“But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.” (Revelation 2:25)
When you read Joshua 6:15-21, you learn of God using Joshua to lead the Israelites into battle against the City of Jericho. This city was the first great city the Israelites had to face; and through the Power of God, they won a decisive victory.
The seemingly insurmountable walls of Jericho, that were wide enough for chariots to race around the top of them, were reduced to rubble as Joshua and his men marched to victory. This was the first city won on their way to claiming the Promised Land. God sent them in to defeat the inhabitants and to claim their inheritance; they were off to a good start.
Shortly after that miraculous triumph, Israel entered into its next battle with a town called Ai. Compared to Jericho, this town seemed insignificant and even harmless; an easy win by comparison. However, we read in Joshua chapter seven, that Ai wasn’t so easy to defeat. The people of Ai quickly overcame Joshua’s men and chased them clean out of the city. We read that after being so humiliated by their failure to overcome such a small city, the hearts of the people melted and became as water (Joshua 7:5).
This reaction was typical of the people of Israel. When times were good and victory came easy, they rejoiced and proudly proclaimed the Glory of God. But at the slightest hint of hardship or defeat, their hearts would melt and they would run, usually back in the direction of Egypt. Left to themselves, I imagine they would have kept running right over the rubble of Jericho on their way back to what they thought was safety, the arms of Egypt.
And who could blame them? If they can’t even overcome little Ai, then surely their victory over Jericho was a fluke, never to be repeated. Or so the natural man thinks.
I often see this same occurrence in the lives of Christians. God has given them notable victories over seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Sins they thought they could never overcome crumbled to dust by the Grace of God. However, some little sin they overlooked as insignificant overcomes them; and they hide their heads in shame. They run, usually back in the direction of their old life.
And who can blame them? They will never be perfect; they can’t even stop doing this or that simple sin. Sure, they quit drinking or using drugs. Maybe they even quit sleeping around. Must have been a fluke, they say. Might as well give up and go back to doing things the way they did before.
But this thinking is foolish. Don’t give up Jericho just because you couldn’t defeat Ai. Don’t forget the victories you have won just because you had a moment of defeat. Don’t forget the power of God just because you had a period of weakness.
Hold fast to that which you have already till Jesus comes. Stand your ground. Let not your heart be troubled.
After losing to Ai, Joshua got with God to find out what he needed to do to win. Joshua knew he couldn’t do it on his own. He looked to the hills, from which cometh his help (Psalm 121:1). His help came from the Lord; and he eventually defeated Ai and went on to claim the Promised Land.
If you are feeling defeated and are tempted to give up and run back to your old ways, remember God is telling you that when you are weak then is He made strong; for His strength is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). He is telling you to remember all that He has brought you through, all that He has helped you to overcome.
Hold fast. I’m coming. Help is on the way.