Now the Lord said to Joshua: “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; take all the people of war with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.” Joshua 8:1 NKJV
Valleys and battles don’t appear on our to-do list, but they are an integral part of the Christian life. They also played an important role in the Israelites conquest for the promised land.
A valley separated Joshua and Ai, the enemy God promised Israel victory over. An earlier attempt had ended in defeat for Israel. We cannot leave our enemies unconquered. Ai stood as the point of victory, but a valley separated them.
God directed Joshua to place five thousand men west of Ai. Joshua, accompanied by another group, faced Ai from the north. Joshua went into the midst of the valley. During the night, Joshua approached the enemy in the darkest valley. As the armies of Ai came out to meet Joshua, they fled, luring the king of Ai and his men away from their city. When Joshua saw the group of five thousand Israelites advance upon Ai from the rear, he stopped. As Ai burned, Joshua’s group turned and faced the trapped army of Ai. Victory belonged to the Lord and the children of Israel.
Today, we find ourselves in the valley. Some are in the valley of cancer or another diagnosis. Others are in a valley of financial hardship. Some are trudging through a valley of anxiety or depression.
We have to cross the valley to get to our victory, just like Joshua and Israel. We don’t like that. We want to be air-lifted out of the whole situation, but God wants us to go through the valley to reach the victory.
We get scared. We turn to flee from fear. The enemy is too big. We want to retreat, but God has our back.
While we remain in that valley with our enemy bearing down on us, God comes in from behind. He ambushes the enemy.
And we get our second wind. We see victory on the horizon. We see God advancing all over the enemy, and we rush the enemy knowing God has the victory.
What valley are you in today? What battle do you face? Do you feel the battle plan is too difficult?
We don’t like it any better than Israel did, but it’s part of God’s plan. The valley is dark. The valley is terrifying. But God has our back. Friend, your victory is coming. Your enemy is about to be ambushed. Stay close to the Lord and trust Him completely, and He will give you the victory.
Lord, I know I am in Your will when I am in the valley. I totally trust You to bring the victory … In Jesus’ Name, Amen.