How Unsearchable Are His Ways
“And the Lord said to Joshua: ‘See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.'” Joshua 6:2 The Lord directed Joshua to take his men and conquer the city of Jericho. But he laid out specifically how it was to be done. This would not be a battle of man against man, no, the Lord had an entirely different and unusual plan of action. vs 3-4: “You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days, and seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.” Joshua was “a mighty man of valor,” well-trained for war. Can you imagine what he thought when the Lord told him they would take the city by marching around it once every day blowing trumpets, then seven times on the seventh day? This was what this military leader had to tell his army! We know the rest of the story, but Joshua didn’t. He was in the position of having to decide whether to do what seemed outrageous – rather than storm the city as the warrior that he was! This was a mighty test of his obedience that needed to take place before he could be established as the head of the military in Israel. He HAD to know his God, and he HAD to be willing to do whatever the Lord would tell him to do even if it made no “common sense" to him. Throughout the Bible there are stories in which the Lord brought victory in any of a number of problems – by telling the person to do something outrageous before the solution could come. In John chapter 9, Jesus came across a man who had been blind from birth. He could have, as was his pattern, simply touched his eyes and the man would have been healed. But instead, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva and he touched the man’s eyes with it. Then he told him: vs 7: “’Go, wash in the pool of Siloam,’ which is translated, Sent. So he went and washed, and came back seeing.” Why did Jesus do it this way? And the answer is, because he is Lord and his ways are past finding out. In other words, don’t even try to figure it out, there is no “common sense" to it. The bottom line is that what the Lord does, or tells a believer to do, works. If the man had gone and washed in the Jordan river instead, which was nearby, it wouldn’t have worked, the Lord told him to wash in the pool of Siloam. When he did his eyes were healed. “How unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become his counselor?” Romans 9:33-34 In some of the stories of our lives, we’ll be up against an enemy that we don’t see. And because we don’t see the enemy, we often don’t realize who is the enemy causing the problem, rather than the person the enemy has set against us. So we blame the person being set up, rather than the enemy himself. In order to gain the victory, we have to follow whatever the Lord says to do, otherwise our efforts will fail. “Fo rwe do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 When someone says or does something against us we immediately blame the person we see, because we aren’t aware of the one provoking that person to come against us. What good does it do therefore, to fight back against the person who has no idea he’s being set up to hurt us? No, we need to focus on the real instigator. But how to do that? And the answer is we do that by very closely obeying the direction the Lord will give in any one situation. He may give you direction from his Word, or he may tell you simply to stand silently and not let it disturb you, OR – he may tell you to walk around a city seven times blowing a trumpet. And how will you know that unless you know his voice? And how will you know his voice unless his Word abides in you? I have noticed in my walk with the Lord that many times before he leads me to a solution, he will tell me something I must do first. It’s not always something odd that I must do, but whatever it is, I must do it first. I look back at the stories in my life and have SO often marveled at HOW the solutions came. When God brings you to a solution, take a look at the story that had to go before it in order to make it work. Many times you will marvel at what the Lord had to set up in order to make the story work. You had to be at the right place at the right time, but in order to get you there the Lord had to set up the circumstances, and those circumstances will oftentimes make up an awesome story. This is what walking by faith is all about. The Lord is very present in everything that makes up the life of a believer. We need to pay very close attention to whatever he will direct us to do. We need to know his voice. And follow it.