I wish I could have a guarantee that everything in my life would work out. That it would go exactly the way that I planned and that in everything I would be happy and safe and that I wouldn’t have to deal with heartache or pain or tragedy. There is no guarantee like that in life. Bummer.
How do I deal then when hardship comes my way and when things don’t always go as planned? I don’t know about you but in my own life it is easy to ask God, “What are you doing? Are you for me or against me?” David in the Psalms wrestled with this a lot! Psalm 13:1-2 says:
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
It is easy for us to do the same. In Joshua chapter 5, Joshua had an encounter with the angel of the Lord’s armies. For many reasons this is believed to be the preincarnate Christ. Joshua was about to go into a battle that was going to be difficult, and I am sure he was nervous. He had been promised by God himself that God would be with him, but I am sure it was still easy to think that might not be the case especially when he encountered this foreboding individual who had his sword drawn. Joshua asked him one question:
Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?”
Jesus’ answer is quite interesting:
“Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.”
Huh? That isn’t quite what Joshua was asking for. So what was He saying? I believe He was showing Joshua that even in this difficult moment that was about to come, God himself was above all of it. He is outside of time and all of our circumstances, and as we get caught wondering what is going on and why are things happening, God says to us – I am so much bigger than this. He is in control, and in our situations and circumstances we ask the wrong question of whether God is for us or against us. Instead we need to ask the second question Joshua asks:
Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” The commander of the Lord’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so.
What does God want from me in situations that I don’t fully understand? Worship! We were meant to worship and remember that no matter what is going on, God has got it and He is way above it. Instead He is asking us in return – are we for Him or against Him. That is the real question. We then must answer, and when we do we should take off our sandals because we are on holy ground. God’s got this!
I heard it once said that we often worry too much about God’s plan and forget about God’s position. He is above it all. He has this. We must then be for Him and worship! In your situation today, wherever you are and whatever you are going through, know that God is in control. We then must ask are we for Him or against Him. Commit today to be for Him and worship Him as you are on holy ground!