Text: Joshua 6:1-14
For wisdom to understand how you are walking
For focus on the way of Jesus Christ
THIS STORY FROM JOSHUA is a great way to illustrate the intentional theme of Christian discipleship. Remember, Christian discipleship is relational, intentional, developmental:
+The disciple of Jesus is called to life with Jesus and into a particular community.
+The disciple of Jesus is called to practice certain habits.
+The disciple of Jesus lives in that particular community and practices those certain habits over time.
I invite you to consider what, at first glance, is an odd military strategy. Israel is, under God’s instruction, to march around the fortified city of Jericho with the Ark of the Covenant and blow the horns of war, but nothing else. Many might say that this strategy is silly, besides the point, even a waste of time.
Yet God commands Joshua to lead the people in this way so that they can experience, discover, learn that God is leading them, that God will care for them, that God will fulfill his promises regarding the Promised Land. To their credit, the Israelites follow God’s instructions. They are focused, they follow the plan! There is a process, there is a goal! And the walls came tumbling down.
True discipleship is always intentional about the path that is being trod and the goal, the destination that awaits. To grow—to be “equipped” in knowledge or skill is a process that takes time, and which must have an end in mind. Christian discipleship is a day by day process of getting up, learning how to recognize Jesus in the people that we encounter, doing those things that Jesus commends (or commands) to us to do, and trusting Jesus for the results; then going to bed to do the same thing tomorrow. The process demands both a certain sense of timeliness (Christian skill and/or knowledge have to be brought to bear) and timelessness (maturity is not something we can simply create for ourselves). To borrow St. Paul, we may plant and water, but God gives the growth.
Most of all, we cannot stop walking in the Lord’s way simply because it seems odd, or beside the point, or silly. There is a city to win!
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks