By Ashley Moore, Crosswalk.com
The Commander of the Army of the Lord
By Ashley Moore
“And he said, ‘No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come.’ And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant?’ And the commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Joshua did so.” - Joshua 5:14-15, ESV
I’ve had countless conversations with people who have relationships with those struggling with addiction, and I've learned they don't just talk about helping; they take action! While this is noble and in the right context needed from the body of Christ, there are times when God wants us to battle differently. Has God ever asked you to wait patiently for Him to act? Maybe you felt Him ask you to praise Him during a messy fight with your spouse. Or perhaps you sensed Him asking you only to be still while He fought for you. This can be a difficult task for someone who likes to take courageous action. But sometimes, the most courageous thing we can do is to call on the Commander of the Army of the Lord.
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was involved in various battles as they left the wilderness and battled the Canaanites to overtake the land that God promised would be theirs. But now, on the other side of Jesus’s resurrection, we are given a different way to battle our enemies. The Bible says we are in a spiritual battle against evil authorities and spiritual darkness (Ephesians 6:12). But as you and I both know, Satan is a counterfeit. Meaning everything God does perfectly and for our good, Satan tries to mimic for evil purposes.
This isn’t to scare you but to give you incredible hope. We are in a spiritual battle against spiritual dark forces, but we know we have the upper hand. Our God is superior! The Bible says God is the Lord of Hosts (Psalm 46:7). He has legions of angelic beings at His command (Matthew 26:53). And the even better news, even though he made humans lower than them (for the time being), He commands them to minister to our needs (Hebrews 1:14; 2:7).
The Commander of the Army of the Lord
Our key Scripture takes place right before the famous battle of Jericho. You know, the one where the people marched around the city walls seven times and then shouted and blew a trumpet, and the walls around the city fell down (Joshua 6). But before the battle, Joshua encountered an unknown man. Upon meeting the man, Joshua asked who he was, to which he responded, “I am the commander of the Army of the Lord.” ( Joshua 5:13-14)
The verdict is out on who this man was because Scripture doesn’t explicitly say, but from Joshua’s response and the man’s next sentence, one may infer this man was Jesus. Joshua 5:14-15 says Joshua fell face down in reverence, and the man instructed him to take off his shoes because he was on holy ground. In other interactions between people and heavenly beings, when humans bowed down, the creatures immediately instructed them to get up and worship God, but this man didn’t say that. Jesus is the commander of the Lord’s entire heavenly army! We have to remember who God is and how He fights for His people, especially when He asks us not to take action. The battle may be beyond your strength; thankfully, we don’t have to fight it in the flesh. We can bend the ear of the Commander of the Army of the Lord, who will send legions of angels to battle on our behalf. This is a much better way to battle, even for someone who loves to get in on the action.
Intersecting Life and Faith:
What weighs heavy on your heart today? Pray that God would meet your needs, looking for all the ways He ministers to our souls.
- A Prayer for Suffering
- A Prayer for Our Loved Ones Struggling with Addiction
- A Prayer for When Change Seems Impossible
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Tinnakorn Jorruang
Ashley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge Magazine, Guideposts, Crosswalk, The Secret Place, enLIVEn, The Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn't writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.
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