I am blessed to have a husband who periodically and for no apparent reason- brings me flowers. From a man that has a history of practical gifts including crock pots and can openers, I am thrilled when he seizes the impractical with a fragile, bouquet of flowers. Once I have kissed my sweet husband, I know I have to get the flowers into water or they’ll wilt. After all, if I am going to fully enjoy the flowers I need to stop and care for them. After all, first things first.
Joshua was a man who learned an important lesson about first things first. Joshua’s the guy who led the Israelite and their army into the promise land. After 110’s of years of waiting to live in the land God promised them, the Israelite were good and ready to GO! They had wandered around the desert for 40 years, lived on a diet of manna from heaven and even saw God stop the Jordan river so the whole Nation of Israel could cross. Even though they knew there were many battles before them, they were pumped up and ready to go for it!
But then Joshua meets the Host of the Armies of Heaven known to you and me as Jesus. Really. Jesus appears to Joshua, the leader of the God’s people to give him just what he needs. I can think if LOTS of ways Jesus could help Joshua. If it was me, I would have said “Hey Jesus, do you think you could show me a fool proof battle plan or how about super strength or invincibility for me and my men? Or how about a dose of impenetrable courage or a bottomless pool of peace?” But that’s not what Joshua did. Joshua simply fell face down to the ground with reverence and asked “What message does the lord have for His servant?”
Jesus gave Joshua not necessarily what he wanted but certainly what he needed. Jesus said in Joshua 5:15 “Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is Holy.” This was Jesus’ way of telling Joshua it’s time to worship. Before facing the battles ahead, Joshua needed to get himself straight with the one who is really in charge- Jesus.
Before the walls fell in Jericho, before numerous armies were defeated, before the promise land was given to God’s people, Joshua worshiped the Lord. He took care of first things first. From this place of worship, Joshua humbled himself before the Lord’s holiness, he discovered confidence in the Lord’s peace and he grasped the victories found in the Lord’s strength- not his. All Joshua needed he found through worship. Why? Because all he needed-humility, confidence and strength- was already there in the presence of the Lord.
Are you like me- charging off to face the next obstacle relying on yourself instead of Jesus? Let’s put first things first. Let’s stop and worship. Let’s remember all Jesus is and just as important- who we are in Christ. Amen to that.