Topic: Pick your fights carefully
Text: Joshua 10: 1-21
Key verse: “Come and help me destroy Gibeon,” he urged them, “for they have made peace with Joshua and the people of Israel.”
We have had a great time reviewing the armor of God in spiritual warfare, promises that assure us of victory and different warfare tips that will guarantee victory. Today, we shall focus on picking our fights well.
In boxing championship as well as other sports, there are divisions in the fight; light weight, middle weight and heavy weight bouts. Each division has its own belt. You don’t just wake up with anger in your belly and start to challenge an undisputed champion.
At the time the story in our text occurred, Israel by all standards were champions having overcome Jericho and Ai and also having a lot of extraordinary stories of divine interventions in crossing the Red Sea and the river Jordan. The people of Gibeon wisely refused to fight them but make them allies.
The king of Jerusalem instead of taking cue from Gibeon decided to pick a fight against them and mobilize other kings to join him to fight Gibeon.
He did not realize that by fighting Gibeon he had indirectly picked a fight with Israel. Do you know that when you have made the Lord your habitation and the most high your strong tower, any one, man or spirit who picks a fight against you is fighting God? They just signed their suicide letter, by rising to challenge the Man of war, the Consuming Fire whom you have run to for refuge.
As man you may look ordinary and outnumbered just like Gibeon, but a man or woman who knows how to dial JESUS on the mainline, is more than enough for any battle. Yes, you are well able to defeat the gang up because of whose side you are on.
Joshua would have had to fight five battles but they made the job easier by binding themselves together and come after him at once. Yes, the gang up was intimidating just the sheer number of animals involved in the Battle was scarring not to talk of the weapons they had put together. Indeed, all of Israel’s 22,000 soldiers could never have made it out alive, but the enemies failed to see the invisible company of angels clothed in fire, waiting for the order from their Captain whom Joshua had already seen at Gilgal.
When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” Joshua 5:13
Be careful who invites you to engage in spiritual warfare and who you are fighting directly or indirectly. Sometimes believers engage in the wrong battle or employ the wrong approach.
Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away Luke 14:31-32
Gibeon decided to subtly make peace with Israel while the King of Jerusalem jumped into a fight against Israel without cause. The rest they say is history, the other kings found themselves in a cave when they could have been in their fancy palaces.
Be careful that you don’t join your friends to fight a woman of God, maybe she’s your boss at work, your mother in law or your landlady. Everything is not what it seems, don’t judge matters on face value, weigh things in the spirit. Ask yourself questions before you engage in group fight, you might be fighting against God unknowingly by speaking against that brother whom Jesus died for.
When Saul rose up to fight the believers ,he did not know he was kicking against the pricks. When Herod rose up to kill James, he thought he killed a man and didn’t know he used his fingers to mess with the apple of God’s eye.
God will always defend his own, even though in mercy he is not quick to judge or punish the wicked, he still counsels man, ” Touch not my anointed and do my prophets no harm”.
This morning, the message is simple, don’t pick a fight without asking God David taught us that lesson in Ziklag. Secondly, ask yourself if l join this fight, will l be fighting against God? You hear of believers going to throw out another woman from her matrimonial home, because she is yet to have a baby, or joining to practice a culture that strips a widow and her children of their possession , who do you think you are dealing with? Be careful! If you are involved in this kind of evil repent before God’s wrath arrives, it’s a shot that won’t miss, so run to God for mercy, don’t be a partaker in other men’s sin.
Praise God! I leave you with this promise, memorize it, sing about it, write it out and paste it where you can see it daily, it is God’s promise for you who is going through a terrible and massive gang up attack.
But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4
Glory to God we are not alone, God always fights for us, and we win!