Reality is 1% what we see and 99% what we do not see. While it is easy to understand that the world in which we live in is only a speck compared to the vast expanse of the universe, it is less evident that even in this world, invisible forces that are not seen swarm us. At times though, these forces become evident as in the case of Joshua, when he was preparing to invade Jericho.
13 Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, “Are you for us or for our enemies?” 14 “Neither,” he replied, “but as commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.” Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, “What message does my Lord have for his servant?” 15 The commander of the LORD’s army replied, “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.” And Joshua did so. (Joshua 5)
While Joshua was getting his army ready, we see that the army of the Lord was at hand, ready to move. This army is the invisible legion of spiritual forces that operate at the command of the Lord, who is sovereign over all of reality. In another instance, when the king of Aram sends an elite force to capture Elisha, his servant who was alarmed, is given a vision of this force.
17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6)
What we see is an army of fire, taking the shape of horses and chariots surrounding Elisha, who being in total sync with God, appears to have the ability to get this army to do what he desires.
Recognizing the reality of this invisible army surrounding us and the ability of this invisible army to apply visible influence in the physical world, is the reason why a person who lives in close communion with God is able to apply faith to daily circumstances.
The commander of the Lord’s army lets Joshua know that he could not take for granted its support. Even though this was God’s people getting prepared to do God’s will, the only way to get the invisible army to support them would be to implicitly obey the impossible directions that were given to capture Jericho. Imagine any army commander asking his soldiers to circle the city seven times and expect the walls to crumble. The invisible army has a unique logic that we cannot comprehend, but can appropriate by faith.
Finally the commander asks Joshua to take his sandals off as an act of deference to the God who is present within the army. Consciousness of the reality of God, his exaltedness and having an attitude of reverence is critical to successfully deal with the invisible army and not be found on the wrong side of God’s forces.
Imagine how rich life would be when man begins to really see.
- GOD, WHERE ARE YOU?
- THE UNLIKELY SAINT