship time this week, check out these songs. They will remind you to trust God for victory in every situation!
Erin Roberson is a wife and mother of two wonderful grown boys. She is a lifelong educator who loves learning and teaching others. She believes our primary focus should be on our relationship with God, learning who God is, who God says we are, and how God wants us to live.