When they returned to Joshua, they said, “Not all the army will have to go up against Ai. Send two or three thousand men to take it and do not weary the whole army, for only a few people live there.” So about three thousand went up;
but they were routed by the men of Ai…
At this the hearts of the people melted in fear and became like water.
There are two factors at work in this story. First, the warriors got cocky; secondly, nobody was aware of the secret sin in their camp. These are two things we need to watch for in our homes and churches. For today, let’s look at a common problem for winners—overconfidence.
When the Israelites first reached the Promised Land they were afraid to enter it, even though God had promised it to them and brought them all the way from Egypt to claim it. He had performed signs and wonders all the way. Yet they still lacked faith to believe they, with His power, could conquer the “giants” living in Canaan. Their lack of faith got them a forty year time out in the desert until that whole faithless generation died.
Now there’s a new generation of Israelites.
They started well; Jericho was a huge success. But, one win into the season and they got overconfident.
“Yeah, Josh, you should see how little this city is. We don’t need all our men for this one.”
“We can win with one hand tied behind our backs.”
“In fact, let’s just send our mamas to do the job; we can stay home and take a break.”
“It’s in the bag, man.”
Their confidence wasn’t in God’s power to deliver them, but in their own abilities.
Have you ever enjoyed a little success—at work, in ministry, at home—and started strutting around challenging the enemy to ‘hit you with his best shot’? Your marriage is strong, your kids are obedient, the mortgage is paid, your job secure. Then suddenly, what you thought would be an easy win turns into a catastrophe. The enemy annihilates you and you are completely demoralized.
It’s easy to start believing our successes are our own. We need to make sure we’re careful to give God the credit for any and every victory. We desperately need His help in order to claim this land for Him. And we need every soldier involved.
Prayer walking is not something every believer practices, so it’s easy to start feeling like a super saint when God answers our prayers. We get proud of our own holiness, and believe we have won the battle, when in fact we just opened the door for the real army to come on the field.
Last Sunday our pastor gave a sermon on Pride and the Word went deep. “Ouch!” Thank you, God; thank you Pastor Jeff (just don’t get a big head, okay?). We don’t need to fear Satan and his demon army, but we can’t boast and swagger or we’re in for a fall.
When Jesus’ disciples came back from their first mission excited about their power over evil spirits, He was quick to remind them, “Do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
That’s where our focus needs to be—not it talking smack, but in gratitude for what our Savior has done for us, is doing now, and will do in the future. Only then can we get the victory.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
#pride #itshardtobehumble #Igotthis #prayerwalking #spiritualwarfare #claimingterritory #Joshua7 #Rom12:21 #halloween #AllSaintsDay