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Don't Go It Alone

Daily Reading: Joshua 8

Scripture Focus: So Joshua and all the fighting men arose to go up to Ai. (Joshua 8.3a)

Devotional Thought: Having suffered an unexpected and thorough defeat in battle at Ai, Joshua and his army were devastated. Had God left them? What had gone wrong? Could they ever 'win' again? Yes, they could, and so can we.

At the first battle of Ai, they took victory for granted. Underestimating their enemy, they took just a few thousand soldiers: "Do not make the whole people toil up there" (Joshua 7.3). Never underestimate the challenge, the temptation, or your enemy! The next time they went up, Joshua took 30,000 of his best fighting men. They gave their best. They prevailed in battle.

After the defeat at Ai, Joshua and the leaders searched their hearts, sought the Lord, and cleansed the sin out of their camp. The reason for the defeat at Ai was that Achan, a soldier in the victory at Jericho, harbored devoted things. The Israelites had to deal with that issue before they were fit for battle. When they did, God gave them victory.

Then, Joshua made a plan. Taking nothing for granted, their strategy even included listening to the Lord in the midst of the battle! Too often, I hear things like, "Whatever will be will be." No, whatever we work at with all our heart and soul, whatever we plan for, dream for, and pray for - those things will end in victory! Good plans include God!

Finally, we see that the army worked together. Two divisions cooperated in conquest. Too often, we neglect the partnerships that God provides us, and we suffer for it. If we want to defeat sin or accomplish a worthy goal in the Kingdom, we need to lean on our brothers and sisters. Don't go it alone!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving me the tools that I need to defeat sin and overcome all obstacles. I ask for your help and strength, O Lord, to live this day in victory! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 31.8-13

8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

9 Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted from grief; my soul and my body also. 10 For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.

11 Because of all my adversaries I have become a reproach, especially to my neighbors, and an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. 12 I have been forgotten like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. 13 For I hear the whispering of many— terror on every side!— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life.

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