Spiritual Director · April 22, 2017

Devote #18

So I’ve been talking about living as Resurrection people this whole week, considering we just celebrated Easter last Sunday (seems like a long time ago already, doesn’t it?) It’s so easy to forget. It’s so easy to get sucked back into life’s routine and in doing so forget that we are victorious people because of the death and Resurrection of Jesus.

What generally happens is, we’re overwhelmed by life’s situations. We’re inundated with so much information our brain goes on overload. We’re crushed by the weight of our frustrations and overpowered by our lack of Resurrection living.

But today I’m going to tell you to “POINT YOUR SWORD.” That’s right, “POINT YOUR SWORD.” Let me tell you why I say that.

In Joshua 7, God had told Joshua to capture Jericho, kill all the inhabitants, with the exception of Rahab and her family, AND not keep any plunder—and if anyone does, the whole nation will be punished.

Well, one man did. His name was Achan. Achan kept some loot and hid it in his tent.

The next city to conquer was a little drop in the bucket called, Ai. Joshua only sent 3000 men because it shouldn’t have been a problem. But because of Achan’s deceit, which God knew, Israel lost the battle and 36 men died. Through a long process Achan is found out and he and his family are stoned to death.

Now, because of the last defeat and the soldiers uncertainty, God gave to Joshua a strategic plan to capture Ai. This time he went with 30,000 of his best soldiers. During the night, about 5000 of them were to hide on the west side of the town. Joshua and his men would show themselves the next day and draw the military of Ai out to chase them.

When the Ai soldiers were far enough away from town, Joshua would give the signal and those who were hiding would go into the unprotected city of Ai and destroy it. What was the signal. God told Joshua…

“Point your sword at the town of Ai, because now I am going to help you defeat it.” —Joshua 8:18

Then the Word says…

“Joshua kept his sword pointed at the town of Ai until every last one of Ai’s twelve thousand people was dead.” —Joshua 8:25-26

What should be take from this? The enemy is always there. He needs to be defeated. Jesus Christ has given us the victory.

Our enemy is already defeated and knows it. Oh, he knows he’s won and battle or two against us before. But not this time. This time we’re going to raise our sword, no matter how tired, or how frustrated, or how beaten. We know we’re in for a fight, but we should also know that we can’t lose.

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

I don’t know what your Ai is and I don’t know how many times you’ve been beaten. But today, POINT YOUR SWORD, in Jesus name. And then when the enemy gets in your face and tells you to quit, you get your faith on and get in his face, and tell him, “I didn’t come here to lose today!”

Thank You for being our Leader! In Jesus name, Amen.


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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.