Devotional: ‘Not by Our Might or Power, But by God’s Spirit’


Joshua 6:1 Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None went out, and none came in. 2 And the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and mighty men of valor. 3 You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus shall you do for six days. 4 Seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. 5 And when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up, everyone straight before him.” ESV

Suppose you had an army that outnumbered your enemy 500 to 1. That would make you feel pretty good, wouldn’t it? Perhaps you might even begin to think that there was no way that you could ever lose. Yet the Bible tells us our strength lies not in our personal abilities or resources, but rather in our relationship with God. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Zechariah 4:6)

During my studies I have learned that the estimated population for Jericho was somewhere between one and two thousand people; while the estimated population for the nation of Israel was over two million. Israel outnumbered Jericho – 2000 to 1. The Bible also tells us that army of Israel numbered over six hundred men. That means the even Joshua’s army alone outnumbered all of Jericho – 500 to 1.

With such odds in their favor, it would have been very easy for Joshua and his army to have relied upon their own strength, and not upon the Lord. So often we think that as long as everyone in our family is healthy and our bank account is still in the black, we’ve got everything under control. Yet often, when we begin to think this way, the Lord allows something to happen that literally brings us to our knees. Even the great Apostle Paul had to be given a thorn in the flesh in order to keep him humble and dependent upon God.

It’s hard to follow God’s plan when you’ve got one of your own. The temptation is to head out into battle and leave God at home. Yet the battles of life are not won through brute strength or ingenuity. The battles of life are won by humble submission to the will of God.



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