What do you do when you find yourself walking on untrodden ground, in a place you’ve never been before? Joshua in the Old Testament found himself in that situation. Joshua 1:1-3 MSG says, “After the death of Moses the servant of God, God spoke to Joshua, Moses’ assistant: “Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people. Cross to the country I’m giving to the People of Israel. I’m giving you every square inch of the land you set your foot on—just as I promised Moses.”
In the above translation, God told Joshua to get going. Don’t hang around on this side of the Jordan. It didn’t matter to God there were enemies in the land because He was with them. Their job was to walk and take the land.
Recently, God gave me a task I find daunting. How can I do it? It seems too big. I’m not smart enough. I don’t have all the information I need. Others will criticize. Then I was reminded of Joshua chapter one where God told the children of Israel He was giving them “every square inch of the land you set your foot on.” In order to possess the land, though, they had to move their feet. In order for me to do the task, I have to take that first step and walk.
In Joshua 6: 1-27, the Israelites had to do more walking. Joshua 6:2-5 NIV says, “Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.’”
I’m sure the Israelites felt foolish, walking around the walls of the city once each day for six days and then seven times on day seven, not saying anything until Joshua told them to shout the battle cry. But they did it. “So the people shouted, and they blew the trumpets. When the people heard the trumpet sound, they shouted a loud battle cry, and the wall fell down…” Joshua 6:20. Obedience brought victory.
When the Israelites went in to take the Promised Land, they had to walk in by faith. Faith in what? Faith in the Word of God. Joshua 1:3 MEV says, “I have given you every place that the sole of your foot shall tread…” “I have given…” It was a done deal. All they had to do was obey and walk.
The same is true for us. The Word of God is the foundation for each step we take. “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 BSB. And when we obey His Word and trust in His promises, He guarantees our success. “This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night…For then you will make your way successful…Be strong and courageous…for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:8-9 MEV.
What could be better than that? I speak to myself and I speak to you, the reader. Pick up your feet and walk. Go in and possess the land.
In Judges chapter six in the Old Testament, the Israelites had done evil in the sight of the Lord by worshipping other gods. The Lord gave them into the hands of the Midianites, Amalekites, and the people from the east. Whenever the Israelites would plant crops, the Midianites would ruin them and take the livestock. The account says the Midianites and Amalekites covered the land like a swarm of locusts, too numerous to count. The Israelites hid from their oppressors in caves, mountains and strongholds. Not a great situation.
The Israelites cried out to the Lord and He sent them a very unlikely deliverer. We find him threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “The Lord is with you, O mighty man of valour.” (Judges 6:12 MEV). Mighty man of valour? It sure didn’t look like it. In verse fourteen, the Lord said to Gideon, “’Go in this strength of yours. Save Israel from the control of Midian. Have I not sent you?’”
Gideon made excuses and said his clan was the weakest and he the youngest in his family – how could he save anyone? God answered him in verse sixteen, “‘…But I will be with you, and you will strike the Midianites as one man.’” (Italics mine).
You probably know the rest of the story. Gideon defeated the horde of Midianites with only three hundred men, so the Israelites wouldn’t be able to boast and say they did it in their own strength.
The part that interests me the most is the angel of the Lord calling Gideon a mighty man of valour when he was hiding in a winepress. The NLT translates ‘mighty man of valour’ as ‘mighty hero’. In essence, the angel was saying, “don’t let this situation scare you, Gideon. You’re stronger than you think.” And why was he stronger? Because he had God on His side. It wasn’t about Gideon’s strength. It was about God’s strength in Gideon.
The same is true for you and me. No matter what our situation, whether it's a bad report from a doctor, a financial problem, or rocky relationships, God is making a way where there is no way. The Scripture says if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31). Proverbs 28:1 MEV says that “…the righteous are as bold as a lion.” We are the head and not the tail, above and not below (Deuteronomy 28:13), more than a conqueror, (Romans 8:37), surrounded with God’s favour, (Psalm 52:12) and able to do all things through Christ Who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13).
In short, God’s Word tells us we are victors, not victims. “Now thanks be to God who ALWAYS causes us to triumph in Christ and through us reveals the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14 MEV. We are the overcomers, not the overcome. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Revelation 12:11. With the power of God, we can scale a wall. (Psalm 18:29). With God on our side, we are stronger than we think!