Just before leading Israel to a stunning victory over the fortified city of Jericho, Joshua had an encounter with a strange visitor in Joshua 5:13-15. The visit was part of a “war oracle” through which God tells Joshua the outcome of the battle before the battle is waged. But for Joshua, the visit was a last minute gut-check.
Who was Joshua fighting for?
What was Joshua fighting for?
Would Joshua go in the strength of the Lord or rely on his own strength?
Did Joshua sincerely want to expand God’s Kingdom or was he interested in building his own kingdom?
Did Joshua seek to make the name of Israel’s God known or did he want to make a name for himself?
These were the kind of questions that were being settled during Joshua’s conversation with “the commander of the army of the Lord.”
And since Joshua was deciding once and for all who he was for, it was a holy moment. So the visitor told Joshua to take off his sandals “for the place where you are standing is holy.”
As Joshua casts off his shoes, I can’t help but imagine that moment and think to myself, “What do I need to cast off in order to go all in with the Lord?”
What about you?
Maybe we need to cast off pride since our egos keep getting in the way of what God wants to do through us.
Maybe we need to cast off vanity so that we can focus more on what’s going on inside of us.
Maybe we need to cast off gossip and quit talking about others so we can talk to others about Jesus.
Maybe we need to cast off the emotional crutches of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, co-dependency, “comfort food,” et. al. and start leaning on God’s presence to get through our troubles.
Maybe we need to cast off the sexual sin that keeps us from experiencing purity of heart.
Maybe we need to cast off anger so that we can grab hold of the peace God offers.
Maybe we need to cast off __________________________________.
What would you fill in the blank with?
When we decide to cast off the thing(s) that are coming between us and God and decide once and for all who and what we are living for, we put ourselves in perfect position to be used by God.
And, like Joshua, we are then able to win the battles we face in life through God’s strength because we’ve already won the battle of our own heart.