1cMonday

Iron Chariots

In Daily Devotionals by I'm Normal. I AM2 Comments

Do you feel constrained by life’s circumstances? Are forces beyond your control limiting your advancement – socially, financially, spiritually? If so, you are not alone. This problem has plagued mankind since its early days. The Good News is that God is in control and can help us overcome even insurmountable difficulties.

The feeling of helplessness afflicted the Israelites as they struggled to drive out their enemies from the land of Canaan, the land God had promised to them. As Joshua, then leader of the Israelite tribes, attempted to apportion the land, the people of the tribe of Joseph complained. They lobbied Joshua, stating, “The hill country is not enough for us, and all the Canaanites who live in the plain have iron chariots.” (Joshua 17:16).

From a military perspective, the Israelite’s complaint had merit. Iron chariots were nothing trivial, equipped with long scythes attached to the axle tree. This formidable configuration of spinning swords wrought great destruction in battle. All who stood in their path were mowed down as wheat or corn during harvest. Those who survived were scarred for life by the rotating blades. This advanced weaponry intimidated the Israelites. They feared this daunting and powerful enemy, and these contraptions assisted in blocking the path to achieving their goals.

Iron chariots are not the only barriers that stymie the success and comfort we desire. Iron chariots arrive in many forms. Many people are faced by economic iron chariots that appear to block their every advance. Others face physical disabilities or limitations. Sickness or disease often impose an iron chariot, forming an obstacle that blocks your moves in every direction. For others, it’s a lack of education prevents advancement in a job or career. Whatever reason, we’ve all been frustrated at some point in our attempts to acquire the means that allow us to enter our personal land of Canaan, our own land of milk and honey. The endless obstacles of iron chariots seem to mow you down in your efforts just as effectively as the spinning scythes on the axles of the Canaanites vehicles.

Unfortunately, the Israelites had forgotten God’s previous acts of great power that had brought them to this seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Was it not God who delivered miraculously the nation of Israel from the hands of Egypt’s Pharaoh? Was it not God who parted the Red Sea to deliver Israel from Pharaoh’s pursuing army? Did not God, with His mighty hand and outstreched arm, decimate the protective walls at Jericho, gaining not only Israelite victory but sending a powerful message to the surrounding nations of His power (Joshua 2:8-11)? Indeed it was.

God sent a special message of comfort to the Israelites through His servant Joshua, “The mountain shall be thine, and the valley, for thou shalt drive out your Canaanites, though they have iron chariots, and though they may be strong.” (Joshua 17:17-18). With God’s hand upon them, the Israelites eventually drove out the Canaanites, and the Canaanites became their servants, because the Israelites did not drive them out completely. Know today that God wants to help you drive out the iron chariots that overwhelm you.

Today we exhibit the same forgetfulness and lack of faith as the Israelites, doubting God’s power to deliver us from impossible situations. As with the Israelites, God is sending us a special message today through His Word. Did not God send His Son Jesus Christ to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21)? Was it not God who resurrected His Son from the grave as the firstfruits offering to conquer death and defeat the enemy Satan (John 20:1-18)? Didn’t God send eleven rag-tag disciples and one former Christian persecutor into the world to transform it forever through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, without cell phones, mass media, and the internet? Yes, He is still the same, powerful God, who is still able “to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20). What iron chariot will you ask Him to conquer today (Matthew 7:7-8, James 4:2)?

It is normal for God to supply us with comfort and assistance in driving out the iron chariots in our lives, even if we fail to drive them out completely. He encourages us to keep on persevering in the face of adversity. Iron chariots, illness, tragedy, even Satan himself, cannot keep us from God’s sure promise, the Kingdom of Heaven, which we will receive if we only call on the name of Jesus (Romans 10:13). This reward will someday be ours if we keep our faith and trust in Him, for it is Him who conquers all. As the Apostle Paul tells us, “In all things you are more than conquerors through Him who loves you!” (Romans 8:37). Be normal and be a conqueror today!

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ

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