I have been reflecting on the short little story of Joshua as he was preparing to go up against Jericho, and he encounters a man standing with his sword drawn. Joshua goes to him and asks “Are you for us, or for our enemies?” And the man answers “No.”
What kind of an answer is that? For us or against us bud – only two options here!
The man answered “No, I am the Captain of the Army of the Lord!”
As I reflected on this, I wondered if this is how I see things, with there only being two options. My way, or the highway! And I was convicted in my heart. God’s ways are so much bigger than my ways! I may only be able to see two options, but God sees the whole picture, not just my present circumstances.
Joshua then bowed with his face to the ground and said “What does my Lord to say to his servant?” The captain of the Army of the Lord said ” Take the sandals off of your feet for the place where you are standing is Holy.” And Joshua did so.
I am thinking that Joshua was in the process of doing what God wanted him to do. Leading the Israelites, and he was preparing to fight against Jericho, following the orders from God.
He encounters this man, as he is looking over Jericho, perhaps going over his strategy. And once he asks who he was for, and received the answer “No” Joshua bows with his face to the ground.
I see this as God saying that He wants Joshua not only to carry out His orders, but to spend time with him in worship, face to the ground, humbled, vulnerable, and asking what God wants to say to His servant. Recognizing that he may be the leader of the multitude of Isrealites, but he is still the servant of the Lord!
The man goes on to tell Joshua to remove the sandals from his feet, because the ground is Holy. And Joshua did so.
What is the significance of this? Perhaps the sole of the sandal represents a separation between Joshua and the presence of God? What sort of things are separating me from the presence of God?
I see this as a reminder that I need to get rid of anything that separates me from from worshiping God, before I take the next step that I already know God wants me to take. To humble myself, spend time on my knees face to the ground in recognition of my role as servant to the Most High God!
How often do I charge ahead with the plans, that I feel God has lead me to, thinking all along that I am following His command, but yet, his command is also to worship, and remove the things that separate me from Him.
Thank you Lord for this story that reminds me that I need to daily, worship You in humble recognition of my place and listen to what You have to say to me today, as I am carrying out Your will, to go into all the world and make disciples, teaching them to obey everything You have commanded, which includes them making disciples. Please help me to recognize those things that have separated me from your presence and remove them.