For those who follow the Lord, the commands of the Lord may seem counter-intuitive. For those who marched around Jericho under the leadership of Joshua, the command by the Lord to march around Jericho and to shout on the last day to overcome the city likely did not happen without a few raised eyebrows. Nevertheless, the Israelites, in one of their rare moments of complete obedience, did not grumble but trusted the Lord without hesitance. For this reason, the Israelites prevailed over Jericho and moved onward to obtain the Promised Land which the Lord had already given into their hands.
Though today, the people of God will not be called to march around a city to accomplish its ruin, they are called to live a life that is as counter-intuitive as was the battle plan against Jericho. For many of the great commands of our Lord: “Lose your life that you might gain it” (Lk. 17:33), “Sell your possessions so that you might have treasure in heaven” (Mt. 19:21; cf. Mt. 13:44), “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” (Lk. 20:25), and “Seek to live peaceably with all men” (Rm. 12:18), etc.–all these go against what is preached by the world and what is ingrained in our natural minds and instincts. For the world tells us to seek for our life in this age, to hoard up for ourselves treasures in this world, to fight against paying taxes to the governing authorities, and to stir up discord for the sake of our rights. And if we are found living as Christ commanded rather than as the world commands, many eyebrows will be raised in the process.
And just as Joshua and the Israelites marched obediently around Jericho with their gaze fixed upon the Promised Land, so we also must live our lives with our gaze fixed upon the true Promised Land. For our hope is not based in this world, and we are admonished to live our lives in such a way that it demonstrates this to the world. And in living so, we will glorify Christ, for we will regard what the world treasures as rubbish and will thereby demonstrate the superiority of our future Inheritance in Christ.
And though living in such a way will not come without great sacrifice and ridicule, we will find that the joy that we have in Christ and in obedience to his commands will far outweigh what we have sacrificed in this life. We will find, to our delight, that we share in the same Joy that when set before Christ pushed him toward the cross (cf. Heb. 12:2), and when set before the Macedonians caused them to give out of their extreme poverty for the aid of the saints (cf. 2Cor. 8:1-7). Just a thought.
Categories: Just a Thought