God has a perfect plan for us all. We know this, as the famous verse goes in Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Looking back to the Israelites, God’s plan was to provide Israel the Promised Land. However, when they got there, they discovered that the land was already occupied, so it wasn’t simply a case of settling down there. The Israelites had to fight for God’s promise. Jericho is a great example of this. God speaks to Joshua when he arrived near Jericho in Joshua 6:2 (Good News):
The Lord said to Joshua, “I am putting into your hands Jericho, with its king and all its brave soldiers.
Even though the Lord had given Jericho to Joshua, he also provided Joshua the plan that involved walking around the city for a week, in order to take it! Joshua obeys God, then God does the rest. The walls of Jericho crumble, and paves the way for the Israelites capture it. Again, in Joshua 8:1 (Good News):
The Lord said to Joshua, “Take all the soldiers with you and go on up to Ai. Don’t be afraid or discouraged. I will give you victory over the king of Ai; his people, city, and land will be yours.
The same again against the Amorites in Joshua 10:8 and against King Jabin in 11:6, God tells Joshua that he’s given the territory, but Joshua needs to step out in faith to fight for it and capture it. In fact, the same theme goes all the way through the Bible – Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Gideon, Samson, to name a few.
We can learn a lot from this mentality. It’s sometimes an easy trap to expect God to hand things over to us on a silver platter, and be disappointed when we don’t get what we want straight away. Just like Joshua, if God has given us something, fight for it and take it, making sure we obey him along the way. God will always do the rest. If God has given any of us such a calling, he will always provide what we need. Let’s finish with what God says in Joshua 1:9, at the beginning of Joshua’s new calling as a leader:
Remember that I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.”