From “Music For The Soul” by Alexander Maclaren

I came across this in my devotions tonight.  It gave me something to think about.  Perhaps it will give you something to ponder as well.

OUR LEADER IN THE WORLD’S WARFARE

In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. – Joh_16:33

If the revelation made to Joshua and his host be for us as truly as for them a revelation of who is our true leader, surely all of us in our various degrees, and especially any of us who have any ”Quixotic crusade ” for the world’s good on our consciences and on our hands, may take the lessons and the encouragements that are here. Own your Leader. That is one plain duty. And recognise this fact, that by no other power than by His, and with no other weapons than those which He puts into our hands, in His Cross and meekness, can a world’s evils be overcome, and the victory be won for the right and the truth. I have no faith in crusades which are not under the Captain of our salvation. And I would that the earnest men, and there are many of them, – the laborious and the self-sacrificing men in many departments of philanthropy and benevolence and social reformation – who labour unaware of who is their Leader, and not dependent upon His help, nor trusting in His strength – would see beside them the Man with the drawn sword in His hand, the Christ with the sharp two-edged sword going out of His mouth, by whom, and by whom alone, the world’s evil can be overcome and slain.

Own your General; submit to His authority; pick the weapons that He can bless; trust absolutely in His help. We may have, we shall have, in all enterprises for God and man that are worth doing, need of patience, just as the army of Israel had to parade for six weary days round Jericho blowing their useless trumpets, whilst the impregnable walls stood firm, and the defenders flouted and jeered their aimless procession. But the seventh day will come, and at the trumpet blast down will go the loftiest ramparts of the cities that are walled up to heaven, with a rush and a crash, and through the dust and over the ruined rubbish Christ’s soldiers will march and take possession. So trust in your Leader, and be sure of the victory, and have patience and keep on at your work.

Do not make Joshua’s mistake. “Art Thou for us? ” – Nay! ” Thou art for ME?.” That is a very different thing. We have the right to be sure that God is on our side, when we have made sure that we are on God’s. So take care of self-will and self-regard, and human passions, and all the other parasitical insects that creep round philanthropic religious work, lest they spoil your service. There is a great deal that calls itself after Jehu’s fashion, ” My zeal for the Lord,” which is nothing better than zeal for my own notions and their preponderance. Therefore we must strip ourselves of all that, and not fancy that the cause is ours, and then graciously admit Christ to help us, but recognise that it is His, and lowly submit ourselves to His direction, and what we do, do, and when we fight, fight, in His name and for His sake.

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