Tuesday, April 12, 2011



Joshua 8:1b-Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai

God told Joshua to take the whole army.  To take something, you have to reach out to grab it.  To take involved wrapping your hand around it and to wrap your hand around something you have to reach out.  You have to actually grab it and accept it in your hand before you can carry it with you.   God was telling Joshua to reach out to the entire army, not just part. 

In the previous chapter, he had grown overly confident and had not even sought the Lord.  He had seen how easily Jericho had fallen and only sent a partial army into Ai.  You know, with God's help a partial army could win.  The point wasn't that the army was partial or full, but rather that Joshua had moved without seeking and he had not included the whole army which was God's will at the time.  Had he sought the Lord first, I'm sure God would have told him there was something to deal with first.  In each of our undertakings in life, we need to seek God first for his will and second for his leadership.  In this case it was strategy.  We have strategy in our undertakings in the same way an army has strategy for a mission.  If we will seek the Lord, he'll give us a strategy.  

Here he says to take the whole army.  God wanted the whole army involved in this victory!  Maybe he didn't want one warrior to feel as if he didn't play a part!  God's army today is made up of an entire body of believers and not one is without significance!

Romans 12: 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into[c] one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many. 
15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body? 16And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,” is it therefore not of the body?17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would bethe smelling? 18 But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. 19And if they were all one member, where would the body be?
20 But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

I believe one of the biggest problems in the body of Christ today is division.  We divide ourselves according to our likenesses and that's probably to some degree normal.  However, rather than recognize the strengths in others, we often hear Christians criticizing one another. Denominations divide and cut off communication with anyone except their own.  It creates a schism in the body where there is no longer flow between strengths but a severing according to beliefs.  These two passages teach that every member has something to offer and one member shouldn't say to another, "I have no need of you."

This principle can be applied to relationships and businesses as well.  When strengths are recognized and appreciated, a unit is actually stronger.  Instead of focusing on differences, we need to ask, "What strength does that person have?"  Another question would be, "What strength can I bring out of that person."  The most successful companies are those that recognize the strengths of individuals and utilize them to the fullest. 

I believe as the body of Christ stops dividing and starts uniting as a whole army we will see more people come to Jesus.  When the world looks on and sees divisions and disharmony, what do they see that is worth following.  The bible says the world knows us because we love one another.

John 17:20-23  20 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will[e] believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 

In fact, according to this passage, it is our unity and our love for one another that causes the world to believe in Jesus.  It's God's presence inside of us that is the draw and yet the church continues to argue over who's right!  Let's make it a point to join together with other believers with one heart and mind and that is to make him known among the people!  Keep in mind that if every person in every city found a church there wouldn't be enough seats to hold all the people.  Maybe rather than divide over differences, we need to join together and make his name known among the people!   Let's take the whole army and go up for he has given us victory!  Amen!

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