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An important criterion for any lasting relationship is trust –trust in the word and character of a significant other. Without trust, doubt and suspicion can creep into relationships and manifests in questioning a partners motives or displaying apprehensiveness in responding to requests. The thing about trust is that it requires you to have faith in the motives, words, and character of a significant other. Trust demands that you respond favorably even when you don’t have all the information you would like. In our relationship with God, exercising trust means that sometimes we will be asked to lay aside conventional wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and even past works of God to realize that God is doing a new thing or moving in a different way in our lives.
One way God builds our trust in Him is by giving us an illogical instruction while in the midst of a trying situation like sickness, lack, or a battle. Obeying God’s instructions is essential to our discovery and fulfilling of purpose. Over the next four weeks, we will review instances where God gives an illogical instruction, discover areas of increased trust, and note how God uses circumstance and our obedience to an illogical instruction to bring us victory and fulfill his purpose and plan.
This week, we are looking at illogical instructions while facing a battle. Battles are not just the kind fought on an actual battlefield; it could be a situation on our job, a marriage, a situation in ministry, a custody battle, or a battle over property. A battle is any situation where we are required to stand and fight for territory God has given into our hands. Two battles that relate to our discussion are found in the experiences of Joshua and Gideon. We know that Joshua was head of the militia during Moses’ leadership and he was not afraid of a battle to possess the promises of God. Joshua was one in the minority who voted to go in and possess Canaan even though giants inhabited the land. It’s interesting that when it was time to take Jericho, God did not fight the battle in the way Joshua was used to or had experienced in the past, for example, with the Amalekites. This time, God was going to secure victory in a different way for the children of Israel.
God’s promise of Jericho and the detailed, illogical instruction for Joshua to march around the city seven times for six days and seven times on the seventh day was outside of the realm of common sense or the way to fight a battle. Imagine Joshua, a military powerhouse, having to use a military strategy that was outside of his norm, conventional military strategies, or even his comfort zone. In this battle, God ensured homage to Himself through the men marching and the seven priests blowing the rams horns before the ark. It was as if He was saying, “I am God. I created everything in six days, and on the seventh day, I rested. Nothing can stand against me, not even the fortified walls of Jericho.”
The Bible illustrates that Joshua did not question the illogical instruction of God. Despite the fact that the battle tactic was different from what Joshua may have been accustomed to and certainly different from the tactics used against the Amalekites, Joshua trusted and obeyed God in this matter. God allows us to face difficult battles then gives illogical instructions to build our trust, increase our faith, and to ensure He gets the glory out of our situation. This means that sometimes God won’t allow us to use our expertise, knowledge, or wisdom to solve problems. We are asked to forgo our solutions and trust His purpose and plan. Such also was the case with Gideon.
Gideon had a vast army of 32,000 men and they were set to overtake the Midianites and Amalekites. There was only one problem –their army was too large. Meanwhile, the opposing armies of the Amalekites and Midianites were so great that the Bible describes them as locust covering the valley. What military leader would ever think an army is too large when preparing for a battle of this magnitude? However, God was going to fight this battle on their behalf and He only wanted 300 men to prove His point. His illogical instruction to Gideon, another experienced military leader, was to eliminate soldiers for this battle. I love the fact that God knowing Gideon’s heart and his concern regarding this illogical instruction, tells Gideon that although the battle is already won from His perspective if Gideon was afraid and wanted proof, he should go down to the camp and listen to what is being said in the enemies camp. As God promised, Gideon overtook the Amalekites and Midianites. In the examples of Joshua and Gideon, we can grasp that God will fight our battles. Although we may not see how God’s promise can manifest when the odds and circumstances seem so against us, we know that when God gives us an illogical instruction, it means that He has already secured victory on our behalf and we are about to see Him manifest victory in our lives. We only need to submit to His plan. Until next time, the key to winning your battle is in obeying an illogical instruction.
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Highlights from Today’s Episode:
- When we face battles, God will always fight for us.
- God will give illogical instructions that, at times, require us to lay aside our experience and conventional wisdom
- God gives illogical instructions to build our trust and faith in Him and so He can get the glory out of our situation
- God understands our fears regarding illogical instructions
- Obeying God’s illogical instructions ensures that we will be victorious in every battle
- Joshua 6:1-27
- Judges 7:1-25
What illogical instruction has God given you?
Why have you not acted on the illogical instruction?