This post is a devotional based on the message I spoke on Sunday March 6th out of Joshua 8 at The Village Chapel. You can listen to the podcast here. If you have any questions or would like prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joshua 8:1 And the LORD said to Joshua, “Do not fear and do not be dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, and his people, his city, and his land.
Israel had just lost a battle to Ai because sin was discovered in their camp. Joshua dealt with that sin but now came the task of battling Ai again. They had to recover lost ground and time. This isn’t simple by any stretch. Not only does Israel have to face a foe they already have lost to, but they also have walk the path where 36 of their brothers had died earlier. Recovering from defeat is difficult but God’s word gives us some clues how to do it.
If you are going to pick up the pieces from a tough defeat or difficult time in your life I suggest you do three things:
- Hit It Head On: In the first battle of Ai Israel only sent 3000 men to battle. This time they sent the whole army. There was no partial commitment, no overconfidence they went all in. If we are going to recover lost ground in our lives we need the same attitude. We can’t do it partially we must do it fully. You can’t keep one foot in the past while trying to put one foot in the future, you will only fall on your butt again. Commit fully and allow God to do the rest. There will be some obstacles though. Fear of failing again will be the toughest. In fact this is the number one reason why most people never get up from failure. They don’t want to have to go through the pain again. Face your fears in God’s strength and move forward.
- Let God Use Your Past Failures: As move forward from past failures we must be willing to walk over ground that is painful. Israel had to march over land where they had retreated against Ai and even worse where they watched some of their own die. This can cause some serious trepidation alone but God had them do the same exact battle plan as before with a little tweaking. Joshua was to march right up to Ai and then act like they were fleeing again but this time they had a group ready to attack from behind. God can use our past failure to future victory. He may have us retrace our steps exactly only to bring about a different outcome. Don’t be afraid to allow God to work through our past it may bring new life.
- Take the Path to True Freedom: Once they had victory at Ai Joshua immediately stopped what he was doing and did two things. First he worshiped the Lord and then he read from the law of Moses. This was the real sin in the first defeat at Ai. After victory at Jericho Joshua pushed on to Ai without seeking the face of God. It was there he missed any warnings from God about future trouble. For us to move forward and recover lost ground we must remember that we are to first Worship God and commit his word to our hearts. A life without worship and the Word of God is a breeding ground for failure. Commit to it today.