Joshua 10:40,42: "He totally destroyed all who breathed, just as the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded. All these kings and their lands Joshua conquered in one campaign, because the LORD, the God of Israel, fought for Israel."
As I reflected on these verses I was reminded of Romans 8:37. Paul tells us we are "more than conquerors."
If that is true, why do I feel defeated so often? When problems arise with my spouse, when I'm having trouble with a child's behavior, when I'm feeling overwhelmed by endless chores, I am not feeling like a great warrior, but a great failure.
Why? Because sometimes I'm in the wrong battle and sometimes I'm attempting to fight the battle alone. As much as I hate to admit it, it is not always God's will for things to be done my way. Conflicts can be caused by disobedience or unfulfilled expectations, but as often as not, our sinful pride is to blame. That's not God's battle. The dishwasher does not need to be loaded to my specifications, but God does expect that I respect my husband (even when he loads it differently than I would have) and that my husband love me (which is what he's doing when he's loading the dishwasher). Joshua knew taking the land was God's will, and so he could forge ahead.
Ridiculous amounts of time and energy are expended on battles that don't matter. The battles that do matter (Satan and the world fighting for our children) are overcome, not with overwhelming physical strength, but on our knees enlisting the help of someone bigger than us.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). Because of that, the apostle Paul tells us to equip ourselves, not with better philosophy, the latest gadgets or high priced gifts, but with righteousness (obedience like Joshua), truth (to remember God's promises), faith (so we put our hope in God), and the Spirit (the ultimate weapon who goes to God on our behalf).
When we wage war with less (with complaints and put-downs), we are nothing more than a silly child with a bucket on our head and a broom handle in hand, racing here and there swatting at the wind.
I don't know about you, but I want to battle for what matters. Lord, give me the courage and wisdom to do so.