Sometimes, after a spiritual victory, I claim the triumph–giving no acknowledgment or glory to God.
In fact, I may be tempted to bask in the brilliance of my success and forget the Lord entirely. I may do this when someone tells me they’ve been touched by something I have written. What follows may be a twinge of smug accomplishment. Wrong!
With their visors, weapons, and chariots catching and reflecting the sun's glaring rays, the enemy force stretched out before Joshua and the Israelite army. Yet even with an imminent battle, Joshua was not afraid since God had assured him of victory. However, the Lord had also given some post-battle instructions. Joshua was to disable the captured horses and burn the enemy's chariots. But why? Why couldn't he just use the defeated enemy's equipment in future battles?
At first glance, the Lord's order sounds illogical, yet as I learned from a commentary, God had His reasons. The instruction was to prevent Joshua’s attributing to himself any victories won with the reclaimed apparatus while giving God no credit.
God's policies have not changed, and relying on my efforts—my chariots—only hampers me from seeing how God alone is responsible for my attainments. When I realize my mistake, I get to experience His loving care and provision in ways I never could from my own experiences or efforts.
In my life as in Joshua's, the chariots have got to go. Are you letting them go in your life?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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Anne Adams is a retired church staffer living in Athens, Texas, where she writes a historical column for the local newspaper. Her book Brittany, Child of Joy, tells about her mentally disabled daughter and was published in 1986 by Broadman. She has taught junior college history and has published in Christian and secular publications for forty years.