Twice in today’s Bible reading*, we see Joshua — at God’s direction — lead the people with the worship team leading the way. The first time is in Joshua 3:13-14. The second time the worship team led the people was when God’s people marched around Jericho in preparation for taking the city in Joshua 6.
Only after the priests lead the ark of the covenant around the city, do the armed warriors step forward. Think about how the worship team felt. They didn’t have military cover. No one marched ahead to protect them.
Anytime our military sends slow flying aircraft such as bombers, they are always accompanied by fighter jets. And yet — again at God’s direction — Joshua led the people with the priests carrying the ark.
Consider today’s sports teams. In football, one of the questions fans ask is, which players will start? Everyone knows that coaches start with their first string. Coaches begin their games with the best players. Only after the team performs well and has a sizeable lead over their opponents does the coach consider putting in the second string.
Going back to the military, the commanders know that you have to prepare the “theater” with heavy, far-reaching artillery. They send in tanks. Or they’ll send in guided missiles. They have to prepare for the rest of the invasion forces.
So why would Joshua start with the worship team? He did it for the same reasons! God started with His first string! The worship team was the best way to prepare the theater, both in stepping out in faith into the overflowing Jordan River and in marching around a city they were about to conquer.
We don’t give enough credit to worship when it comes to spiritual warfare, or anything else in the Christian life for that matter. We don’t prepare the theater with prayer, a long-range weapon of mass destruction. Instead, we try to go about things in our own strength. In our own abilities. In our own plans. And we often fail. Why? Perhaps it’s because we’re not sure that God will come through for us. Perhaps we aren’t sure He’s leading.
What if we spent more time in worship? True worship, not just singing songs that get our feet tapping? What if we spent more time in prayer? A sense of awe goes a long way. The more we know God and the more we love Him, the more awe of Him we will have. We’ll have more faith that He will come through for us. And we’ll see more victories.
You’ll find that God is better fighting for you than you are fighting for Him,
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: