How tempting it is for us to sometimes put the circumstances into our own hands than to lift them up to our Lord. When we are eagerly wanting the help of our Lord to draw us from the problems that we are in, we often ask Him to help us and told Him what to do so that we may win the battles we are facing. But we forgot that He is not here to be our sidekick. He is not here to be our assistant. He is here to lead us (Psl. 25:5). He is here to be our Captain (Joshua 5:14). The battles are not ours but His (2 Chr. 20:15).
This is actually the greatest hindrance on our daily walk with our Lord: trying to put things into our own hands instead of letting Him lead us. But why do we do this? Why do we want to lead the way instead of allowing our Lord directs our path? Why do we choose our will over God’s will in our lives?
When we pray for example, instead of praying “Lord Thy will be done,” we pray for Him to help us and do these things for us which we think will be good to us. Why do we do this? While it is good to pray for those we wanted, we knew that it’s always best for us when the will of our Lord be done upon us. So why do we seldom pray that the will of our Lord be done in our lives?
According to the Bible, the obvious reason why it is so hard for us to choose His will over our own is because of this:
WE DON’T KNOW GOD
This is the very obvious reason why we don’t choose the leading of our Lord. To let someone lead us, the foremost requirement is, we must first trust that someone. In order to put our trust to that someone, we must first know him/her. We cannot trust if we do not know that someone. And as a general rule, it is safe for us not to do so. Hence, when we are still a child, our parents often told us not to talk to a stranger for it is safe for us not to.
The same with most of the believers today, the first hindrance that stops us in letting the will of our Lord be fulfilled in our lives is because we don’t trust Him. Why do we not trust Him? For the obvious reason that we don’t know Him!
In Genesis 5:24, we have known that Enoch was Raptured because he walked with God. When we walked with God, we cannot be the one to lead the walking because we certainly do not know the way (John 14:5) and our ways are not His ways (Isa. 55:8). Therefore, it is obvious that when Enoch walks with God, it is God that leads him and directs his paths (Pro. 3:6). And it is only through this that we can be Raptured also – when we let Him directs us in walking with Him.
So why did Enoch trusted God to lead his path? For the obvious reason that Enoch knows Him very well! According to Hebrews 11:5
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
If we would like to please God, we must know first what pleases Him. And in order to do that, we must know Him first. According to Hebrews 11:6a “but without faith, it is impossible to please Him”. And we knew faith does not come from us. It is a revelation given by the Lord to us (Heb. 11:1). So the act of knowing the Lord is not by our own will, but His will.
This is also the reason why according to Ephesians 1:17:
“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIM.”
Indeed, all of us need this: the knowledge of Him. The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, is the source of wisdom and revelation (Matt. 16:17). He alone can give it to us. No matter how great your teacher is. Even if Paul or Peter will come back to life right now and teach us the revelations they have received from God, unless God will not reveal them to us, we cannot understand them. Your eagerness alone is not enough to have that knowledge. It should be His will to give it to you. Not your will but His will. Not our works but His works (Phil. 2:13).
So let’s say, the Lord wanted to impart to you that knowledge of Him, and we have known that He can only impart it through faith (revelation), then the next question is: how can we have faith then? The answer is in Romans 10:17
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
This means that we can only have faith by hearing USING the Word of God. This is to say that we cannot have faith by just listening to the Word of God alone. There are actually many people nowadays that regularly hear the Word of the Lord in their local churches but still does not have faith. In everything we heard, we must hear using the Word of God.
So this also means that there’s a need for us to know His Word first so that we can use It in everything that we hear. Therefore, the final verdict in knowing God and the fundamentals of pleasing Him is BY KNOWING HIS WORD.
THE KEY IS THE WORD
Of course, there is no other way to know Him but by His Word! The key in all of this is His Word! We don’t trust His will for us because we don’t know His Word. He has given us His Word, and revealed Himself therein, on purpose that we might use It in everything we hear so that we can have faith; so that He can impart that knowledge of Him to us; so that we may walk with Him; and just like Enoch, so that we may find out what pleases Him.
According to Colossians 1:10
“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
So to walk with the Lord, we must know Him. The more we know Him, the more we walk worthy with Him, the more we can have a testimony that is pleasing to Him.
We cannot please our friends unless we know what pleases them. If for example, we would try to give them a present, we naturally try to find out what pleases them. If we are having a guest, we naturally try to find out what food or drink pleases them. If we cannot find this out, then we have to guess at it, and we may or may not succeed in our effort to please them. We may experience the greatest troubles and pains in guessing, and yet, after all the struggles, we still provide the very thing which they most disliked.
It is even so with our Lord. How are we to find out the things that pleased Him? How are we to discover the things He approves? ONLY FROM HIS WORD! There, and there alone can we get to know Him. God has revealed Himself in His written Word. And it is by His Word revealed in our hearts by His Spirit that we may begin to get to know Him.
Our non-understanding of His Word is the reason why we neglect It also, and this neglect is the reason why so many who should be feeding on the spiritual food of the Word are so ill-fed in themselves; and so ill-furnished for every good work (II Tim. 3:17).
So if we go back to our original question as to why we are choosing our will over the will of our Lord to us is because we don’t trust Him. Why we don’t trust Him? Because we don’t know Him. Why we do not know Him? Because we do not know His Word. This is the ultimate source of the problem: NOT KNOWING HIS WORD!
On the other hand, when we know a person thoroughly well, we cannot help but trust that person. No effort of distrust is present when we perfectly know the person. And since our trust is directly proportional to our knowledge to that person, this only means that the more we know that person, the more we will trust him/her.
The same with our Lord. If only we know Him well, there is no reason for us to trust in our will. The more we know His Word, the more we know Him. The more we know Him, the more we will trust in His will to be done in our lives over our own will.
If we knew even just a glimpse of His wonderful will for us, we should see that our will is such utter folly compared to His. And that we should not only be willing for His will to be done in our lives but we will actually desire for it. It will become our greatest happiness for Him to arrange everything for us.
If only we knew how blessed and how sweet is His will for us, how infinite is His love, how vast is His wisdom, it would surely be the one great earnest desire and longing of our hearts for Him to do exactly what is pleasing in His own sight for us.
This importance of getting to know Him is not only the basis of our trust to Him but also the foundation of our faith. This is our most important needs.
For example, according to Romans 8:26, we don’t know what to pray. But by letting His will in us, we know what we should pray, for He teaches us what to pray. He knows what we need. He makes intercession for us. And we know that prayers are intended to humble us and put us into that place of complete dependence on Him. We know that prayers are meant to put us into His will.
But we don’t know these because we don’t know Him – we don’t know His Word. Instead, when we pray, we dictate our Lord what He shall do in our affairs, how He shall help us carry out our plans, what He should do in order for us to win our daily battles. You see? Pride and self leading are the outcomes of not knowing Him. We definitely pray for our will to be done, what we want and not what He wants.
PUTTING EVERYTHING IN HIS HANDS
It would be much better if we put everything in the hands of our Lord. When I say everything, I mean EVERYTHING!
Take this for example:
During my college days, I’m only depending on my allowance on my scholarship stipends and on my salary as a working student in our university. Whenever my scholarship stipend is delayed and my salary is not enough for my rent, food and other academic dues especially when we have a field trip in one of my class, I would go to my professors and asked them if they have some work for me. Usually, I would do house cleaning, gardening and some house repairs to earn extra income. At the end of the day, they would usually ask me how much do I like to be paid for a day’s work. I would usually reply that 500 Peso is enough for me. And they would always ask me if I’m sure that I’m contented with it. I would tell them that it’s enough for me.
But one day, while I’m doing the gardening, my professor told me that he had to leave the house to me to do some errand and will come back later in the afternoon. He then gave me the 500 Peso bill as an advance payment for my job as he might forget to give it in the afternoon. So I accepted the money. I put it in one of my pant’s pocket and continue the gardening work. Later that afternoon, when I have just finish weeding the area, I checked for the 500 Peso bill in my pocket and to my great dismayed, it was gone.
I’ve searched for it in the entire garden and the entire house and I checked every corner that I have went on that day but it’s nowhere to be found. I almost wanted to cry that time knowing that it’s my hard-earned money and I don’t even have money for my Jeepney fair going home that time. I prayed to our Lord to guide me locate it but it’s to no avail.
When my professor came back later that afternoon and noticed that I am restless, he asked me what happened and I told him that I lost the money he gave me. He told me that I don’t need to worry. He then gave me another 300 Peso. I told him that 800 Peso would be too much payment for my work but he told me that for him, I deserved that 800 peso payment. He told me that I deserved more than I asked.
So after that, every time I work for someone and he/she would ask me how much do I want for my labor, I would usually tell him/her “I will leave it to you Sir/Ma’am.”
This is also same with our Heavenly Father. When we pray something to Him or asked Him something, it is actually much better to tell Him “I will leave it to you Lord” or “It’s up to you Lord, you know better than I” than to ask Him of what we think we deserve. Why? Because we know perfectly well that He shall be very likely to give us more or much better than we would dare to ask Him. He knows better than us. He knows everything. That’s why it is best for us to put everything in His hands.
Take this another example:
Here is our son or our daughter experiencing great difficulties financially. As their parents, we have a plan that will lift them right out of that difficulty and will set them on their feet again. But they would usually come to us to borrow some small amount of money that will only give them temporary relief and will still make them remain to struggle on difficulties. They limit our power to help them. Their poor thoughts cannot rise to the extent of what we are able to do exceedingly and abundantly for them. If we answer their prayer and grant them their request and lend them what they ask, how small will be their blessings coming from us! Then we will ask ourselves: Why does my child do not ask or think more about my ability that I can give him more and love him more? The answer again is simple: Because they do not know us well enough! They do not know that we can help them more! This is the secret and this is also the reason why they are not delivered from their problems. They think that they know better than we do; and they measure our willingness to give by their poor power to ask.
Same with our Lord. If only we will realize that He knows better than us and that He knows us more than we know Him, these struggles will be lifted from us. It is not only our most important need; this is also our goal: THAT WE MIGHT KNOW HIM.
THE BATTLES ARE HIS, NOT OURS
Joshua 5:13-15 “And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”
Here, we can see in Joshua 5:13-15 that Joshua was now eager to do the will of the Lord which is to destroy all of the inhabitants of the Promised Land and then divide it to the people of Israel as instructed by the Lord to him. And we know also that we are the Spiritual Israel and we are also on the situation of Joshua right now – conquering and rightly dividing the Promise Land (Bible). Today’s Joshua is represented by our Lord Jesus Christ working through the Five-Fold Ministers.
Now, as we have read on the given verses above, Joshua is now ready to destroy Jericho – the city which is their first hindrance in conquering the whole Promise Land. (By the way, Jericho symbolizes anything in our life which symbolizes the very first hindrance that prevents us from claiming the Word of God. These can either be our groups, organizations, religions, traditions, beliefs, ways, character, attitude, etc. We need to destroy them first or take them away from our life in order to completely claim the Promise Land). But then, as he is about to go to the Jericho, behold, there stood a Man in front of him who has a drawn sword in His hand. A drawn sword only means that this Man is ready to kill. So Joshua asked the Man if He is an enemy who will prevent them to destroy Jericho or is He with them. Take note of this Man’s answer to Joshua:
“Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.”
Now, we can see here that the Man in front of Joshua was no ordinary Man. He is the CAPTAIN of the host of the Lord! And Who is the Captain of the Lord’s host? Who is the Leader of the Army of the Lord? We should read Revelation 19:11-16 to know Who He is. We can read there that this Captain of the Lord’s host – this Man in front of Joshua is no other than the KING OF KINGS AND THE LORD OF LORDS (Rev. 19:16)! And in Revelation 19:13, we can read what His Name is called:
“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.”
Yes, this Man in front of Joshua is the WORD OF GOD! The One Who created the universe (John 1:3). The God of Israel! The Groom of the Bride! The Savior of Israel from the beginning! The One Who will later manifest in the flesh and will be called the LORD JESUS CHRIST! He is the Man in front of Joshua Who has a drawn sword in His hand which signifies that He is ready for war.
Now, when Joshua asked Him whether He is an enemy or not, He replied:
“Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come.”
You see? The Lord is not Joshua’s enemy, neither He is his ally. He is none of those two! The Lord is the Captain! Which means He will be the one to LEAD Joshua and all of Israel to battles. He is our Captain! We are His host! That’s why the Lord is saying the truth when He said to Joshua that He is neither of the two.
If the Lord is Joshua’s ally, it will only mean that it is Joshua’s battle and not His. It will also mean that He will only go to help Joshua win. Yes, for an ally is only a helper in the battle. But He is not Joshua’s ally. THIS HE MAKES IT CLEAR TO JOSHUA! He is the Captain of the Lord’s host who came to LEAD Israel to battles. He is showing Joshua here that He is the leader and not Joshua. He is showing that it is His battle and not Israel’s! And that it should be Israel who should be allied with Him if they wanted to win!
So these are not our battles at all! These are not the battles of the Five-Fold ministers and the Bride! He makes it clear! It is His battles! He is the Captain and He is the One leading! Hallelujah! Praised be the Name of the Lord!
What our Lord wanted to tell us on these passage of the Bible? That in every battle we are facing, HE IS NOT HERE TO HELP US! Yes, you are reading it right! I repeat: HE IS NOT HERE TO HELP US. He is here because it is His fight! He is here because it is His battles! It is going to be His leading, it is going to be His will, His plans – not ours. So if you’re thinking that the Lord is always there for you because He wanted to help you, THINK AGAIN my friend! He is not here to be just our helper!!! Always remember that. This is His battle! He wants to take over! HE IS THE LEADER! HE IS THE CAPTAIN! Allow Him to lead the fight now.
If you are a servant of the Lord who is facing great battles right now, please remember that our Lord is in control. Do not be afraid. Be strong and be courageous. The God of heaven and earth is the One leading the fight, not you.
When Joshua realized this revelation and when he recognized that the Man in front of Him is God Himself. He humbles himself to the Lord His God, worship Him and ask Him this (please take note of these words from Joshua):
“What saith my lord unto his servant?”
Praise be to the Lord! See? These words are supposed to be heard from the mouths of the true ministers of God today when they are serving the Lord. They should be willing to take command from their Captain! They should realize that they are servants and not the leader! They are not like most of the false ministers today who thinks that they are the one leading their local churches because they are the “pastors”. They forgot that there is still the Great Shepherd, the Great Pastor Who is actually the One tending the flock.
Then the Lord told Joshua:
“Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.”
The Lord did not say to Joshua “You should have this strategy” nor “You should do this and you should do that in order to win.” No! He had never said those things. For what a mere man can do when the one leading in the Battle is the Lord? Does God need the strength of a man to win a battle? Of course not! Even Joshua’s strength came from Him! It is not actually Joshua strength; it is His strength! Even King David realized this in Psalm 92:4 where he said:
“For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.”
He has made us glad through His work and not our work. Not our own strength. And Joshua will only triumph through the works of Lord’s own hands and not through his works.
So He just told Joshua to lose his shoes from his feet for the place he is standing is holy. There are only two accounts in the whole Bible where God has asked someone to remove his shoes. The first is when the Lord appeared to Moses as the burning bush in the mountain of God (Exo. 3:5) and here to Joshua. Our feet symbolize humility and servanthood since they are the lowest part of the body. When the Lord told Moses and Joshua to remove their shoes, He is telling them to expose that part of them that symbolizes humility and servanthood. He is telling them to lower their selves before Him and obey His leading. When they obeyed and remove their shoes, it means they are letting the Lord in taking the lead and they are lowering their selves before the Lord.
The Lord desires the same response and attitude in us today. He doesn’t require us anything. He just wanted for us to remove our shoes before Him, that is He just wanted us to completely submit to Him and He will do the rest. He desires for you and me to let Him do the leading in us. Not our work but His work, not our will but His will. And that we can trustingly tell Him:
THY WILL BE DONE OH LORD! May the will of the Lord be done into our lives is my prayer.
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