Do you remember playing tag when you were little? There was always a home base. We would run, laugh, and scream until we needed a break and then we would touch base. This meant you were safe. So often we only touch base with God when things are going badly, when we need that break. Joshua reminded me we also need to do so when things are going good.
Joshua was a human just like the rest of us. He was thoroughly devoted to God and wanted to do a good job at leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. He had been prepared for this, and God had ordained him for the job. I can imagine the thrill of Jericho's defeat.
There have been times in my life I tasted victory. I have known a job done well. I have no doubt I will experience this again, for life is full of these moments. I also know there have been times I fell on my face right after such an uplifting time. While I cannot recall every moment to know for certain, I have to wonder if I didn't make the same mistake that Joshua did. On my victory high I kept moving forward without touching base with God.
It’s an easy mistake to make. We assume if something were wrong we would be alerted to it. Unfortunately life does not come with neon signs pointing out what needs to be fixed. We need to be in constant contact with God in order to know when something is hidden which needs to be taken care of.
I’ve also made the mistake of assuming what a circumstance means. Joshua did not do this. When they were first defeated at Ai he went to God to understand what was going on. How often have you faced defeat and assumed you were going the wrong direction? I admit I have changed my course of direction because I assumed God was trying to lead me with circumstances. What if I had been in better contact with Him and learned that something else needed to be taken care of before I would get victory? I lost opportunities because of my assumptions and lack of connection with God.
Whenever we played tag there always seemed to be at least one child who was never but a stone’s throw away from base. When I was “it” this child would always aggravate me. How would I ever tag him if he didn’t move further from the area he was safe? Now I believe he was much smarter than I was. If I am in constant contact with God, in good and bad situations, His direction will help keep me safe and directed correctly.
May we never be more than a stone’s throw away from our home base.