You may not know this, but for many years Preacher Cox, our Pastor Emeritus, had printed out a little note and put it behind the pulpit where only he could see it when he was preaching. It came from John 12:21 and simply said, “Sir, We Would See Jesus.” Simple. Clear. Profound.

That’s what I desire, too. I imagine you do as well, if He is your Savior. I think the question is, “Have you seen Jesus?”

Did you know there is a passage in Joshua where he meets Jesus face-to-face? This is one of those narratives that I knew was there, but had not really studied until I thought about this theme of seeing God.

One day as the sun was going down, Joshua went to walk in a field, so that he could think. Like us, too, he went to walk and worry. He would have been conscious of his position as the captain of this inexperienced rag-tag army of dreamers. His responsibilities would have been weighing him down. More than that he must have been aware that he lacked the resources needed to defeat a city like Jericho.

“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?” Joshua 5:13

Joshua lifted up his eyes and there was a man standing in front of him with a sword drawn in his hand. This was a man of war. Joshua was suddenly ready to fight, because he did not know if this man was a friend or a foe. Joshua went to this man and said, “Are you for us or are you for our enemies?”

The answer was one word. “No.” (v.14) This “no”meant neither. Then the man said, “But as captain of the host of the Lord am I now come.”

14 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?

15 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.

Immediately Joshua fell on his face and worshiped God. He knew Who this was. Like Moses, Joshua was told to take off his shoes because he was standing on holy ground. We read on:

6:1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.

And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour.

And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days.

The Lord said, “I am not on your side, neither am I on their side; you, Joshua, are on MY side. I am the real Commander, not you. In fact, I am the Commander of more than your men; I am the Commander of the army of God.”

Can you imagine the relief these words must have been to Joshua? Moses had trained him well and he knew to look for God in his life and in the circumstances that life would bring him.

Rest assured that there is a heavenly army available to us— a host like you and I have never seen. It would seem to be an infinite number to us. Also, this Commander has all the resources needed for the battle that is soon to come.

Every Christian finds himself in a state of need like Joshua found himself. Our way can be hindered by a kind of Jericho:

  • Opposition from the world
  • Dissension among the saints
  • Problems at work
  • Family life
  • Unsaved loved ones
  • Personal failures and inadequacies

… at such times we can identify with Joshua. We feel like the captain Joshua. The responsibility is weighty. We don’t have a resource to fix this problem.

… We say to ourselves, “This situation is different.” And we go on struggling and planning and worrying.

… It feels like we have been defeated before we ever began.

We know the Lord is real. We know that He can fix what lies ahead. We ask, “Are You for me or for my adversaries?” We like to think of Him as being on our side, but the Lord would adjust our perspective and have us see that we are actually on HIS SIDE. God is here to take back the position we have usurped.

Your battles are God’s battles. This should make us fall down at His feet as well. It should cause you to worship Him.

Following God is not that hard, once you surrender. This means God is in control, not you. Giving up control is like giving up a false god. Now all you have to do is obey and trust Him. “Trust and Obey.”

What brings us to this place? Daily Bible study and prayer time. The answer is in His Word. Open your Bible and read it every day, “for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey!” Be assured; you will see the Lord.