Faith to Conquer
In the second chapter of the book of Joshua we learned about the defeated foe. In the first chapter we discovered how God has called us to a life of overcoming, a life of victory, and we are instructed how to do it. It is by faith.
In Joshua 2, Joshua sent two spies into the land to find out what they could concerning the city of Jericho. This city was the first great fortress to be overcome, and it’s king was not asleep. They had an intelligence department that apparently brought him word of the movement of Joshua's armies; and the coming of the two spies was not lost to the king. His officers reported that two of the Israelites had entered Jericho.
The kings of Canaan are types of the principalities and powers mentioned in Ephesians 6:12—“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” It is possible that the king of Jericho was the most important of all these kings and becomes a type of Satan himself. The devil is not asleep. He is quite aware of the activities of Christians in their work for the Lord. It becomes the purpose of the Evil One to hinder the believer in his ministry.
There was a distinct difference in the purpose of the spies sent by Joshua and those that had formerly been sent by Moses at the command of God. The spies in Moses time were not sent because Moses questioned God's promises, but because the people doubted and wanted information to substantiate their doubts (Numbers 13). It was the people who wanted to send in the spies to find out whether the land was worth going after. There's was a negative approach because they did not believe God. They were looking for evidence to support their unbelief. In the case of Joshua, he believed God and he sent the spies after evidence to substantiate faith, not doubt (Joshua 2:1). The Israelites were committed to entering Canaan, and Joshua wanted to discover the wealth of the land and the strength of the foe.
By way of application, we need to learn more about the inheritance we have in Christ Jesus. We need to know the spiritual wealth that is ours in Him. We also need to get information on the strength of Satan just as Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” We need the information Peter gives us when he says in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” We need to know the reality of the foe, and the strength of the foe; yet at the same time we must recognize that he is defeated and he is afraid of God and of any of God’s people would dare to believe God for absolute victory.
That is what happened in the heart of the king of Jericho. He was filled with fear. This is true of the demons under Satan. We are victorious when we go against them in the strength of Christ. Satan cannot stand against us when we dare to believe God and claim the power God has for us. This is the same power God showed when He raised Christ from the dead and gave Him a place above all principalities and powers. Victory is not achieved by fighting. Victory is received by faith. When God has a gigantic task He wants us to perform, He gives us the faith to perform it. Your faith links your nothingness to God’s almightiness and victory is yours for the taking!
The devil does not fear us as such. He does fear Christ who is in us, however. John assured us in his first epistle: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The devil is no match for the One who indwells us. Our strength, our power, our victory, our ability to overcome Satan, is in Christ and we are in Christ.
Joshua in the Old Testament is an illustration of Jesus. In fact, Joshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus. He is our heavenly Joshua leading us into the land of promise and victory. And what is this victory? It is a victory of faith. Joshua faced a lot of challenges, but perhaps his greatest was taking Jericho. Likewise, the devil has placed in each of our lives a very special “Jericho,” looming like an impossible barrier between us and what we believe God wants for us. There seems to be a Jericho standing between us and the dreams of our youth, God’s will for our lives, or the very best ambition of our hearts.
Our Jericho stands and shouts its defiance: “You would have made it, had it not been for me. I'm here in all my strength to keep you from entering into that land of promise.”
When you face your Jericho, you can do one of two things: give up, turn around, go back, and die in the wilderness of unbelief; or do as Joshua did: face that fortress by faith and conquer it. Nothing more, nothing less, will achieve the victory in our lives but faith.
The great battle, (of which all other battles are but smaller battles) is the battle between God and Satan. Satan’s goal is to steal glory from God by destroying His elect. By standing firm in the faith, we defeat Satan and bring glory to God. The suffering and death of Christ is the greatest example of this. As Jesus was being led to the cross, Satan thought he had won his greatest victory. Little did he know he was suffering his greatest defeat—John 16:11. “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil” (Hebrews 2:14).
The same is true for Christ’s followers. As Satan rages against us “like a roaring lion” he is only sowing the seeds for his ultimate defeat. This is what the book of Revelation is all about. As Christians, we conquer by “remaining faithful, even unto death” (Revelation 2:10).
Perhaps you have dreamed of doing something great for God. Perhaps some infirmity or old age prevents you from doing what you would like to do. Don’t you realize that Satan is attacking you right now at your point of weakness? He is attempting to tempt you by discouraging you and leading you to unbelief. Stand firm! Be faithful even unto death and by doing so “…the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet…” (Romans 16:20).
“And they shall be as mighty men…and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them…” (Zechariah 10:5).