Recently, as my wife and I laid our toddler down to sleep we read from his Bible this really incredible story of faith. The people of Israel had escaped Egypt through God’s powerful hand, they crossed the Jordan River, and they prepared to conquer the land that God had promised them. Armed for battle, they approached a great walled city when God commanded them to march around the city and play instruments. And in faith, the people obeyed. You can read the full account in Joshua 6 but, spoiler alert, God was faithful to His people and through their obedience the walls of the city fell down through marching and music. For the people of Israel, this was a risky endeavor. You don’t come to a gun fight with a knife and you don’t bring instruments and rhythmic marches to siege a city. And yet, their faith in God was greater than what they saw before them.
A story like this reminds us something about risk. It reminds us that every good and grand endeavor is not without risk. The Wright brothers couldn’t master the principles of flight without taking risks. Read up on the space race of the 1960s and you’ll see the amount of risks that NASA took to put a man in space, in orbit, and on the moon. If you want to accomplish something great, there is going to be risk involved. But here’s the even better lesson of Joshua 6, the risks we face are nothing compared to what God can and does accomplish through faithful obedience. The peril, the hazards, the dangers that may beset you in achieving something cannot rise up against the work of God in and through His people. And this is a big deal. Why? Because our eyes, our fears, and our emotions deceive us.
Jericho’s walls fell down by the power of God at work through obedient people. The people weren’t the source of the victorious triumph, they were the instrument. God orchestrated the success and He equipped His people exactly what they needed to win. And this is significant for us today. For those who have accepted Christ, we daily have an opportunity to do something great; to faithfully proclaim the gospel. God has called us into the mission field and equipped us to daily live out the gospel in such a way that we might make disciples. This is a holy, noble, and wonderful calling that God invites us to join Him in. But often, we become paralyzed by the risk involved in sharing this good news. We see the risks before us, “what will my neighbors think about me?”, “what if they reject me or laugh at me?”, and any number of others, and we often hesitate. We go to speak up and then see the situation around us and shrink back. Our eyes, our fears, and our emotions deceive us.
This week, prioritize faithful obedience to Christ and His Word. Pray for opportunities to proclaim the gospel in Word and deed; pray for boldness and courage to open your mouth and share. Rely on the faithfulness of God to supply everything you need to live in joyful obedience to Him. If God can remove walls through a bunch of people marching to the beat, what else will He do when the Bride of Christ remains faithful to Him and His disciple making mission?