Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you’re living in a battle zone? Maybe for you it has extended into a battle season where even the most straightforward tasks have become challenging. I feel like I am in the midst of battle season! What I am realizing is that perspective is everything.
For the past few months I have been preparing for the Esther’s Voice retreats in April and in doing so I have had to fight some very real battles. But as I reflect over the past few weeks I have to admit the fiercest battle has been in my own head. My greatest battle is fear. It’s not what has actually gone wrong but the anticipation of what could go wrong that has been elevating my heart rate and robbing me of peace and sleep! There is a giant of intimidation inhabiting my promised land.
As I continue to read through the book of Joshua I see so many parallels. Joshua was entrusted with leading the nation of Israel at the end of a season of fear that had robbed a generation of freedom. Instead of crossing the Jordan and claiming God's promise, the previous generation had wandered the wilderness for 40 years. Rescued but still not free.
The message of Esther's Voice is a message of freedom and the sound of freedom is different to the sound of rescue. Freedom is a confronting message. It requires us to acknowledge our own personal authority in defeating the giants that stand against us. It also requires a revelation of the authority of the God who is the author of our freedom.
In the story of Joshua, the previous generation was so consumed by fear they wanted to stone both Joshua and Caleb when they gave the report that Israel could overcome their giants and claim the territory God had promised them. However when Joshua sent two spies to scout out the land and get a feel for the giants opposing them, this is what their enemies told them,
'We know the Lord has given you this land. We are all afraid of you. Everyone in the land is living in terror. For we have heard how the Lord made a dry path for you through the Red Sea when you left Egypt…….. No wonder our hearts have melted with fear! No one has the courage to fight after hearing such things. For the Lord your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.' Joshua 2:9-11
In the context of claiming God's freedom, our fear is nothing more than an illusion. The giants who for so long had God's people paralyzed and unable to possess their promise were in reality no threat at all. They were 'living in terror', 'melting with fear' and 'lacking the courage to fight'.
The only thing standing between God's people and their victory was their perspective. They forgot who they were, and they forgot who God is. The adjustment in thinking required for a whole nation to leave the familiarity of their rescued existence and cross the fast running Jordan River took courage and a significant shift in perspective from fear to faith.
Taking ground will always provoke resistance in some form. Overcoming is a necessary part of the journey toward inhabiting our promise of freedom. Which brings me back to my greatest battle and the only way to overcome fear is to stay the course and remember the promise God gave me that forms the foundation of Esther's Voice 'My daughters are not helpless. Their voices will change their nation'
God is famous! There is no giant we will ever come up against who has not already heard of God's awesome power and does not tremble with fear at the sound of His name!! The longer I am on this journey the more I realise that my fears are just an illusion and giants are no threat at all. I may sometimes forget who God is, but my enemies haven't. They've heard about God's miraculous rescues and His supernatural provision and they know it's only a matter of time before we cross the Jordan and take hold of our freedom. Their days of inhabiting our promises are numbered and they are running scared!!