Power in Silence

Do not be overwhelmed in battle, even if all the nations rage around you. With God, you can be confident. We must be still, however, to hear his voice and perceive his work in us.

Have you been following the Exodus story to freedom? This year, we pivoted to the Book of Joshua for Lent to point toward the spiritual battle we face during this holy season. Here is our daily reflection for March 7th, reflecting on Joshua 10:16-28.

“The conquest of the Promised Land was a spiritual war. We might be inclined to think that Joshua’s war has no connection to our own battle for freedom. The enemies are the same, however, as the evil spiritual forces that took hold among the Canaanites also sought to oppose God’s plan for the salvation of the world. God gave his people the strength they needed to overcome the forces of evil to live in freedom through his grace.

“Joshua tells the people to trust in the power of God in their battle against the forces of evil. We must do the same. Be confident that God will lead you to the freedom to live as his sons. God silenced his enemies who claimed they could stand against him. He will silence all those who say freedom is not possible, that we must remain in bondage to sin. Perhaps we, too, have our doubts. Can God really free me, or will I remain stuck in my sinful habits?

“In the midst of these doubts, God tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). In our struggles, in the face of all obstacles, contrary to all emotions, we must be still. Only in silence will we see the power of God. Before that powerful line, Psalm 46 tells us that, “The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts” (verse 6). With his Word, he makes all conflict cease. The Psalmist invites us to contemplate the power of God: “Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has wrought desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear, he burns the chariots with fire!” (verses 8-9). All of our conflict, all challenges, and all of our enemies—all of this vanishes before God, who is “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (verse 1).

“Do not be overwhelmed in battle, even if all the nations rage around you. With God, you can be confident. We must be still, however, to hear his voice and perceive his work in us. God will silence all of our enemies when their rebellion fails. We, his sons and friends, are silent in a different way, waiting for him to act and following his still and gentle voice. Pray today in silence for God to act to bring you to freedom.”

It’s not too late to join us during Lent. To begin the traditional period of Passiontide, beginning Sunday, March 17th, we will pivot books once again, this time to the Gospel of Matthew. We will follow Jesus as he makes his own Exodus (as St. Luke puts it) during his Passion, bringing the gift of God’s freedom to its culmination in his perfect sacrifice.  Along with reflections on Matthew, we will also offer daily meditations on the Passion to guide your prayer. Consider joining us to finish the Lenten season strongly and to walk with Jesus in his Exodus.

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