I have been reading the book of Joshua lately, trying to understand more of what it means to “take back the land” that God has promised to us. The idea seems very compelling that the whole process of Joshua’s cleansing of the land has a close parallel to conquering and destroying the strongholds inside our own body. The writer of Hebrews draws this parallel when he says we are to enter into God’s rest just as the Israelites entered into their rest.
Something I found very reassuring was an event that took place just prior to the fall of Jericho. Joshua runs into a man with a drawn sword. Upon challenging the man, he discovers that he is none other than the commander of the army of God, who was there with his army before Joshua and his people had even arrived. He obviously was there to fight the battle that Joshua and his people would participate in, but in which they were clearly not the cause of victory.
When we attempt to destroy the strongholds in our own life, we need to remember that there is no need to beg God to show up and help us. He is there ahead of us with His sword in hand. As Paul put it, we are to “put to death the deeds of the flesh — by means of the Spirit!” Not by straining or white-knuckling it or begging God to do something. Rather, we need to see what God is doing and ask Him what our part is in the process and then participate with Him in whatever way He directs.
Few things are more rewarding than watching the walls fall down!