Too often we talk ourselves out of the miracles and blessings God wants to release in our lives. Our constant complaining, nagging and grumbling sometimes delay or even hinder us from experiencing the breakthroughs we so desperately want.
Moses tried to talk his way out of becoming a mighty deliverer.
Gideon tried to explain his way out of reaching his full potential.
Before the parting of the red sea – the Israelites were on the verge of turning around and going back to Egypt because of their incessant negative speech and grumbling.
Before the taking of the promised land – they literally delayed the taking of this good land by a negative report that completely stalled – if not put off the mission.
Before the miracles of bread falling from the sky and water gushing out of the rock, Israel’s continued grumbling, nagging and quarrelling and murmuring became too much for God to handle, let alone his prophet.
At this juncture in the history of Israel (Joshua 6), they are about to take a fortified city and on the brink of a supernatural move of God in their lives. But Joshua gave a strange and extraordinary instruction to the people of God. He said to them (verse 10) - don’t speak a word – don’t say a thing for seven days – be quiet. In other word he was saying, “Quiet, victory is in progress.” Don’t mess this up like you’ve done before.
Joshua understood one of the weaknesses of the people of Israel was grumbling. Throughout their history and under the leadership of Moses, he saw first-hand their natural tendency to complain and grumble when things didn’t look good. When they got frustrated and aggravated and scared in difficult situations they became verbally negative.
But what we can learn today from this story is this: the key to victory when things don’t add up, when things are not going our way, or when there is no sign of a victory or answer to prayer, is not to start grumbling, complaining, murmuring and spewing negativity, but to stay faithfully quiet – cause victory is in progress.
We should know that sometimes God shows up at the very last moment when all is dim and gray.
There is a song we used to sing back in the day – victory, victory, victory shall be mine – if I hold my peace and let the lord fight my battle, victory shall be mine.
There are two things I believe that Joshua understood about God and people:
1. That God has promise to bless and bring his people victory in every circumstance, and He was not about ready to fail them.
2. Unfortunately, there is a natural inclination in people than and now to grumble, murmur and complain when there is no evidence that they will win.
When that happens, we begin to talk ourselves out of the victory that he has planned for us. Because of that Joshua told them, “don’t speak a word.” I don’t think God or Joshua worried about not wanting the people in the city to know they were there. After all, just marching around the city – foot steps was enough noise for the people to suspect that people were marching around their wall.
Joshua was more concerned about anybody saying anything – like, “here we are again, what if these people climb up on their wall and begin to shoot arrows at us? What if the walls don’t come crushing down? What if this doesn’t work – what then?” One negative word after the other spreading through the ranks of the army could cripple this military campaign and thwart their plan. So Joshua said, not one word until I tell you to shout for victory.
Friends, “words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose (Proverbs 18:21 Message).
The choice is ours to either fill our lives with poison or with fruit – life or death – stagnation or abundance. So instead of murmuring, complaining or grumbling in difficult situations, choose to:
Worship and praise even in you midnight hour
Give thanks when the going gets tough
Speak those things that are not even as though they are
Stand on the word and follow the Spirit’s lead
Learn patience and don’t give up easily
Be still and know that He is God