It’s amazing how a single word can stop you in your tracks and rock your world.
I was reading the book of Joshua, minding my own business, when I found this verse: “Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. Then the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men” (Joshua 6:1,2). I’ve read those words many times, but this time, a single word stood up and cleared its throat at me.
See. Look. Perceive. Visualize. Imagine. See.
This is amazing. Technically speaking, Israel hadn’t even begun her formal siege of Jericho. Sure, the residents had already battened down the hatches and settled in for a long winter, but nothing had actually happened yet. What we know of Jericho and its walls suggests they could have sat tight and outlasted many a siege.
“But look,” God says to Joshua. “Do you see it? I’ve given them to you. Take it, it’s yours. On my count. One, two…”
What, exactly, did God expect Joshua to see? I’m not sure. What I do know is, God was coaching Joshua to see the physical realm through a different lens, the lens of faith. He was calling him to believe, awakening powerful vision within Joshua that painted a vivid picture of a future profoundly shaped by the will of God.
“We walk by faith, not by sight,” Paul said, but this doesn’t mean faith doesn’t see anything. His point was that faith doesn’t take its cues from the physical world. He also prayed that God would open the eyes of our hearts to “see” heavenly realities (Ephesians 1). Imagination enflamed by truth borne of the Spirit of God is a potent spiritual weapon.
I wonder: If God were to put his arm around me today, joining me as I survey the landscape of my life, to what would he point and say, “See…”?
God often asked the prophets of old, “What do you see?” He asked a blind man regaining his sight the same question. On one occasion he even said, “For judgement I have come into the world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind” (John 9:39).
Where am I effectively blind, seeing only brick, mortar, dollars, and common sense?
What does faith see? The way things really are, certainly. But it also sees potential. Faith becomes the crossover technology for the “what if” of God, the means by which truth takes on flesh.
Where am I seeing only what is, instead of what can be?
It’s a command. An invitation. A way of life.
I’d love to hear your comments.
“Imagination enflamed by truth borne of the Spirit of God is a potent spiritual weapon.”
I’ve never heard God. I’ve never seen visions. Just my wandering imagination. Wait. It’s so easy to fall for that trap. It’s just difficult to believe God is showing us something unless it’s a blinding light and thundering voice on the road to Damascus.
But maybe that prayer in the airport for protection, and later when I let my mind wander and imagined that angel sitting across from me with a broadsword strapped to his back, and I felt suddenly at ease, at peace. Maybe that was more than imagination. If that’s a vision then maybe Christians today see visions of angels and the voice of God but don’t recognize it, maybe this is the biggest lie of our age?
I love your maybes.
I’m not sure why this came to mind, but I thought of my baseball playing days. Some times I would step up to the plate and see nothing but fielders. Other times I would step up to the plate and see nothing but open field. The only difference? My perspective.
I pray that we see what God wants us to see, and take that step of faith. Great post, Brad!
Thanks bro. Great example, too.