Offense is the Best Defense
So Joshua and all the people of war with him
came against them suddenly by the waters of Merom,
and they attacked them. And the LORD delivered them into the hand of Israel
. . . they attacked them until they left none of them remaining. (Josh 11:7, 8)
This verse is indicative of how
Joshua and the Israelites were active fighters, rather than passive watchers.
They made haste to go to the enemy rather than wait for the enemy to come to
them. The Israelites camped at Gilgal but never
fought a battle there. For Joshua always took initiative and went to the enemies
to drive them out of their lands.
We have a tendency to settle in
complacency, to be satisfied with our current level of spirituality. We don’t
like fighting or struggle. We’d rather come to a stage where everything seems
nice and stay there. This tendency is exhibited by the tribes of Reuben, Gad,
and half tribe of Manasseh in Numbers 32—they had received their inheritance on
the east side of the Jordan and requested that they not cross over the Jordan
with their brethren. It is always good to feel a sense of equilibrium and ease.
This kind of mentality, however,
is very passive and not mission-oriented. It’s not enough to just know that God
can give us victory—we need to take action and conquer our sins and evil habits
by obeying God. We don’t just passively wait for temptation to come and then
put up a defensive wall, leaving everything to our own self control. We should actively
seek out our sinful habits and uproot them, knowing that if we fight, God will deliver them into our hands. Is there some
bad habit we know entangles us? Don’t just sit there and hope we can control it
next time—do something about it!
And if we take measures and still
fail? Re-examine, repent and re-inquire of God, like Joshua and the Israelites
did when they failed in their first attempt to defeat the city of Ai (Josh 7). Then, take
action again and start another round of battle!
Questions for Reflection:
What weaknesses do you have that
you should take a proactive approach to fight against?
What concrete steps can you take
to overcome those weaknesses?