April 24

Joshua 6:16-17 (NIV) 16The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Joshua commanded the people, "Shout! For the LORD has given you the city! 17The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the LORD. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent.

What an unconventional battle plan the Commander gave to Joshua! We need to get our battle plans from the Lord. He knows how to go about it in a way that will bring Him all the glory. You know that when other people heard of how God brought victory over Jericho, in future wars, Israel had the psychological advantage.

In Israel's case, it was an expression of praise to God. In the battle Gideon led, they shouted, "The sword of the LORD and of Gideon." They probably shouted something similar here. When they did the walls fell inward and the army marched straight in.

Since this was the first city (firstfruits), and God was giving the victory, everything in it was to be dedicated to God. The gold and silver were to go into the treasury and everything else was to be burned. The promise of the spies to Rahab was carefully kept.

When you go into battle be sure and get your battle plans from the Commander. Give Him the praise and the glory for the victory. The honor is due Him. His way is the best way. Keep those promises you made along the way to the battle. Give to God what is God's.

Consider: Are you getting your battle plans from man or from the Commander in Chief?

April 24

Luke 1:34-35, 38 (NIV) 34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" 35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.

Gabriel's next visit was to Mary. This must have been the most exciting mission he'd been sent on up to that time. He tells this young woman that God has highly favored her. Then he gives her the familiar angelic greeting, "Fear not." It seems these magnificent creatures must speak that to every human they encounter. She is told that she had found favor with God and that she would have a son that was to be named Jesus (the salvation of Jehovah). That child would inherit David's throne and reign forever.

Women of that day prayed to be the mother of the Messiah. They did not understand that the Messiah would suffer and die before the throne of David was reestablished, or they might not have been so desirous of that honor.

Mary asks how it is even possible. Though she is engaged to Joseph, she has not been with a man. Gabriel tells her the child will be conceived of the Holy Spirit, and thus He will be called the Son of God. He was to be born of a woman, and yet that conception was through the working of the Holy Spirit.

Then we see why God chose this young woman. To that incredible proposal she responded, "I am the Lord's servant. May it be to me as you have said." She would face ridicule and potentially be stoned because people would think that she had been unfaithful to her fiancée. What would he think? Yet, at the root of her answer is the reason she accepted the task. "I am the Lord's servant." The issue is not what people think or how I will come through; the issue is my relationship with God. I am His servant. It is His to decide what role I am to play in His story. I yield my life to His plan.

Consider: Do I have Mary's attitude?